A Whole New Faerie

Title: The Iron King
Author: Julie Kagawa
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Source: borrowed from the public library

Before anything I need to talk up my local branch of the public library system. These people are awesome! Even with budgeting cut-backs and other red tape issues they are keeping up with the readers who want the new, hot books. I've never had to wait more than a week to get the ones I really want. Which, in my opinion, is just awesome!

Now about the book, I love stories of the fae, but sometimes they all seem to fall into the same mold. Teen comes of age, has mixed human / fae parentage. The fae want her back. Teen then has to come to terms with not only being fae, but having to believe in them in the first place...usually while fighting for her life.  I was a bit worried that this novel was from that same form, but I didn't need to worry. Ms. Kagawa created a world that took that traditional model and turned it on end.

Quick Summary:
Meghan Chase is about to discover who's been keeping watch. When her little brother is kidnapped, Meghan must enter a world where anything she touches may kill her—including the icy prince who stirs her wakening senses. As she steps into the Nevernever, finding her brother is only the start of her problems. For the trail leads Meghan toward the most dangerous threat of all, the mysterious Iron Fey.

What I liked:
1. The novel easily meshes the faerie realm of Nevernever and the world we know. By combining fairy creatures from all sorts of backgrounds - faerie from literature, from childhood imaginations, from varieties of historical backgrounds, even from films- there is a world created that is intriguing and entertaining while still be comfortable.

2. Love that the author didn't stick with well-know fae. Don't get me wrong, I adore that some of the main characters are the much loved Puck, Oberon, Titania, and Maab, but by including a new type of fae - The Iron Fey - the mythology is taken to a whole new level. Old characters are comfortable and reliable, but it's hard to see them in a new light. That is, unless they are thrown into a new situation. The new style of Fey creates the perfect background for everything unknown in this world.

What I didn't like:

1. Meghan has a uncharacteristic self-questioning moment near the end of the novel. This moment (I'm avoiding too many details her to avoid spoilers) stands out simply because throughout the rest of the novel she has been resolute. She hasn't been swayed by magic or the finery offered to her. She could have easily taken her place among the royalty. But she stayed focused on rescuing her brother. That is until the very end. For a brief moment she considers giving in to the temptation. She eventually decides against that, but still.......it is completely out of character for her.

2. I have to wait for the next novel in the series!  This is a sad thing. When I fall for a book, I want to be able to read the next one right away. Luckily, it will be out in August. Not too far away!

Overall: This is a great  young adult fantasy novel. There's nothing to risque or violent. Every faerie fan should read it.

Discussion Questions

1. What did you think of the feud between Puck and Ash? How do you think that might play out in the next two books?        Honestly, I'm torn. I have loved the character of Puck for a long time. Seeing him in this lovelorn protector role is a wonderful new treat. On the other hand Ash is everything a girl could want her Faerie boyfriend to be. I think their feuding will make life, and the adjustment to being a faerie, easier for Meghan. She'll be dealing with their drama which may shed light on the harder transitions she'll have to make. But I don't foresee their feud coming to an end quickly or easily.

2.  Favorite scene or line from the book? Could you relate to any of the characters?    "I'm a cat." Love, love love Grimalkin. He reminds me of the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland, but with significantly more attitude. His on his own time answers and haughty delivery of everything make him just about perfect.

3. With whom did you identify with the most? And Why?      I most identified with Meghan pre- knowing anything about the fae world. It is mostly her not fitting in at school, but wanting desperately to be asked out by the hot guy. Yep, that was me. While I did have a great group of friends, it took me a long time to be comfortable with myself. For some reason I never measured who I was/wanted to be against my friends but against the popular crowd...much like Meghan. And like Meghan has Rob to come to her rescue, I had a great friend who came to mind. Relating that easily helped me identify with her as the novel continued.

4. Did you find the concept behind the Iron King-  being  a technology fueled modern day faerie-  original or unbelievable?     It's completely original.  I'm all for taking the ideas that are so comfortable and twisting them into something new and fascinating. So many things can be done with the tech fueled faeries...I'm excited to see where this goes.

5. Kagawa used a lot of mythical faeries in The Iron King, such as King Oberon, Queen Mab and Puck. Which fae from myth would you have liked to have seen added into the pages of The Iron King besides the ones she used?     I lucked out on this one! My all time favorite faeries were the chosen to be the key players in this novel. A Midsummer's Night Dream was the first time I met the characters of Oberon, Titania, Mab, and Puck. It's still my favorite!


Falling Off The Shelf said...

The second book in this series, The Iron Daughter, is available for download at NetGalley.com :) So if you liked this one, you may want to get it. You can even read it on your computer if you don't have a kindle/nook/sony reader, or ipod.

Mandy said...

Thanks! I loved this one...I'll definitely check out NetGalley.

My 5 Monkeys(Julie) said...

Great Review and so agree and loving the cat was a nice addition to the story.

Anonymous said...

Excellent review and Grimilkin was my favorite...:D

Thanks for participating with the BWB!

ParaJunkee said...

Oh, really, I did think that was odd how she was swayed a bit by the Iron King at the end, but then you know, people can change sometimes, especially when it is in your face. Excellent review, as always, chick. Thanks for participating.

Emily said...

Great review! I have to say, regarding the moment of almost-weakness that Meghan had at the end of the book, that I think she was tempted more by the possibility of having a place to truly fit in. She was an outcast in her regular life, was an unwanted child/servant in Oberon and Titania's court, and Mab would make her a grease spot in a heartbeat if it suited her. I think the prospect of belonging and being respected was seductive to her but ultimately she realized that that wasn't reality, which brought her back to her senses. That's a great issue to raise though, I hadn't thought of it before now! Thanks for participating in Blog with Bite!

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