One of the features here at Books Are My Fandom is our Two Peas in a Pod Review. Two of us will read and review a book as a team. We are choosing books we each haven’t read that sound good to us. Some of these choices may come from a Convince Me To Read review! Feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your suggestions for books that two of us should read plus who you want to read them.
Today Iris and Jamie tackle THE IRON KING by Julie Kagawa! Dani has already read the book a few years ago and was excited to see what her beasties thought of the first book in a series that entered her life at a painful time. But first let’s learn more about the book…The Iron King (The Iron Fey, #1) by Julie Kagawa
Series: The Iron Fey #1
Published by Harlequin Teen on February 1st 2010
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Amazon ♡ Chapters ♡ TBD
Meghan Chase has a secret destiny; one she could never have imagined.
Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan's life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school or at home.
When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she's known is about to change.
But she could never have guessed the truth - that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she'll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil, no faery creature dare face; and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart.
Iris rated this four stars. She has read her fair share of faerie books and was a bit worried since this book was pretty hyped. Worried over nothing it seems, since she thought it was awesome how Kagawa took the fae legends and gave them her own spin.
She thought the first part of the book as a bit of a cliché. Meghan’s ‘real-life’ situation felt really predictable to her, and she wasn’t sure THE IRON KING was going to be the book for her. That all changed when Meghan stepped into Nevernever (crisis averted!). She loved the descriptive imagery of Nevernever and thought it felt like stepping into a whole new world. She loved the violent and scary creatures that all wanted to take a bite out of Meghan, as they made Nevernever appear more authentic, interesting, and twisted. In fact, to her it felt a bit like reading about Neverland in the SPLINTERED books by A.G. Howard (and Iris LOVES those books).
However, here’s the thing Iris enjoyed most: Kagawa based the fey world on things almost all major works of art were based. Such as “A Midsumer Night’s Dream”. She absolutely loved how Kagawa incorporated all these aspects of the play into THE IRON KING. Her fondness for the classics came out to play, and she got a kick out of spotting the various elements from the play that were used in this book.
Iris thought the characters were really enjoyable. She loved Grimalkin (who doesn’t love a talking cat?), enjoyed Meghan’s journey of self-discovery and reading about the love Meghan had for her family, and, like so many others out there, fell pretty hard for Ash. Although she has a soft spot for Puck and his charming and funny ways, too.
Iris will definitely be continuing this series.
Jamie rated this one two stars. She thought THE IRON KING started off really strong with the integration of the mythology and the plot. Being a fan of the “lost princess” trope, she thought she would really enjoy this one – and granted the first 20% was really well done. She sped through this section to see where the story would lead but found that once Meghan and Robbie went into the faeryworld, things went downhill.
The characters were all stereotypes, and she could NOT understand how Ash went from Prince That Will Kill Me to Prince That Is My Beloved in the short span the reader got (it was literally ten pages). If this hadn’t been there in this book, Jamie would have liked it so much more, especially since there is a sequel in which it could have been properly developed (and Jamie has heard that the second book is basically just a love story for the two).
The middle section of THE IRON KING, from 20%-70%, was boring for Jamie because too many characters were introduced that didn’t really affect THIS plot but will probably affect the future plot. While Jamie realizes it is good to introduce new characters earlier rather than later, there were too many in there and all weren’t much more developed beyond what we already “knew” about them from other literature, so there really was not a point in including them.
From 70% onwards it was all about how AMAZING ASH IS even though he did … nothing. The “final battle” scene did not satisfy her need of adventure or action, rather left her confused in regards to Meghan’s wavering loyalty to her undying love for Ash.
The only redeeming quality of THE IRON KING for Jamie was that the whole fae thing wasn’t over explained because all the “lore” and “mythology” that is “common knowledge” (i.e. you have read about it 1000 times) is what is the Truth in this world. So it was nice that there wasn’t too much information that wasn’t needed.
Jamie will not be continuing with the series.
Overall Thoughts on THE IRON KING
Warning: The next bit talks about quotes and our reactions to them, which can be a bit spoiler-y! Enter at your own risk.
We React To: Quotes From THE IRON KING
Puck. The Puck was standing in my hallway. “No way,” I whispered, shaking my head. This was Robbie, my closest friend. I would’ve known if he was an ancient faery. Wouldn’t I?
Okay cool, we are learning about the fae story line, getting a bit more background info. I also like that Robbie is Puck because Puck was my fave in Midsummer’s Night Dream.
LOVE THIS. I love how Kagawa based the fey world on such a major play as “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”. That she incorporated aspects of the play into her own story and used the characters of the play as the basis for her fae characters. Absolutely awesome!
“…He tried to kill me!”
Grimalkin blinked. “That is Prince Ash, youngest son of Queen Mab. They say he is quite the hunter, and spends much of his time in the wyldwood, instead of at court with his brothers.”
“I don’t care who he is,” I hissed, ducking down in my seat. “I can’t let him see me. How do I get out of here?”
Ah okay, we are meeting the other piece of the love triangle. Good to know he is trying to kill her, I guess? And of course their first meeting was him trying to kill her (actually both first meetings were that but k).
Ah, Grimalkin and Ash make an appearance! Talking cat, I love talking cats!
“Over my dead body.” Puck smiled, as if this was a friendly conversation on the street, but I felt muscles coiling under his skin.
‘That was part of the plan.” The prince raised his sword, the icy blade wreathed in mist. “I will avenge her today, and put her memory to rest.”
So maybe I was wrong and Ash won’t fall in love with Meghan. He seems to be into someone else (who is dead, but still someone else). Also, glad there is setting up some action rather than just talking about doing stuff and then walking through a forest.
So Ash has hidden depths… Major confrontation. Happenings of the past clashing with what’s happening now. INTRIGUE!