The Iron King by Julie Kagawa
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Not since Alice went down the rabbit hole, or Dorothy flew over the rainbow, has there been a book so exciting. Iron King is a wonderful fantasy adventure that takes us into Nevernever, the heart of myths and fantasies, where danger lurks behind every turn. This book was too good to put down, as our heroine escapes one perilous situation only to stumble into more trouble at the next turn. Iron King has something for everyone; action, adventure, danger, friendship, and forbidden romance.
Tired of her life on a pig farm, Mehgan Chase looks forward to her sixteenth birthday, when she hopes getting her drivers permit might add some excitement to her dreary life. When she comes home and discovers her brother, Ethan, has been kidnapped by faeries and replaced with a dangerous changeling, Meghan gets more excitement than she had bargained for, as she resolves to save Ethan from the faeries who have captured him. After her only true friend, Robbie, reveals to her that he is actually the mythical Puck or Robin Goodfellow of Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream, Meghan enlists his help to venture into Nevernever to save her brother. As Meghan embarks on the adventure of a lifetime, she has no idea what dangers and revelations she will soon face.
There have been a lot of faery books published lately, and most focus on faeries interacting and living in our world. It was refreshing to see a book that dares to venture into fairyland, and the resulting story is top notch. Kagawa created a world where creatures of myth and legend roam, and what you say and the deals you make can have serious consequences.
My one criticism would be that the story’s climax came too swiftly. The entire story had been building towards this confrontation, but it was over in a matter of a few pages. The ending was a bit of a letdown after all the dangers and obstacles they face trying to get to the climax, but the journey to get there could not have been better. This quick ending may be partially due to the fact that this is the first book in a series, but still I feel with the time I invested in this novel I should have gotten more from the climax than the few pages it was given.
Still this was a fun and entertaining read and I find myself lamenting the fact that I have to wait another five whole months for the next installment in the series. I am anxious to see where Kagawa will go with the next book. Overall I found this book to be a very pleasant surprise. If you are looking for something to tide you over while you wait for the next installment, you might try Carrie Jone’s books Need and Captivate or the Wicked Lovely series by Melissa Marr. The next book, The Iron Daughter is due out in August 2010.
Cautions for sensitive readers: Mild use of swearing and some violence. There is no sex though.
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