The Iron King
By Julie Kagawa
February 1, 2010
Harlequin, 368 pages
The Iron Daughter
By Julie Kagawa
August 1, 2010
Harlequin, 304 pages
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.
— Amazon.com description of The Iron King
(NOTE: MINOR SPOILERS? MAYBE?)
In her Iron Fey series, Julie Kagawa has created a world that is equal parts beautiful and frightening. The dichotomy of it all is completely delicious! At any moment, the most important people in Meghan's life could turn evil, or her biggest enemy could become her closest ally.
Don't get me wrong, people aren't "changing roles midseason," as my best friend Dana puts it. There's a rhyme and reason to everything, and the confusion is all part of the journey.
And it really is a journey. It's a modern mix of Lord of the Rings and The Odyssey to me—an epic quest. Just with more kissing and pining after boys. Yay!
Julie Kagawa has clearly researched her faery lore. The typical components of this genre are all there—Mab, Titania, nixies and kelpies...you name it. Puck aka Robin Goodfellow is even a main character. But what Kagawa nails (that some of these other faery books do not) is the teen voice. In between the sweeping descriptions of the faery realm, Meghan's voice is still spot-on 20th century. She curses and is full of sarcasm and emo-teenager-ness.
"Oh, damn. I was stuck. If I said no, I would insult the faery queen of the Unseelie Court. I'd also be on the shit lists of both Mab and Titania, and between them, my chances of survival were easily and completely nil."
To me, it creates a fun contrast in the writing.
Sure, there's a bad boy vs. best friend love triangle. It's typical, but the tension between Meghan and Ash is so smoldering from the get-go that any problems I would normally have were easily overlooked.
The cliff-hangers between the books will leave you craving more. The third book, The Iron Queen is out later this month. Read an excerpt here.
If you like this book, you might also like: Wondrous Strange by Leslie Livingston