A Rogue Librarian's Reading List

{January 29, 2012}   The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

Plot: Meghan has never seemed to fit in, at home or at school. But she never suspected just how different she truly is. When her half-brother is replaced by a changeling, she discovers that she is actually the daughter of Oberon, King of the Seelie Court. She enters the faery world to save Ethan but she finds herself caught in the middle of an epic struggle between warring faery courts. She may be the only one able to slow the encroachment of the deadly Iron Fey.

Kagawa’s novel got off to a slow start: Meghan’s troubles at home and at school were predictable and I couldn’t bring myself to care. It didn’t help that the novel isn’t particularly subtle. If you’ve read a Midsummer Night’s Dream, Robbie Goodfell’s secret will come as no surprise to you. That’s alright, that’s a hint, but Kagawa sometimes seems to be hitting me over the head. When she tells me: “Still Robbie had always been like that way – jealous, overprotective, forever looking out for me, like it was his job.”, I feel like she’s winking at me and saying “this will be important later”. When it happens a lot, I start rolling my eyes.

The romance also left me dry. Don’t get me wrong, I whole heartedly encourage making out with handsome fairy princes if the opportunity arises (and Ash certainly has a lot of potential in that department) but that’s not a romance. Meghan’s fondness for Ash comes out of nowhere and it makes no sense to me. He is gorgeous and saves her life a couple of times (when he isn’t trying to kill her). That could certainly explain some lust but I can’t help but feel that they fall in love because narratively they were supposed to and nothing else.

Is this my favorite novel of the year? No. I read three other novels while I tried to finish this one. Still, it was worth getting through the first part to read the rest. Meghan’s adventures in the Nevernever are genuinely exciting. There is danger at every turn. Meghan gets into trouble and makes mistakes but she learns from them and gets better at dealing with faeries. Grimalkin is a great character in the way only a mystical, talking cat can be. And the idea of the Iron Fey is inspired: faeries born of the imagination of the modern world and posing a real danger to the more traditional fey of all affiliations. (Though, forgive me, I have to say it: “load-bearing boss“.)

There are 3 more volumes in the Iron Fey series: Iron Daughter, Iron Queen and the upcoming Iron Knight as well as a couple of novellas. Though I wasn’t entirely sold on the first book, the series has real potential and I’m curious to see how Kagawa develops it.

2012 (#12)


I felt exactly the same about the who Ash thing. And with Puck being hilarious–that would have made more sense, no? But I did finish the series and things get pretty ridiculous around a high-school winter formal that my sister and I got a BIG kick out of. You might want to read the second one just for that!!

roguelibrarian says:

That’s good to know. I will read it sometime soon. ^_^

And I agree about Puck. I love funny guys.

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