Book Review: The Iron King

Title: The Iron King
Author: Julie Kagawa
Series: Iron Fey
Book: 1
Publication Date: February 1, 2010
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
ISBN: 0373210086
ISBN13: 9780373210084

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.

This book has been making a lot of noise lately and has been seating in my TBR list for so long, so I decided to move it to the top of my reading list. I was a little apprehensive because I might not appreciate the book as the other readers did. This is not really my genre and I can only count the fantasy/dystopian/magic books I've read so far. There was that Percy Jackson series which I absolutely love because Rick Riordan incorporated Greek Mythology in the story. There was Harry Potter which is one of my favorites. I love the witchcraft Rowling did with the book and also the characters which are really hard to forget. Then of course, The Hunger Games, which also holds a special place in my heart. The story was different and somehow it has a connection to what was is really happening in our world. When I first read these books, I was also hesitant but then I came to enjoy all the books in the series. 

If there was Camp Half Blood in Percy Jackson, Hogwarts in Harry Potter, Capitol in Hunger Games, Iron Fey Series welcomes its readers to the world of Nevernever. It's the immortal realm. There various kinds of inhabitants in their place. There are the feys or faeries, goblins, gremlins, satyrs, redcaps, dragons, thor guards, Oracle, and other sorts of creatures. This book is like Percy Jackson meets Harry Potter. There's a mix of Greek Mythology characters and magical characters and characters from Midsummers Nightmare. (Characters can cast a spell on a creature). 

Nevernever is divided into two parts. The Seelie Court inhabited by the Summer Fey and the Unseelie Court or Tir Na Nog inhabited by the Winter Fey. The Seelie Court is ruled by King Oberon and her wife Titania. The Summer World is warm as their name connotes. There are flowers everywhere. On the other hand, Unseelie Court is ruled by Queen Mab, Sovereign of the Autumn Territories and Queen of Air and Darkness. They get their strength from the cold. Their place is full of ice. 

Though, I haven't red Midsummer's Nightmare, the book had made it clear that most of the characters were based from the characters in the book. The Feys or the Faeries doesn't look like the fairies we know. They have pointed ears but they don't have wings. They have the bodies of human of course. When they come to the mortal world, they cannot be distinguished by the humans because they use the power of mist and glamour. The mist and the glamour creates an illusion so that normal people won't see their normal forms. The Faeries' lives feed from the imagination of the mortals. As long as human fear them or exhibit any emotion towards the creatures created by their imagination, they will live and so will Nevernver. 

This book introduces the three characters that we will have the pleasure of following their adventures. We have Puck or Robbie Goodfell or (Robin Goodfellow from Midsummer's Nightmare) , Meghan Chase, and Prince Ash. 

Meghan Chase is a normal teenager who is a favorite among the bullies in her school and who lives with her family who has a pig farm. That is until strange things started to happen and his bestfriend is forced to reveal her real identity. She is the only living daughter of King Oberon, the ruler of Seelie Court. That makes her half-human, half-fey. When her brother, Ethan, was kidnapped by a group who identifies themselves as Iron Feys, she didn't have a choice but to come to Nevernever to rescue her brother. When she came there, her glamour disappeared and her appearance change to that she resembled the feys. She was devastated when she learned the father he knew wasn't her real father. During her stay in Nevernever, she learned to be braver and became self-less even sacrificing herself just to rescue her brother. She even gave a part of her memory to the Oracle when they visited it. What is unexpected is her becoming visible to the eyes of Prince Ash, a son of Queen Mab. She had spent her life being invisible in her school. No one notices her and when someone does, it is just to bully her. And when she was so frustrated and desperate of an ally to help her find Ethan, she found herself making a contract with Prince Ash to go with him to Unseelie Court when they found her brother. 

Robin Goodfellow/ Robbie Goodfell/ Puck. He is Meghan's bestfriend and has always been with her since they were kids. What she didn't know was that, King Oberon ordered him to watch out for her and protect her from her kind. It was his duty to keep her away from Nevernever and should never let her in but that was what happened when she asked Puck to help her. He is harboring feelings for Meghan but hasn't found the courage to tell her. He is a very charming man and is always a source of joy to his friends. He has the power to turn into a raven and is one of the oldest feys. He's also a Oberon's right hand. I really like Robbie. I hope Meghan will see him as he sees her. If I were Megan, I'd definitely choose her. (Well, this is just the first book, who knows? Prince Ash might change my mind.) 

Prince Ash is the third son of Queen Mab and also her favorite. He enjoys hunting and can mostly found outside of Tir Na Nog chasing after something. It is in hunting that he finds solace. Due to a tragic event when Summer and Winter Court can still enjoy the company of each other, he isn't quite himself anymore and that only change when he saw Meghan. Though he shouldn't feel anything towards Meghan, he can't stop himself. Despite everything he did to stop his emotions, he just can't and he didn't have any choice but to give. He did know that possible consequences for this. It is against the law of court to fall for someone who outside your court. And that's where the problem lies. Their story will probably get more exciting as the story goes by. 

There's also Grimalkin, the cat. I'm sure you'll love his character. He's very bossy but he seems to know everything. He shows when Meghan or Puck is in trouble. He doesn't sell on his friends and I like that. When he first appeared, I thought he was an spy or something but as they went on with their adventures, he proved himself a treasure. Always on the go and always knows who to call or what to do or where to go. 

What I like about Kagawa's style is, she also introduced a very unique character. One that wasn't yet introduced in any other book. They are called the Iron Feys. Since our generation loves technology (gadgets, machines, innovations, new inventions etc.), we can't stop but imagine or dream on what gadget will be invented next. If Feys live because of our imagination and the emotion we evoke, Iron Feys pretty much lives on the same thing. But their edge is that, since technology is a basic commodity among the mortals, their population grow faster making their group more powerful than the other Feys. One thing that sets them apart with the other Feys is that they're made of Iron which means summer and winter fey can't touch them. The other Feys are afraid of iron. They were ruled by Machina, the Iron King. He also has other knights like Virus, Glitch, and IronHorse. There are also Bugs that inhabit their place. (If you notice, the characters are based from several terms in computer programming like Virus, Glitch, and Bug). This world is pretty interesting. 

I know this book is building a love story between Ash and Meghan. I didn't instantly feel the chemistry between them. Maybe because Ash never fails to show his icy demeanor and it frustrates me but then he is a Winter Fey so obviously that's what he's capable of. Though I know that he's really hot basing on his description in the book. I just hope that on the next book, he proves himself to Meghan rather than hurt her again. Urgh! I can't help but be annoyed with him. I'd rather prefer Puck. The budding romance between Ash and Meghan were a bit haste I think. I wish it didn't happen that soon. They have a lot to learn about each other. 

Meghan was able to return Ethan to the mortal world. She found out that she was gone for about three months. Just as she was about to tell the whole story to her mother, Ash came out of the trod to get Meghan and collect the bargain she made to him. They returned to Winter Court where she became a prisoner of Queen Mab. 

All in all, it was a good read but not that great. I expect more adventures for the next book. I hope the action intensifies and I hope more mysteries will be revealed. Looking forward to Book Two. 

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