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The Iron King Paperback – January 19, 2010


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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 8 Up—On her 16th birthday, Meghan Chase's four-year-old half brother is exchanged for a changeling and she discovers that her best friend, Robbie, is actually Robin Greenfellow, aka Puck, from Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. He is her guardian and will lead her into the faery world to rescue her brother. Once there, Meghan learns that she is a princess, daughter of Oberon, king of the Seelie Court. With a mortal mother and a faery king for a father, she is very powerful, and Oberon and Queen Mab, queen of the Unseelie Court, are both fighting to keep her. With help from Puck and a talking cat, Meghan sneaks into the Unseelie Court to rescue Ethan, only to discover that he is held captive by more powerful forces that could destroy the entire fey world. Meghan is a likable heroine and her quest is fraught with danger and adventure. The action never stops, and Meghan's romance with Ash, the handsome prince of the Unseelie Court, provides some romance that is sure to continue in the sequel. Faery books are in high demand now, and this is one of the better ones. Expect it to be popular with teens who liked Melissa Marr's Wicked Lovely (HarperTeen, 2007).—Ginny Collier, Dekalb County Public Library, Decatur, GA
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

About the Author

Born in Sacramento, CA, Julie Kagawa moved to Hawaii at the age of nine. There she learned many things; how to bodyboard, that teachers scream when you put centipedes in their desks, and that writing stories in math class is a great way to kill time. Her teachers were glad to see her graduate.

Julie now lives is Louisville, KY with her husband and furkids. She is the international and NYT bestselling author of The Iron Fey series. Visit her at juliekagawa.com.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Harlequin Teen (January 19, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0373210086
  • ISBN-13: 978-0373210084
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (712 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #31,432 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Julie Kagawa, the New York Times bestselling author of the Iron Fey and Blood of Eden series was born in Sacramento, California. But nothing exciting really happened to her there. So, at the age of nine she and her family moved to Hawaii, which she soon discovered was inhabited by large carnivorous insects, colonies of house geckos, and frequent hurricanes. She spent much of her time in the ocean, when she wasn't getting chased out of it by reef sharks, jellyfish, and the odd eel.
When not swimming for her life, Julie immersed herself in books, often to the chagrin of her schoolteachers, who would find she hid novels behind her Math textbooks during class. Her love of reading led her to pen some very dark and gruesome stories, complete with colored illustrations, to shock her hapless teachers. The gory tales faded with time (okay, at least the illustrations did), but the passion for writing remained, long after she graduated and was supposed to get a
real job.

To pay the rent, Julie worked in different bookstores over the years, but discovered the managers frowned upon her reading the books she was supposed to be shelving. So she turned to her other passion: training animals. She worked as a professional dog trainer for several years, dodging Chihuahua bites and overly enthusiastic Labradors, until her first book sold and she stopped training to write full time.

Julie now lives in Louisville, Kentucky, where the frequency of shark attacks are at an all time low. She lives with her husband, an obnoxious cat, an Australian Shepherd who is too smart for his own good, and a hyper-active Papillion.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

42 of 47 people found the following review helpful By MistyBookRat on March 20, 2011
Format: Paperback
I liked it, I didn't like it, I liked it I didn't like it IlikeditIdidn'tlikeit...
I'm torn.
On the one hand, The Iron King can be a really fun read, and I think a lot of people are going to fall in love with it because it's going to give them what they wanted going in: a little faery lore, a little magic, a little otherworldliness and a little lovelust. If you can just read it on that level, it's not bad, a bit of fun fluff.

But at the same time, there are some real drawbacks for me. So here's what I'm going to do: the following is a bulleted list of my pros and cons in the book, and you can decide for yourself whether it's a good or bad review. As I said, I can't decide how much I like this one.

