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Review: The Iron King (The Iron Fey#1) by Julie Kagawa

The Iron KingRatings: ☕☕☕☕☕

Meghan Chase has a secret destiny; one she could never have imagined.
Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan’s life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school or at home.
When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she’s known is about to change.
But she could never have guessed the truth – that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she’ll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil, no faery creature dare face; and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart

Oh where do I begin?

The last time I read The Iron King was back when I was thirteen and the only other YA book I had read before was the Twilight Saga (before then I mostly would read Bengali titles and Classics). Obviously, since thirteen is quite an impressionable age, lately I couldn’t help but wonder if this book is actually as good as I thought it was. Hence the reason why I decided to re-read this book after nearly eight years of first reading.

And boy oh boy did I love it!

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The Iron King is a wonderful fantasy novel that has an excellent world building, and incredible plot, and characters who not only develop and change in major ways

throughout the book but are also so endearing (or so hateful) that while reading the book they will all but come off the pages and step into your bedroom (or wherever your reading nook is). Wonderfully well-written with a simple narration style and descriptive world-building that skillfully paints the world of the faeries, known in this book as the Nevernever, The Iron King has just enough suspense, thrill and drama that prevents it from becoming a fluffy novel while also having enough humor to make it light and enjoyable.

I can’t say enough about the characters in this book. Meghan is unlike any YA character I have read about, because throughout the book she actually sounds like an ordinary sixteen-year-old whose entire world is turned upside down when her brother is kidnapped by faeries and she discovers that she is the daughter of the Seelie King. As any sixteen-year-old would be in such a situation, she is horrified, scared, angry and frustrated, but none of that ever stops her from rescuing her brother and bringing him home. Moreover, Meghan isn’t a sword-wielding, ass kicking heroine (no average teenager ever is), but she is intelligent and resilient and has a very strong sense of morale, and in the end, these are the traits that make her a strong female protagonist.

And while many readers have complained about her being “whiny” and “crying/screaming in terror every few pages”, I couldn’t help but find it endearing: it was a reminder to the readers that at the end of the day, despite all the horrors and monsters she had faced, she was just a young girl who was thrown into a world that she had never believed could possibly exist. And considering that despite all of this she still fights her own battles, I’d say she is entitled to cry and complain about “damned faeries and their bloody wars”.

The other characters, Puck the prankster, Ash the dark, brooding Winter prince, and Grimalkin the I-am-better-than-thou cat and hoarder of knowledge and favors with a tendency of conveniently vanishing into thin air when he senses danger, the selfish and cruel Seelie and Unseelie royals– all of them were incredibly well written and was actually important to the story and the plot than just playing the roles of love interests/supporting characters. Not only did they contribute to the plot and to Meghan’s character arc, but they also contributed in each other’s character arcs.

The only thing missing in the entire novel was a truly disturbing and malevolent antagonist (and those of you who follow my reviews know I love myself a crazy psycho evil villain), but considering all the other good points of this book, I am more than willing to overlook this.

Highly recommend this book you guys. It is light without being fluff, with an excellent plot and characters you cannot help but fall in love with. So read this book if you haven’t already!

14 thoughts on “Review: The Iron King (The Iron Fey#1) by Julie Kagawa”

    1. This is actually a re-read but yes I adore this series! It’s so amazing, and you know a book is well-written when you re-read it after five or six and it still feels just as good as it did the first time 😀

  1. Such a great review here, you have done a great job at convincing me I need to add it to my TBR right away 🙂 It is so great when you re-read a book you have read a long time ago, and it ends up being as amazing as you remembered it to be. It’s the best feeling 🙂
    I especially love how you said that the main character remains an actual teenager, while everything happens to her. Sometimes, we lack authentic teenagers’ voices in books like that, it’s good to see anger, frustration, okay, maybe a bit of “whiny” moments as well, but it quite fit with the characters we have at hand here 🙂 Fantastic review! 🙂

    1. Awww thanks Marie! And sorry for the late reply. I hope you enjoy it! It is a bit light for fantasy but the characters are absolutely endearing. And yes, I think teenagers destined to save the world should be allowed some whiny moments no? I mean, we whine about homework and being grounded all the time and we don’t have the stress of saving an entire kingdom on our shoulders on top of that!

      1. Oh no worries – never apologize for a late reply, we all get busy <3 <3
        Hahaha, I so agree – a little whining has to happen in stories like that 😛

  2. I was diverted here by your review to the sequel. I don’t know why I never read this book. It was always on my radar back when it first came out, but I never picked it up for some reason. You’ve made me think I maybe should. In general, I’m not a huge fairies person, but I’ve been trying to read more widely lately.

    1. It’s a very fun read. I wouldn’t exactly call it light but neither would I call it a work of art–but it’s certainly well written and is the kind of book that fills you with warm fuzziness. 😛

      I am not a faery person myself but this book will always remain the best faery book I will ever pick up. What other types of books are you planning on reading?

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