Book Review – Iron King by Julie Kagawa


Series: The Iron Fey (book #1)

Rating: 3.5 stars

star rating 3.5

“Careful, human.” Grimalkin appeared on the corner of the stage, overshadowed by the dead chimera. “Do not lose your heart to a faery prince. It never ends well.”

I’d describe this book as a mash up of Midsummer Night’s Dream and Alice in Wonderland (with talking cat and all), with fairies and a touch of modern world. The author goes with the hero’s journey storytelling format on this one and an event following the other a little like quests in a video game.

I first read this like 5 years ago, and I really enjoyed it back then (even though it’d take me a while to read it, since the chapters are a bit long for my taste). I think Iron King aged well enough for a 2010 book. It has a few dated tropes (like popular mean kids, the protagonist having a crush on the popular jock just because he’s hot, the ‘lost past love that you remind me of’…), but since we deal with fairy stuff and Meghan‘s quest for her brother most of the time, we don’t focus much on anything but that.

That’s actully the main flaw I saw in this reread. Since things keep happening and we have a clear goal ahead, the book doesn’t take as much time to develop and let sink in certain emotions and relationships as I’d find necessary. You see, I’m more of a plot person, but balance is everything, and I do feel that maybe this story would’ve benefited from a little more character moments.

But don’t get me wrong, I really like the characters, and Meghan is actually a pretty decent protagonist for the early 2010’s. She’s driven, she takes action, and her main focus is her family, not the love interest. I just wish the relationships between the characters had more depth and were a bit more well fleshed out.

Also, I need to point out one thing. Even though the main characters are interesting, the villain itself is kind of forgettable. The concept surrounding him is more intriguing than the actual antagonist, so don’t expect too much out of it (at least not in this book). The real focus here is Meghan‘s journey (her growth, the challenges she has to face, and decisions she has to make).

Despite that, this was a really enjoyable read, and I’m curious to find out where things will go from now. Hopefully we’ll be able to spend more time getting to know the characters, which is what excites me the most about reading the sequels. I really see a great potential for all of them, and I expect to see them interact more.

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