Thursday, 13 September 2012

Review: The Iron King

Title: The Iron King (The Iron Fey #1)
Author: Julie Kagawa
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Released: 1st February 2010
Rating: 3/5

It’s official. Faeries hate me. Apparently even more than other humans. I mean, torture us and keep us as pets and kill us, but can you please make me like reading about you? (To any faeries reading this, I’m kidding. OK? I’m a stupid human, I’m not worth your time!)

When people talk about birthday surprises, they don’t mean finding out that faeries exist, that your brother has been swapped for a changeling or that you must enter the Nevernever if you insist on rescuing said brother. Yet for Meghan Chase, this is exactly what happens. Somehow she must travel through the faery realm and survive the journey if she has any hope of saving Ethan and getting them both back safely to the mortal world. That’s easier said than done, however, especially when there’s three faery courts after her – Summer, Winter, and the third court, whose very existence has remained secret until now...

I must commend Kagawa on her world-building. She has that wonderful ability to paint a very clear picture, taking into account details rather than simply giving us a general image. She knows exactly what this world looks like and she ensures the reader does too. In that sense, it really was as though I was right there in the Nevernever. I enjoyed seeing all the variety of fey there was and thought the idea of the Iron Court and how it came into existence fantastically original. I always love it when an author can add a new twist on something you were pretty sure you knew a lot about.

But. Unfortunately, my hopes that this would make me like reading about faeries fell flat. I know there are people out there who didn’t like them either and then had their opinion revised with this book, and I find it quite disappointing that I can’t say I’m one of them. After a while I grew weary of the plot and by the last fifth I was skimming just so I could get to the end.

Meghan, as a protagonist, didn’t cut it for me. I admired her determination to rescue her brother, but other than that she failed to impress me. She was persistent in one thing, and that was screaming. In every situation, whenever there was the slightest bit of trouble, that’s what I’d catch her doing. If someone had come up to her and said ‘boo’, I have no doubt she would have screamed. She also seemed particularly adept at failing to hide, even when clearly warned. As for her decisions, well. I could only stare in disbelief at how rashly she acted; she never stopped to think. I can recall only one instance when I gave a nod of approval at her forethought.

I liked the love interests, though I didn’t love them. Puck perhaps I felt a glimmer of something for a couple of times, but it never developed into a full-fledged swoon. I loved his humour and the way he was frank with Meghan, and I felt sorry that she was blind to his feelings. I hoped he would make an appearance again at the very end, but sadly that was another hope left disappointed. Ash was great in a fight and despite his motives, he was incredibly strong to continue as he did on the way to the Iron Court. It was he who stopped Meghan from making another mistake at the end.

Despite my pretty negative review, this wasn’t all bad. My three stars exist because of the fabulous world-building and the whole idea of and backstory to the Iron Court. Ash and Puck were decent characters, and I have to say Grimalkin was a favourite. He reminded me very much of the Cheshire Cat in Alice in Wonderland. Oddly enough I also had a soft spot for the pack rats, metal rodents that collect metal junk. They were cute, OK? Unfortunately however, The Iron King is another case of me failing to become part of the hype. I will still be reading the next one though, because I’m quite curious to see what happens next after that ending.

Uhh, I’m gonna finish here. I think I see faeries coming my way (yeah, I have the Sight. Go me!).


  1. To be honest, this is actually very similar to how I felt when I first read The Iron King. I was also much more "Team Puck" than I was feeling anything for Ash (this has changed! this has changed!). It took me over a year to read the sequels after much pestering from other bloggers. When I did? I kinda fell in love. I don't know whether you'll love the following books, that's just my experience. Iron Queen and Iron Knight are my favourites!

    Hehe and I <3 Grim too. Sorry this didn't live up to the massive hype for you, fingers crossed for you loving the next books more! Awesome review!!


    I know this sounds HORRIBLE, but I am SO glad you weren't enamored with this book like everyone else. I loved the concept and idea of this entire series, but MEGHAN! Argh! I disliked that girl SO much! I adored Puck, more in the second book than this one, but Ash NEVER did it for me. I didn't see what was so great about him and gave up after the second book in which Meghan, believe it or not, gets WORSE! I know a looot of people adore this series and even Julie Kagawa, who I believe has improved immensely as a writer with The Immortal Rules, but I'm not a fan in the least.

    Overall, this is a wonderfullll review!(: I haven't read Brodie's favorites, Iron Queen and Iron Knight, and since I barely remember this series except the negative aspects of it, I probably won't, but if you decide to pick them up, I'd be very interested to see what you have to say about them! :)

  3. Now I'm totally curious about this series. I guess I'll have to tackle it and find out whether I like it or not. Although Meghan doesn't seem like a kick-butt heroine, I'm interested to see what actually happened on her birthday. Thanks for the review, Aa'Ishah!

  4. As I said over on goodreads, I didn't like The Iron King as much as I wanted to. In contrast to you, I really like faeries. The badass ones =)) Not the sparkly ones. But in this book, I didn't like them much either. I wasn't too fond of Meghan or Ash :( But I did like the Nevernever in general. Haha. Awesome review, Aa'Ishah!

  5. Oh my, I'm so sorry this one didn't totally work for you. Although I think I can understand some of your reasons. Hopefully you'll enjoy the second book better. Oh and before you read the second book, I suggest you read the Winter's Passage (novella) first. That will help you a lot understanding some of Meghan's actions in the sequel. Lovely reivew, A! :)

  6. Good review, sorry it wasn't better for you.

  7. It's a shame aspects of this didn't work for you, and I can fully understand your points on Meghan. I do think she gets better as the series goes on (as do the books, in my opinion). I hope the next book is slightly more impressive for you. Wonderfully reviewed, Aa'Ishah! :)

  8. Me and Faeries don't have a great relationship either no matter how hard I try, I still have the hope that I will find something great out there! I did pick up the second book in this series, which I found a lot better. So if you decide to continue with this I hope it works out for you. Thanks for sharing another insightful review with us Aa'Ishah :)

  9. This was not my favorite series, Aa'Ishah. But I think for different reasons than you. The overly descriptive. IMO world drove me nuts. I felt my mind wandering so many times because of it. I did want to know what happened to these characters so I did read all the books. I think the third is the best one. Great review and watch out for those faeries! Most of them are evil, right? :)

  10. Haha, I have just dipped my head into this book - 100 pages in and simultaneously reading it with a few other books. It's been okay till now - though I have a negative predisposition to the spelling "faery". I grew up thinking they were "fairies".
    Fun fun review! Thoroughly enjoyed reading it! :)

  11. I haven't read this but, have you noticed how much the girl on the cover looks like Hunger Games's Katniss?

    Every time I'm browsing and this book comes up I have to stop and check because I think is a some Hunger Games IV that came out and I don't know about it :-)

  12. Aw, Ai'isha, I'm sorry you didn't LOVE it. You know, I've heard a few people say similar. ANYWAY, still, AMAZING review, and I'm kind of fascinated. I think I've learned more from your review than I have from any other I've read ♥

  13. Hello, I'm now following you back. This is a great review. I got a A.R.C for The Lost Prince so I guess I have to read this. This review is great and I have no doubts that I will like the book.. Thanks, Daniel
    Also could you please comment on my most recent review?
    Thanks again


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