It may seem a little late to the party to be doing a review of The Iron King. The Iron King by Julie Kagawa came out in 2010. It was recently reprinted with new cover art, which is how I found the series. I don’t often venture into Barnes and Noble (even though it is one of my favorite places), because I know if I go in, I’ll spend too much money. But, when I need ideas for new books to read, it’s the perfect spot! I found The Iron King on display in the young adult fantasy section and the cover drew me right in!
I bought this book on the same trip as A Curse so Dark and Lonely, if you want to read that review, check it out here! They actually have very similar covers — the title among nature. Vines, thorns, etc. Similar covers aside, these are two very different books. Here is my review for The Iron King.
The book starts by introducing the reader to the main character. The MC is a seemingly unremarkable girl name Meghan Chase, who is just about to turn sixteen. She only has one friend. His name is Robbie. She also has a younger half-brother named Ethan. On the day of her birthday, she has a terrible day, being bullied in school, and comes home to find her brother has been replaced with a changeling. Cue mystery and adventure!
Robbie reveals himself to be Robin Goodfellow, better known as Puck from the famous William Shakespeare play, A Midsummer Night’s Dream. According to him, there is a whole world of faery based and fueled by the dreams and beliefs of humans. And, as it turns out, King Oberon is Meghan’s real father.
So, Meghan must venture with Puck into the faery world to retrieve her brother. Along the way, she meets numerous creatures and fae. One of whom becomes her love interest.
It is a very cool idea to have the faery world fueled by humans. It’s a fun take expanding on the Midsummer Night’s Dream story. I did have some issues with the story though. First, Meghan is sixteen. Sixteen. Puck and her love interest, Ash, are both considered “ancient” beings. It makes it a little creepy that Puck seems to be holding a candle for Meghan, and that Ash is her love interest. At least wait until she’s of age… shudder.
Also, to the point of her age, it makes this novel seem more for a younger audience. It’s an easy read without the smut of an older romance type book. It doesn’t have that same mature feel that books like A Court of Thorns and Roses, Throne of Glass, and even A Curse so Dark and Lonely have. I will say, ACSDAL is closer to The Iron King in maturity level than the others, but still a step above. Julie Kagawa is a great writer, though, for this young adult genre.
As for my overall review of The Iron King, I do recommend this series if you are interested in the teen fantasy genre. It moves at a nice pace and keeps things interesting. I would give it 3.5/5 stars. I am planning on reading the rest of the series and will post my reviews of the next books as well. If I had to guess what was going to happen next, I honestly am not sure. Meghan is fulfilling her contract with Ash, so maybe some hiccup there? But the next book is called The Iron Daughter, so I’m also wondering if that refers to Meghan, or if there is another girl who is going to rise up and take the Iron King’s place in the next book.
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