The Iron King – Review

The Iron King by Julie Kagawa
Book 1 in The Iron Fey series
Genre: YA fantasy
Pages: 363
Format: paperback, library

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I enjoyed The Iron King, but it wasn’t amazing.

the plot

It was a fun fey story, but there were times where I felt like I’d read it before. The loving older sibling will do anything to get their younger sibling back — that makes me think of The 5th Wave. The main character is part of a secret world and doesn’t want to accept the truth of it after being kept away from it their entire life — there are a lot of books with a similar concept, like The Mortal Instruments.

the characters

I liked most of the characters in this book. They were fun, goofy, and mysterious, respectively. 😀 However, there was one I wasn’t really a fan of.

And that was Meghan Chase, the main character. I didn’t think she was very original. She was the most unpopular girl crushing on the most popular guy, and honestly I’m tired of seeing this. That wasn’t a huge part of the story though, so it isn’t too big of a deal. But Meghan coming to terms with how connected to the fey she is and the power she has was a major part of the story, and her denial got on my nerves a little over halfway through. I also thought that she was kind of one-dimensional. She was determined to rescue Ethan (her little brother) and very stubborn, and in the second half she had to tell herself that “Ash was gorgeous, but I’m not attracted to him” a couple of times. It felt to me like she didn’t have anything to really set her apart from other female leads. :/

I did really like the other characters, though. Puck was a loyal friend to Meghan, especially after she entered the fey realm, and was a big trickster. But I have to admit that sometimes I thought he was a bit too overbearing and easily angered. -.- Ash was one of my two favorite characters. He seemed like a stereotypical, charismatic evil prince, but soon after I realized he’s more than that. He’s sweet, brave, an epic fighter, and so torn. I seem to have a soft spot for guys like that in books (just not necessarily princes) — Will, Kaidan, Henry (not from TID)… ❤ My other favorite character was Grim. He’s a walking, talking cat with an attitude, and he reminded me of the Cheshire cat from Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland movie. 😛 Also, Ethan and the pack rats were so cute.

the setting

I loved Nevernever and it was unique but sad to see how the scientific and technological advances in the human world were slowly destroying it. The descriptions throughout the book were mesmerizing and beautiful, and I could imagine the fey realm so clearly. My only complaint is that the realm was called Faeryland. I’m not sure if that’s related to A Midsummer Night’s Dream (the characters are), but it just seemed so lame to me. I couldn’t take it seriously unless I thought of it as Nevernever. It isn’t much better, in my opinion, but it is somewhat. :/

the relationships

The relationship Meghan had with her family seemed tense during the small amount of time they were together. Meghan doesn’t see eye-to-eye with her mom or stepdad, and she seemed to be only partially tolerant toward her innocent, adorable (in my opinion) little brother Ethan. I kind of hoped the familial relationship would be better since strong families seem uncommon in YA fantasy, but I’m not too disappointed. There are plenty of other books in this series for it to improve. 😉

The relationship between Meghan, Puck, and Ash could be described as a friendship, but Puck and Ash are out to kill each other and they both have feelings for Meghan. That means it can only be one thing — a love triangle. I’ve made it clear that I don’t mind love triangles if they’re done well. This one was, but I also felt it was obvious who Meghan would choose. Or maybe it’s just my hopeless romantic self mentally shoving them together. I’m not sure. I’m just going to throw it out there. Meghan and Ash > Meghan and Puck. XD

the twists

In my opinion, there weren’t really any twists. I couldn’t predict what would happen, but nothing surprised me while I was reading. Hopefully that makes sense. I also thought it was way too easy for Meghan to win the final battle, and that everything in general was resolved with so little hassle. After a long, challenging journey like theirs, I had hoped it would be a bit more difficult. I don’t like characters struggling too much, but I feel like it’s just as bad if they don’t struggle enough. I hope that doesn’t make me sound heartless.

overall

The Iron King was an enjoyable read, but I did have a few issues with it — there were a few tropes in the plot, I didn’t really like the MC, and I found the name of the fey realm kind of lame and hard to take seriously. Regardless, the ending was intriguing and I’ll definitely be reading the second book. 🙂

my rating: 3¾ out of 5 stars


Have you read this book? Is it on your TBR? If you have read it, what did you think? I’d love to know! 🙂

I’ll be starting The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson either tonight or tomorrow morning. 😉

I’m sorry I haven’t posted in 3 days. I’ve been fairly busy and I haven’t had any ideas. :/ In other news, I started my gym class at school and my legs have literally been aching since noon yesterday. 😦 I’ll be going shopping tomorrow (and the bookstore is a stop, yay!), but otherwise I’ll be relaxing and reading. 😀

Until next time…

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