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Review: The Iron King by Julie Kawaga

The Iron King (Iron Fey #1) by Julie Kagawa
Young Adult, Fantasy, Fae
Trade Paperback (HARLEQUIN, 368 pages, $9.99)
ISBN# 0373210086
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.

Author Site: www.juliekagawa.com

BEST read of 2010 so far! (5 stars)

After her father mysteriously vanished when she was only six, Meghan Chase's life has always felt something less than right. It wasn't her mother getting remarried to Luke, a pig farmer in Louisiana, nor her preschooler half-brother Ethan. It wasn't the cruel things the popular kids at school said to her or about her. Something was just always "off".

Her sixteenth birthday is supposed to be a special day; a momentous and memorable celebration of youth. But when she arrives home from school to find her mother collapsed on the kitchen floor with a nasty gash on her head and her toddler brother starts acting creepy Meghan knows something is very, very wrong. Her overprotective best friend has the answers and they're too scary to be real. Yet somewhere deep inside Meghan knows that they explain everything that hasn't felt right about her life. Now she must travel into the Nevernever, the land of the faeries, and find what's been taken from her even if she's walking into a trap.

But the fae aren't known for making things easy and where there were once only two courts of faerie fighting in an eternal battle for dominion, whispers of a third will make Meghan's adventures more dangerous than she could have imagined. Meeting the King and Queens of the Seelie and Unseelie only make matters worse when Meghan discovers that she is the daughter of King Oberon, the Summer King. Which makes her the mortal enemy of the beautiful and enigmatic Unseelie Prince, Ash.

Danger, heartache and sacrifice must all be faced if Meghan wants what is hers back and her adventure may prove deadly to more than just herself.

Very rarely does a book leave me so speechless from the first paragraph. Even more rarely do I find myself so in love with a book's world that I want to read it slowly to savor every little detail. Kagawa completely blew me away! One could easily name off several 80's movies that likely dropped a bit of inspiration on this tale but Kagawa makes it all her own. Blending traditional fae lore and common characters such as King Oberon and Robin Goodfellow with a salting of cyberpunk and hints of anime themes she lures readers in like spiderwebs lure insects.

Meghan may not be relatable to every girl out there but she resonated very much with me as a person. I could see bits of my teenaged self in Meghan. She surprises me with how brave she becomes through the course of the story, how she grows as a young woman but still sticks to her beliefs. Ash is definitely one smexy hero, yes I mean smexy! His motivations are very cloudy but I couldn't help but find him really attractive. He's cold and passionate and his rivalry with Meghan's best friend makes for lots of interesting banter. There are a LOT of characters in this story aside from Meghan and Ash yet I never felt like any of them was under developed for their role. Often times just as I would be thinking a question about them I would get the answer in the very next sentence. Every kind of creature imaginable seems to pop up too. Talking cats and chimera, gremlins and piskies, ogres and a horse made of metal, just to name a few.

There are a lot of themes throughout this story as well. Two of the biggest being family and loyalty. Others range from technology's effects on the environment to forgiveness, regret and honor. I won't say I think this is a morality tale but one will likely find some food for thought mixed in with each bit of story.

One of my favorites things with this book is how action packed it is. There is rarely a dull moment. I could easily see this making an excellent film in the right hands because there isn't too much talking. It's action-action-action with small bits of rest in between which are often interupted by MORE action! There are sword fights and many monsters, several chases on foot, horseback and through all kinds of environments.

In the end I had a terrible time putting this book down every time I picked it up. It is richly descriptive, fast-paced and so imaginative I really couldn't find any flaws worth mentioning. While it's a young adult title I actually would love to read it with my ten-year-old. I cannot wait for The Iron Daughter to come out!!!

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Notes: I received this book through the Amazon Vine program.

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