Released: 1st February 2011
Publisher: MIRA Books
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.
I didn't expect to enjoy this as much as I did, but I loved it! I LOVED the sort of adventure/quest aspect of it, it reminded me of Eragon or Percy Jackson in that way: action-packed and full of problems to solve and obstacles to overcome. I've not read a good fantasy book for a while so I really appreciated that element.
I loved how Julie Kagawa stuck to traditional fey lore with the Unseelie and Seelie courts and yet adapted it with the including the Nevernever and other such things. I loved the sort of moral to the story with the iron fey being because humans have become so technically minded and not all imaginative and fantastical any more, that was really clever. I loved how closely the fey world is tied to the human world and yet how derisive the fey are towards humanity.
Character wise I really liked Puck and Grim. What IS it about sarcastic cat characters that is SO appealing? I love Mogget in Sabriel and what's-his-name in the Inheritance series (It's been a while since I read it) so Grim was an excellent character. I love how you never know what his motivations are, or what he's upto or anything. I loved how Puck was the same Puck from Midsummer Night's Dream, he really is a total trickster but h could be serious when needed. He provided some much needed light relief in the book. I liked Ash too, of course, as a love interest and a character. He's definitely the sort of love interest that appeals to me, but I wish he'd stayed all frosty for a bit longer. He thawed a bit too quickly for my liking, and the romance between him and Meghan was again a bit too quick. I like long, dragged out affairs. Meghan...we had a bit of a love/hate relationship. She was SO stupid sometimes and so frigging reckless. She knows she's going into Faerie and that it's dangerous so she packs one change of clothes and a can of coke...what the hell??? Where's your sleeping bag girl! Your survival kit! Trail mix! WHAT ARE YOU PLAYING AT? I also hated the way she kept rashly making deals with various fey, offering them 'whatever they wanted' and saying that she'd 'do anything' and THANKING them despite being repeatedly told TO NOT DO ANY OF THAT. I wish she'd been a bit more level-headed.
So overall, I loved the plot, I loved the world-building, I loved most of the characters but I wish the romance had panned out a bit differently (personal preference) and I wish I'd liked Meghan more. I am totally addicted to this series now though, at the time of writing this I've just finished The Iron Queen (OMG the *end*) and have the Iron Knight ready to go on my Kindle. You really get sucked into the plot and I desperately want to know what happens, and this is a great achievement for the author.