Title: The Iron Kin(g (1), The Iron Daughter (2), The Iron Queen (3), The Iron Knight (4)
Author: Julie Kagawa
Genre: Young-Adult, Fantasy, Adventure, Romance
Publication date: The Iron King and The Iron Daughter (2010), The Iron Queen and The Iron Knight (2011)
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5 overall
The Iron King
According to Goodreads
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
First and foremost I found myself struggling to gather my thoughts in reviewing this series. Reviewing one book at a time is much easier for me and is more preferred. The series consists of four books three of them told from Meghan’s perspective and the last from Prince Ash. Let me just say that I fell in love with the book cover which was one of the main reasons I read the book in the first place. I know, I shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover, but seriously who doesn’t?
After reading the entire series, I’ve come to the realization that stories in which fairies (faeries) are the main characters, can sometimes be difficult to follow. They have really weird names and there’s too many different creatures in the fairy world, that I found it very challenging to keep track of who was what and what was what.
Within the first couple of chapters of the first book, I was actually concern that I would end up just putting down the book and give up reading it because it did started out kind of boring with just Meghan being a whiny 16 year old teenager. Soon however, the book gets interesting when she discovers that she is half human. She is the daughter of a human and the King of Seelie Court, King Oberon (and if you’re familiar with a Midsummer’s Night Dream, that’s the one).
The first book of the series, The Iron King for me started off really slow since Julie Kagawa focused on the world-building and introducing the characters which I believed was necessary to propel the rest plot of the whole entire series. She goes into detail about the Faery world, also known as Nevernever and its inhabitants that I couldn’t help but be captivated by the beautiful world she created. Not only that but she also builds a vivid social and political structure of Nevernever which plays a significant aspect to the plot of the story. As a matter of fact the action actually doesn’t even start until three quarters into the book and when it did, I was very eager to read the rest.
I would say that her concept of the Iron Fey and the Iron realm was unique and very intriguing, which to me is what really made me love this book. The next two books, The Iron Daughter and The Iron Queen is where mostly the action really occurs and the main characters have more development. Megan stands out more as a strong main character and Ash and Puck’s character are more fleshed out. At first, I didn’t feel much for Meghan because I thought of her as rather immature when she was first introduced, but as the story progresses she grows on you and you end up loving her. She is brave and a really good person. She is very loyal at times to a fault and will do anything for her loved ones. She will even put everyone’s well-being before herself because that’s how selfless she is. Robin (aka Puck) Meghan’s best friend is the type of best friend I would want in my life. He is funny. fiercely loyal, and will do anything for Meghan because that’s how much he loves her. Then of course we have Ash, the ice prince who at first is rather cold and distant (he has reasons) and of course devastatingly handsome. Despite his cold demeanor in the beginning of the series, he was still swoon worthy. He is witty when he wants to be, very mysterious yet vulnerable–you know there is more to him than you see on the surface. You feel that there is something noble about him and not just because he is a prince. And I love that we get to know him on a deeper level in The Iron Knight because it explains so much of who he really is and the reasons behind his actions.
The secondary characters were great as well. I have to say that my favorite character from this whole entire series is definitely Grimalkin, the fey cat. He is hilarious and so sarcastic. Grim is also wise and at times manipulative but honestly he was a really good cat. He pops in and out at the most hilarious and opportune moments. His answer for just about every question is, “I am a cat” and how he refers to Megan as “human”, I found rather funny.
And if you guessed correctly, just like most young adult books, this series does have a love triangle. No surprise there. Nevertheless, I thought that it was handled well and it wasn’t too dramatic or anything. The romance was very sweet and cute. It is built gradually so there is no insta-love which I am so glad; and Meghan wasn’t indecisive on who she loved throughout the whole entire series. I will however, say that you may find yourself a little heartbroken when you read the end of the third book because it’s rather bittersweet. Thank goodness for a fourth book though which this time is written from Prince Ash’s perspective. Aside from the romance I also loved Ash’s and Puck’s little banters and threats towards each other. They want to kill each other but I doubt either one would really go through with it.
As for the writing itself, the book is well-written. Julie Kagawa’s writing flows easily and is not hard to understand. I was engrossed in the fantasy world that she created which at times I find difficult to do in other books. Overall, I would definitely recommend the series. It covers all the bases: love, loss, friendship, family, loyalty, acceptance, courage, growing up and of course action.