Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Review of The Iron King

The Iron King by Julie Kagawa
Pages: 368
Genre: YA Fantasy
Pub. Date: February 1, 2010
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "Meghan Chase has never fit in at her small-town high school, and now, on the eve of her 16th birthday, she discovers why. When her half brother is kidnapped, Meghan is drawn into a fantastical world she never imagined--the world of Faery, where anything you see may try to eat you, and Meghan is the daughter of the summer faery king. Now she will journey into the depths of Faery to face an unknown enemy . . . and beg the help of a winter prince who might as soon kill her as let her touch his icy heart. The Iron King is the first book in the Iron Fey series."

Meghan Chase is an unlikely, strong female protagonist at the beginning of The Iron King. She lives on a farm and many consider her to be a hillbilly.  She doesn't have many friends other than her best friend, Robbie.  She finds that her brother, Ethan, has been kidnapped and her world goes upside down.  On her search for her brother, she also finds out who she truly is: the daughter of the Summer Faery King.  She also discovers some secrets about her best and most loyal friend, Robbie.  While she is on her quest, she meets extraordinary characters and travels  to sensational lands.  Most importantly, Meghan meets the elusive Winter Prince, Ash, who she feels a strong connection to.  Julia Kagawa's debut novel, The Iron King, is a promising start to a fantastical series. 

First, being the English nerd and teacher  that I am, I must tell you how much I loved Kagawa's allusions to Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream.  WOW! I teach this unit every year to my 8th graders and Kagawa brought to life many characters from this play.  She kept true to their traits and it was believable. I loved it!  Thank GOD she included my favorite character from Midsummer.....why, Puck, of course!  I don't want to give away too much, but he was hands down my favorite character. His wit and sarcasm was extremely entertaining. I found myself laughing out loud at his comments and antics.  Also, Meghan Chase, our heroine, was delightful, yet a strong lead. I truly enjoyed her and could sympathize with her predicament.  Another favorite character would be the cat, Grim.  He reminded of the Cheshire Cat in Alice in Wonderland. Need I say more?  As you can see, Kagawa created many characters, but I never found it be overwhelming or confusing. 

The Winter Prince.......Ash. Hmmm.  I know many other bloggers online who are huge Ash fans, but I think those people might also be Team Peeta fans. See, I'm Team Gale and maybe that's why I wasn't feeling much for Ash.  If you read this book, feel free to disagree, but for the record, I'm Team Puck. (If you have no idea who Peeta and Gale are you need to read The Hunger Games...stat!)

Kagawa's writing style was very compelling.  I can't say I have read a book that has involved so much mythology as well as such strong fantasy elements as The Iron King.  As I was reading, I often made connections to Lloyd Alexander.  (By the way,  Lloyd Alexander wrote in my neighborhood growing up.  I just adore The Chronicles of Prydain so it's a compliment!)  I felt this book was along the same vein in a way.  There's no doubt that The Iron King is well written.  My only issue with the novel is that it was a tad predictable, but extremely enjoyable nonetheless.

This book is appropriate for middle level students, which I thought was fantastic. I know my fantasy loving students will truly enjoy this one.  I will absolutely be picking up the second book in the series, which is The Iron Daughter. It comes out this August and the third book, The Iron Queen, comes out in February 2011.  I look forward to re-visiting Julie Kagawa's imaginative world and of course, (*keeing my fingers crossed*) reading more about my man, Puck.  

*Does this book sound like something you would enjoy? Read the first three chapters here.  *Also, check out Julie Kagawa's website! 
Buy It Here:

Watch The Book Trailer:


  1. Liked your review very, very much. As always. It's not a secret. I'm just waiting for this to arrive along with 5 other books I've ordered. Like I said and keep saying, it may be in April. I can't wait! I think I'll do happy dances all day when I get it! Lol. :-)

  2. Thanks, Raila. I appreciate it! I hope you get your package soon! I can't wait to get your opinion and read your reviews! :)

  3. Fantastic review! I really enjoyed A Midsummer Night's Dream. I'm glad you can share this with your students. This sounds like more than just the typical paranormal fantasy/romance. I am going to read the excerpt (thanks for linking to it!) and then I might just have to buy it instead of hoping the library eventually gets it.

  4. This book sounds like my cup of tea! I love fantasy and mythology and all the literary allusions you mentioned! As I was reading the opening paragraphs of your review, I was thinking about A Midsummer Night's Dream! I'm glad to hear there's a connection - it's one of my favorite Shakespeare plays! This is a great review and I can't wait to read the book!

    Also, I noticed that you said on the sidebar that your dog Scout is named for your favorite literary character. Would that by any chance be Scout Finch? I LOVE To Kill A Mockingbird! I think we must have very similar tastes! :-)

    I have an award for you! Check it out: http://thebookishtype.blogspot.com/p/awards.html

  5. Awesome review, I haven't read this book before but I adore the cover- it's gorgous. And if you don't mind me asking- what's team puck? I've read the books but I have no idea what puck is?

  6. Nice review!! I absolutely adore this book, so excited for it's sequel.

  7. Christina T- Thanks! Let me know if you end of reading it and what you think. :)

    Bookish Type- We definitely have similar interests! You are right! My dog is named Scout from TKAM. Thanks for noticing that. I also want to thank you for the award. I am going to check it out now.

    Morgan- I am such a nerd. I am referring to a character in Iron King and Midsummer....his name is Puck. You'll see what i mean once you read it. Many people are on the other team, which is Team Ash, but of course, I am on "the other side." :)

    Bookaholic and Book Monster- Thanks, guys!

  8. Great review! I'm reading The Iron King right now, so far so good :) I was laughing so hard when the whole computer screen accident happened (in the beginning) :D Puck is awesome, but I fear this will be just as hard as with Peeta and Gale..

  9. I am Team Gale too! Funny and very cool!
    A really interesting review. I'll definitely buy this for the school library when it comes out in the UK. My students are so into the paranormal but it is hard to find things that don't have much adult content. Thanks for sharing!

  10. Maria- Thanks for the comment. That scene was one of my favorites, too! :)

    Book Twin- I am not surprised you are Team Gale! Ha! Do you get a lot of flack for that? I do! I'm glad you are going to get it for your library. I definitely think the students will enjoy it!


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