Book: The Iron King by Julie Kagawa
Summary: After her brother is switched with a changeling, Meghan Chase travels to the NeverNever (fairyland) to find him. She discovers that her best friend is the legendary faery, Puck, and that she is half-faery, the daughter of the Summer King. But the journey to save her brother is just beginning. She will have to make plenty of ill-advised deals with scheming faeries in order to find her brother, and even then she might not be ready to face what threatens not just her, but the entire NeverNever.
Characters: I really loved these characters. Meghan's brother is adorable and totally worth going after--he's so sweet. Grimalkin is hilarious and a huge part of why I want to read the next book--Meghan owes him a ton and I want to see how he will collect. Meghan herself is easy to like at first, but near the end she spent a lot of time waiting to be rescued. It's probably more realistic that way, but I like my protagonists bad ass and I never really felt like she gave me that.
My major problem is that while I loved each character individually, I never quite connected with the romantic relationships. I loved Meghan's best friend Puck--he's hilarious. But he's also reckless. Sometimes he is exactly what I think a faery should be, living his life with his own sense of morality, but other times he seems selfless, sacrificing himself for Meghan. It was obvious he had feelings for Meghan and Meghan made it clear she didn't have feelings in return, but the whole thing felt... uncomfortable.
The guy Meghan is interested in is Ash, the prince of the Winter Court. Off limits guy with a tortured past? Totally my thing and I can see why Meghan likes him. But Ash is so tortured and so serious that I couldn't quite believe that he loved Meghan in return so quickly. I did like that Puck and Ash have their own history and hate each other for reasons that had nothing to do with Meghan. Honestly, I think I'm shipping Puck and Ash instead of Meghan with anyone. That has never happened to me before.
Plot/Pacing: This book starts out slow and then picks up speed, but I found that I liked the beginning of the book better. I was intrigued by the world and found myself laughing out loud. The end disappointed me just a little. Things were wrapped up and I was able to follow what was happening, I just wish we had learned more about the drama between the courts and the bigger picture.
There is plenty of conflict set up both for the end of this book and for the next book in the series, which I appreciated. Emotional turmoil because the character is forced to make terrible choices is one of my favorite things to see and the faery world provides ample opportunity for this. Meghan was constantly making deals with the fae and I've read enough faery books to know this is a BAD idea. It ramped up the tension and left me on the edge of my seat.
Moments I Loved: There was some pretty fun dialog between Meghan and Ash. At one point he threatens to kill her... but it was super sexy!
WTF Moments: There were a few moments where characters spent several paragraphs explaining things to Meghan. I hated this... especially when Ash tells her why he has sworn to kill Puck. After spending the entire novel avoiding the topic, he just gives it up. I just... I wish Meghan had worked harder for it. And I wish Ash hadn't been so long-winded.
Overall: This book didn't blow me away, but I can understand why people love it so much. I will definitely be checking out the rest of the series.
Reading Challenges: This book counts toward the following challenges: 363 pages toward the 15,000 page challenge, Support Your Local Library. Track all my progress on my 2012 Challenges page.
The Iron King gets a FakeSteph rating of...
|...and a half|