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The Iron King (Harlequin Teen) by Julie…

The Iron King (Harlequin Teen) (edition 2010)

by Julie Kagawa

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Title:The Iron King (Harlequin Teen)
Authors:Julie Kagawa
Info:Harlequin (2010), Edition: Original, Paperback, 368 pages
Collections:Your library

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The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

Recently added bywalksaloneatnight, private library, kminx2801, Lisa.Campbell, An-Avid-Reader
  1. 40
    A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare (Kerian)
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    kiwiflowa: Both feature the traditional and modern worlds in conflict as a theme.

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"You would do anything to find your brother -- put yourself in danger, bargain with the enemy, give up your own freedom -- if it means saving him. You'd likely do the same for your friends, or anyone else you care about. Your personal loyalty is your breaking point, and your enemies will certainly use it against you. That is your weakness, princess. That is the most dangerous aspect in your life."

When I went to school in Italy, my Italian (which is the equivalent to English class) teacher liked to work on our creativity. In her mind, we were all young authors/poets/artists/whatever just dying to break out of the boring school roles and do something amazing with our... erm, talents. I had a knack for story-telling, whereas my crush had a knack for comic-book writing. He'd hand in homework in the form of comic books and the art was so beautiful, so in detail that people always found it hard to believe it came from the fingers of an eleven year old.

Anyway, every week or so, Doddy (the teacher) would give us a creative assignment. One week, it was to write a collection of short poems about the season, another week it was write fanfiction about the class (which was awkward to do, even at eleven) and one week it was to write a story -- however long we wanted it to be -- about something completely fantastical. "The stuff dreams are made of," she said. "Something only you can think up, no one else. Gather those thoughts and write me a story."

Where everyone else wrote their favourite film in eleven-year-old-story form (someone wrote a Lord of the Rings short story, but instead of the ring, Frodo -- or Franco, as he was called -- had to deliver a magic umbrella to the Mountain of Everlasting Rain) I wrote about faeries.

Bearing in mind, I was ELEVEN. So when I say that this story sounds a lot like the assignment I did that one time I mean it. Thinking back to that assignment, it had the same premise: MC goes to the faerie land to save someone and gets stuck (in my story).

The Iron King has a premise I'd only ever seen in younger stories, where Meghan Chase travels to the Nevernever to save her four year old brother. He'd been kidnapped and replaced with a changeling, and this changeling is evil. So obviously she wants her brother back.

I guess my main problem with the book was Meghan. At sixteen years of age, you'd think her voice would sound like it. However, she came across as whiny, immature and childish. In her position, I'd probably feel as helpless, awed and horrified as she did but it just didn't read like she was sixteen at all. Thirteen, definitely. Not sixteen.

My other problem was how... convenient the whole story was. Her childhood best friend turns out to be a faerie who had been set up to guard her, she turned out to be a princess (good God it took her forever to catch on to why people called her 'princess' all the time... even after the reason slapped her in the face) and you can pretty much guess what happens from around 20%. This not only made it anticlimactic, but it also took away that oomph.

So far, we have a predictable, young-sounding story. Which is already topping my list of no-no.

Not to mention that apparently the whole land and history of faeries is based on Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. This sounded SO AMAZINGLY AWESOME when it was first presented, but it failed to deliver. All we have to show for it is Puck, King Oberon and Queen Titania, which is sad. Really sad.

And of course, we have the hinting of a love triangle. It bothers me and I seriously hope that Puck is the projected love interest, because Ash?

He's boring, annoying and childish. I have no doubt that Kagawa meant to present him as irresistibly hot, charming and nice, but it failed. I get that he's supposed to be the Prince of some Court or other (was it the Winter court? The Unseelie court? I can't remember) but he came across as an annoying brat and the insta-love sucked more than it has in any other YA book I've read this year. Talk about out of the blue.

However, I'm probably going to end up reading more of the series. I've been told, repeatedly, that Meghan does some serious growing up and that she comes across as more mature in the next books. I hope that's the case, because I don't think I'd be able to deal with her crying/whining/passing out again.

(In total, I calculated that she cried 5 times, whined about everything 10 times, felt disbelief at least twice per page and passed out 5 times. Not good.)

