The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

Amazon Synopsis: 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.

A family friend read this and gave it a decent marking then I got the first 4 books from the Works for £1.99 each so I figured why not give them a go. I was not overly invested in this book because my only experience with faeries in the book world was in The Mortal Instruments series and there they were a bit creepy but nothing special. Everyone raves about Julie Kagawa's writing in her vampire series but it seemed easier to read her first book series before buying 'The Immortal Rules'.

The story follows Meghan Chase, a girl on the verge of turning sixteen who is accidentally thrust into the world of mystical creatures when her four-year-old half brother is taken and replaced by a changeling.  An unlikely ally takes her to the Nevernever (land of the faeries etc) where she hopes to go to the Winter Court to get her brother back. Unfortunately, along the way she bumps into trouble and soon finds out the father who went mysteriously missing when she was a child wasn't her real father: King Oberon is.
Meghan as a character was a bit annoying at times but something would soon make up for it. What I loved about the way she was written though was how she kept getting dragged off in the middle of fights by the enemy. The reason I loved this is because it showed how even though she is the daughter of a Faery king she knows nothing about combat and therefore it is not all revolved around her miraculously finding special powers, in fact she cannot use her powers properly which leads to a very grumpy cat. It was the secondary characters which seemed more entertaining, Grimalkin and Puck were my favourites. The plot twists and enemies were also really great though and unexpected.

My favourite characters were already part of the Nevernever world, which was an interesting concept on its own. In these kinds of books when you write about Faeries there tends to be a set layout: Seelie/Unseelie court, certain faeries you add in etc, but I feel Kagawa added more into this world than expected. There were so many new creatures and, even though some were laughable (evil sea horse thing), they created a detailed and scary world. Multiple times I got tense from fear or shivers in anticipation because if this world was real it would be a nightmare for any human. 

The love story did take over later on in the book and this was not a good thing in my opinion. During the first half of the book it is the sheer determination to find her sibling (not an overly original plot point to begin with) that drives the plot but once the love story begins to become more prominent it almost takes over and gets rid of the admirable, brave journey in favour of an insta-love that is not that great a story line. I ship Puck/Meghan though so it may just be me...
The ending was interesting and a little emotional as well and I am interested to see where this saga will go. It did sometimes become too easy to associate with Shakespeare also. I do not think I will be seeking out any faery themed books purposefully in the future but I am not against reading so more and I have some more on my shelves so will definitely give them a read.

Rating: 3.75/5


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