Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
The Iron King Paperback – January 19, 2010
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
From School Library Journal
(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.
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
The beginning was very slow for me, and thoroughly predictable (truthfully, predictability is a problem throughout, though at some point, I guess I just accepted it). The writing and plot seemed a little write-by-numbers, and other works (Shakespeare, Alice in Wonderland, The Labyrinth, Peter Pan, Spiderman, etc) were alluded to or mirrored throughout, and it left me with an impression of unoriginality for a good portion of the book.
I felt Kagawa was rash with the love aspect; in the beginning Ash is aloof and, as we learn, wounded and closed off, and had there been a slow build up over the entire 3-book series, beginning with a grudging trust and some crushing, then some lovelust, I would have bought it more, but as is, it felt again like write-by-numbers: "I need a love interest, so this is going to happen, then she'll do this and he'll say that, and presto, aren't they just devoted?" It didn't work. Also, there's a whole lot of Puck v. Ash love triangle going around the blogosphere, and I just don't get it. I feel it's hinted at but not developed or even necessary in the book, and it's become so gimmicky anyway...
Weird continuity errors. This got on my nerves a bit. It was just stupid things, like Ash saying Meghan's name, then a couple of pages of stuff happening, and then Ash saying her name again and Meghan getting all fluttery that it's the first time Ash has ever called her Meghan -- when it's not. The first time was about five minutes ago, when he said "Meghan, blahblahblah"... Or, when Meghan is leaning propped against Ash's chest, so there's no way she can see his eyes, and he's telling his sob story (which someone noticed was like a scene from The King's General) and Meghan narrates "Ash fell silent, his eyes dark and haunted." Except you can't see them, so you don't know that. Grr.
Oy, with the deals already! Anyone who is familar with faery lore at all, or has read any fey book knows no saying "thank you" and NO making deals. Even if Meghan was lacking in faery lore before entering the Nevernever, she is told not to say thanks or make deals, and still, it's like practically every single badguy faery she meets, she walks up and plays Lets Make a Deal. She's smart about it once, but the rest of the time, she basically offers herself up on a platter. She'll be thinking, "I hope they don't want my firstborn child," or something along those lines, but she'll say "I'll do anything." What? Think, Meghan. Stop getting yourself into situations where you become the dumb damsel in distress and just THINK.
And speaking of the damsel thing, we're told that Meghan has loads and loads of untapped power, which I am always leery of (but more on that in a minute), but she gets herself into these situations and then stands there waiting to be saved. If you're so powerful, or will be so powerful, show some damn spunk.
[A sidenote on all-powerful protagonists: Just don't. If you're writing a book, just don't. Have the gumption to have an MC who isn't some deep font of powerpowerpower. It's too tempting a crutch to write your characters into an impossible situation and then have them finally "discover" the confidence and ability they've been shying away from using, and BAM, sticky situation solved. Just don't. Think how much more interesting it is, how much more tension there is, and edge-of-your-seatness, when the MC has some ability, some brains, and some pluck, and have to really work to get themselves through. It is so much more rootforable, so much more believable, and so much more relatable. I know it makes your job as a writer a little harder if you can't go all Deus Ex... but really, just don't.]
So. That's the list. As I said, if you can go into it willing to set some things aside and just enjoy it, it flows well and is a nice bit of funfluff. But I'm still torn, and am hoping for growth in book 2, which I have a review copy of, so that the Pro list will begin to outweigh the Con. But I guess only time will tell.
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. She struggles initially with the idea that faeries are real, but she doesn't blindly cling to her former reality either. She adapts and learns, and rarely makes the same mistake twice. Nor does she allow herself to become distracted from saving her brother. I did find some of her dialogue to be somewhat juvenile and her interest in Ash seemed to have little motivation beyond how 'inhumanly beautiful' he was.
I think what I enjoyed the most about The Iron King was the twist on the traditional fey mythology involving iron. I don't want to give anything away so I won't elaborate, but be ready to start counting down the months until August when The Iron Daughter is released as there is a bit of a cliffhanger ending. In the meantime I have a sudden nostalgic desire to watch Labyrinth.
Sexual Content: Kissing
This is truly a poor man's Alice in Wonderland. The story line takes forever to take shape, and the first half of the book seems to be one disjointed description of a fantasy object after another. Bland characters. A storyline that lacks any kind of depth. Never before have I wanted to quit on a book as badly as I did this one. I literally had to force myself to finish it, and for the first time EVER, I will not be reading the second book in the series. I just reviewed my reading history, and over the last 7 years, I have read nearly 300 books. As far as I can recall, I have never given a book a negative review....until now. It was bad. Just plain bad. I can't say it any more plainly than that.