( )
  Aly_Locatelli | Jan 26, 2015 |
The first thing I noticed about this book was the cover, it's gorgeous. I also noticed the pages, I love the swirly vine pattern on some of the pages in the book. It is gorgeous and a beautiful addition to my library; I love my ebooks but I can't wait to get a physical copy of the next book, The Iron Daughter, the cover is also truly beautiful.

I love Puck, I have always loved Puck in his many reincarnations whether Shakespearean or not. He is mischievous and just hilarious. I also like Ash but not quite as much as I like Puck. On the note of favorite characters, what person couldn't like Grim; he is completely awesome and a true faerie, deals and all.

It took a minute for me to get into the book and there are some predictable parts but not too many. I like the plot, it runs at a good fast pace. I do love the extreme imagination in this book, there is so much grandeur and so many truly unique contributions to faery lore. It is an honor to add this book to my faery literature shelf. ( )
  mojo09226 | Nov 21, 2014 |
The Iron King is a book about a girl named Meghan Chase. In 24 Hours Meghan will be sixteen. But strange this happen not her on her birthday. Meghan finds out that her brother Ethan Chase was taken to the NeverNever and a changeling was left in hike place. Meghan Chase goes to the NeverNever with her guardian Puck Goodfellow on an adventure o find her brother. On the way they tag along with the Winter prince who says he will help them find Meghan's brother if Meghan goes back to the Winter Court to be turned in to his mother. Meghan and the Winter prince go to the Iron King's Layer to find her brother. Once Meghan has found her brother and has taken him home the Winter prince shows up to take Meghan back with him.

I loved this book. I loved fiction book that take me on adventures and gets me rapped up in them. This book had me non-stop reading it. even thought it took me awhile i wanted to take in every word they said. i even imagined every where they went.Also i imagined every fight that went on in this book. i didm't want to do anything until i finished reading this book.But now that i'm done i can do anything until i read the next book in the series. ( )
  trinety.b4 | Oct 19, 2014 |
This book is an adventure through Fairyland complete with lost princesses, changelings, handsome princes, and host of supernatural creatures. Meghan thinks she's a relatively normal teenager - until her toddler brother is replaced with a fairy changeling and Meghan ventures into the Nevernever (Fairyland) to get him back. Along the way, she discovers things she never suspected about herself, her past, and her lifelong best friend. Fun reading, highly recommended for those who enjoy YA fantasy! ( )
  wagner.sarah35 | Oct 12, 2014 |
First of all, I can't quite believe this comes from the same author that wrote [b:The Immortal Rules|10215349|The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden, #1)|Julie Kagawa|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1323357921s/10215349.jpg|15114912]. Kagawa has certainly made progress in developing her talent. There's no question that she comes up with great ideas but The Iron King shows she wasn't always great at executing them.

The first 50% of this book severely lacked finesse and, at times, was excruciatingly painful to read. Meghan's introduction to the fae world isn't seamless. Instead of the protagonist having that "seeing is believing" moment before we have a much needed explanation, we get it after, which, under the circumstances, wasn't the way to go. I found myself thinking, "Really, and you believe him why?" to Robbie's revelation about her brother's kidnap and switcheroo with a badly behaved changling doppleganger. To me, her brother's unusual reaction to his mother's accident wasn't enough evidence to start believing in the paranormal, and for following her, possibly delusional, best friend into the unknown to rescue the real, adorably innocent, 4-year-old Ethan. In Meghan's situation, I'd be trying to figure out a way to get Robbie to a mental hospital ASAP.

Other than this, in general, Meghan's point of view wasn't compelling -it was often jarring, angsty or just plain dull, and I soon turned to skimming, mostly slowing just for dialogue, which soon turned to skipping pages altogether. I don't think I missed much, lending to the idea that this wasn't as concise as it could've been. After the halfway point the prose became a little more readable so I slowed down but didn't stop skimming completely.

The Iron King has many influences ranging from Shakespeare's [b:A Midsummer Night's Dream|1622|A Midsummer Night's Dream|William Shakespeare|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1327874534s/1622.jpg|894834] to Carroll's [b:Alice in Wonderland|13023|Alice in Wonderland|Lewis Carroll|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1166512952s/13023.jpg|2933712]. I haven't read the former so I didn't get those references but I'm definitely familiar with the latter, and I really liked what she took from that work and made it her own.