PROS

Kagawa is pretty successful visually. There was enough description to help me see the Nevernever, but it was never really overkill.
I really liked the idea of the iron fey. I don't want to give away too much, but it makes sense, it makes faeries current, and it adds another layer of BigBad to the already scary and dangerous fey world.
I think Kagawa gave herself room to grow in the series, and even though there are things you can see coming a mile away, she was able to wrap this book up fairly nicely while planting a hook for the next. I have friends who hate a hook, so let me be clear that it is not a cliffhanger type of hook; if you want to stop after The Iron King, you can and I don't think you'll feel like you didn't get a complete story, but if you want to continue on, there is something there to pull you back in.
The Pack Rats. I thoroughly enjoyed the Pack Rats, and elements like this made me see this as a potential movie, because I think they'd be pretty neat and visual.
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45 of 54 people found the following review helpful By AJ VINE VOICE on February 16, 2010
Format: Paperback
William Shakespeare's faeries from A Midsummer's Night Dream have been popular characters for YA fiction of late. Following Lesley Livingston's Wondrous Strange and Darklight, The Iron King marks the third book to borrow Puck, Summer King Oberon and Queen Titiana and Winter Queen Mab. Both series also imagine a daughter for King Oberon who discovers her faery heritage and is drawn from the human world into the world of the fey. But that is where the similarities end. The Iron King is a much darker tale.

On the eve of her sixteenth birthday, Meghan Chase is confronted with a scene straight out of Pet Cemetery when she and her mother are attacked by her four year old brother. Her best friend Robbie (aka the famous Puck) saves her and reveals that her brother has been switched with a faery changeling and the only way to get him back is to find the kidnapper in the Nevernever (aka faeryland).

The world of the faery is as terrifying as it is beautiful. In her quest, Meghan is nearly eaten several times, ripped apart by trolls, drowned by nixies, impaled by a prince, raped by a herd of satyrs, and boiled by Goblins. And that's not even half of it. There is nothing sweet and gentle about the fey in this book.

There are a number of amusing characters who aid/impede Meghan along the way, most notably the cait sith Grimilkin (who is straight out of Alice in Wonderland), and the inevitable love interest Ash, youngest son of the Winter Queen and sworn enemy of Puck. The animosity between Puck and Ash along with each one's motivation for helping Meghan was a constant thread of entertainment.

Meghan does a fairly good job of acclimating to the revelations Puck presents her with.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Missy on May 15, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
I honestly do not understand how this book has such a high rating. It was so difficult to get through. I love fantasy and I adore Shakespeare and the book was recommended by a friend. Yet the writing was sloppy and clumsy, the characters were annoying and lacked motive and realism (I don't mean realism in the sense that they were mythological, that was fine with me... it was that they didn't respond to situations with normal emotions and reactions. they were very much like caricatures) and the plot was very slow moving and predictable. I also wanted to wring the neck of the annoying twit who was narrating/plaguing us with her uninteresting thoughts. not a great read, I would not recommend it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Michelle Isenhoff on December 17, 2011
Format: Paperback
"We were born of the dreams and fears of mortals..." The fey, the immortal, the faeries - they've always been out there, but Meghan never saw them till the day she turned sixteen. The day they came for her four-year-old brother.

This delightful new tale draws from a pair of Shakespearean plays. Oberon, Titiana and Puck, from A Midsummer Night's Dream, form the heart of the Summer Kingdom in Kagawa's new otherworld. Queen Mab, the fairy queen mentioned in Romeo and Juliet and other Elizabethan literature, rules her own rival court, the Winter Kingdom. Eventually, Meghan finally finds her way to Nevernever, caught between these dueling races. For she is Oberon's daughter. But using one last, obviously Shakespearean ploy, Meghan finds love where it is doomed to fail - in the opposing camp.

I loved this story, but it took me a while. When Meghan first reaches Nevernever, there's so much shape-shifting, so many suddenly landscape changes, odd creatures and bizarre dreams that it turned me off. But I skimmed ahead to the part where she finally reaches Oberon's court and her adventures truly began.

I am a true Shakespeare fan. Even after high school and college I've chosen to read many of his works for pleasure. (Not all yet, but I'm working on that.) So I was enamored of Kagawa's idea to create a new world of familiar, dueling characters. Then she added her own touch, a third kingdom, a dark fey kingdom, born of dreams of science and technology that threatens to destroy the oldbloods. A kingdom built of iron - the very substance intolerable to the ancient fairies.

Accompanied by two bitter rivals and a maverick cat (my absolute favorite character!), Meghan must seek her brother in this dangerous world.
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