I enjoyed Kagawa's descriptions of the fey world. The use of seasons for the environments for each fae court: summer for the "good" Seelie court and winter for the "evil" Unseelies, was a nice touch. I also liked that human belief was the magical source of strength and immortality for the fae, and the effect of human technological progress where iron rules, deadly to fey, had created this third court where the corrosive iron is poisoning the fey world as it expands, soon to be encroaching on Summer and Winter territory. I've always been a fan of politics and manipulation in books and with the regular use of binding contracts by the fey, this element pleased me.

Unfortunately, the characters within this world are pretty much throwaways, I cared so little for them.

Our protagonist, Meghan isn't someone I rooted for. She's a non-character in my eyes. She's naive, loyal to her detriment, and has the potential to unnecessarily become a martyr making her ever so slightly irritating, but otherwise she lacks a personality. She not your typical fey, or half-fey. She's stubbornly human. Which reminds me, she's also a hormonal, horny teen salivating over Prince Ash's cold beauty. There'd be no tears if she accidentally "fell" off a cliff.

[Sidenote: She's had 3 fathers. One biological and 2 stepdads, one of which she believed to be her real father who disappeared out of thin air when she was very young. I wonder what happened to him. I'm guessing her biological daddy had a hand in it.]

Robbie, Meghan's [b:Grover|28187|The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #1)|Rick Riordan|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1327877746s/28187.jpg|3346751] and sidekick is nice and supportive with hints of having a crush on her, no doubt developed from Bodyguard Syndrome -instead of just guarding her body for all those years he started admiring it. His transformation into Puck in the fae world, I didn't like. On the one hand, his comedic flair added levity but on the other, he came across as a bit of an ass. This might be down to his difficult relationship with Ash, and later, his jealousy of Meghan's interest in Ash. I had hope he'd die before he makes his crush known (because obviously he will), thereby creating the dreaded Love Triangle. His presence, in effect, ended up creating more conflict rather than offering familiar comfort for Meghan during her journey to reclaim her brother.

Prince Ash, third son of Mab (the ruler of the Unseelie court) intrigued me to begin with. His verbal threat to kill Meghan while dancing with her had me sitting up and paying attention. His unwilling attraction to Meghan leads to a Romeo & Juliet angst-filled situation (I'm fed up of those in YA) although I'm not sure what exactly he's attracted to. Perhaps he senses an opportunity for an easy lay. Oops, I forgot. It's YA. There's none of that evil sex here, but there's nothing romantic about the pairing. They've been slapped together out of necessity, and if anything, physical lust is all that's between them.

The relationship of any substance in this book was between Ash and Puck. Previously the best of friends until Puck made an unintended mistake resulting in a deadly accident Ash has been unable to forgive. Since that disastrous day he's promised to kill Puck, meeting him in a number of skirmishes in which it seems clear that Puck has always had the advantage but has no wish to harm Ash. I think they deeply love one another. If either of them ever kill the other, I believe there would be deep regret.

The Cheshire Cat Grimalkin, the sarcastic talking cat, is easily the best character in the book. He's an independent outsider, content to observe the entertaining train wreck that is Meghan, Ash and Puck, as it unfolds, only offering help when it benefits him. However, he appears aware these are the only people able to save his homeland (and himself) from extinction so in emergencies he gives much needed aid freely without a price attached. He saved their lives many times. If Grimalkin had been narrating this book it would've been a far more delightful and humorous read.

Ash's contract with Meghan, his help recovering her brother in exchange for her willingly going with him to the Unseelie court and his waiting mother's hands, was obviously going to create fodder for another book but I just so wish for more stand alones. I don't like "crack" series -series with books which aren't that great but which you become addicted due to tantalizing (or agonizing) hooks thrown out by authors (e.g. cliffhangers), and The Iron Fey has all the markings of such. I want to read the next book but I have serious doubts after also reading [b:Winter's Passage|8070049|Winter's Passage (Iron Fey, #1.5)|Julie Kagawa|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1271790569s/8070049.jpg|12771315]. I imagine it would be a frustrating experience I have no desire to put myself through.

1.5 stars.

*Bought in the UK Kindle Spring Spectacular 2011. ( )
  Cynical_Ames | Sep 23, 2014 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Julie Kagawaprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hvam, KhristineNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Iron. Ice. A Love Doomed From The Start.
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Ten years ago, on my sixth birthday, my father disappeared.
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"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"--P. [4] of cover.… (more)

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