July 28, 2012

THE IRON KING: Hard hitting awesome

My name is Meghan Chase.

In less than twenty-four hours I'll be sixteen. Countless stories, songs, and poems have been written about this wonderful age, when a girl finds true love and the stars shine for her and the handsome prince carries her off into the sunset.

I don't think it will be that way for me. 

I know, I know... I'm late to the Julie Kagawa party. The important thing is, I got there. I'd seen the covers for the Iron Fae series and the craziness surrounding Team Ash during the YA Crush Tourney, but hadn't read the books. I picked up THE IRON KING several months ago and finally sat down to read.

And I didn't stop until I finished the book.

Good GAWD it was non-stop!

Meghan Chase just wants to turn 16 and get her learners permit. Then maybe, just maybe, she can get out of the sticks and do something, anything, that doesn't have to do with her parents pig farm. Of course, the story doesn't end there. Meghan is central to a centuries long battle between the Summer and Winter Courts of Nevernever, the Fae world. The Fae know she exists, but no one knew where she was, until now. After jumping ship with her best friend, Robbie, to go find her 4 year-old little brother, Ethan, Meghan discovers just how wrong the fairy-tales are.

From the very beginning, THE IRON KING was just punch after punch. Some Faery books start off slow with a lot of back story or world building, but not so here. Miss Julie grabs you by the bottom lip and pulls you through to the very end. From strange disappearances of Meghan's dad, a horribly stale existence for a 16 year old girl, a torturous and humiliating experience with the 'hot guy' at school, things she should not be seeing, a brother who sees too much, a best friend who has secrets of his own, and an evil little changeling that takes her brother's place... And all that before she even discovers Nevernever!

Once Meghan crosses the line over to CRAZY, she discovers the truth of her friend, Robbie. She also discovers that her life will never be the same. The Fae will use her as a pawn, the Wyldwood will eat her alive (literally), her step-mom wants her dead, he father doesn't trust her, the disturbingly hot Winter prince wants her dead, a mysterious Iron King may be the cause of the rapidly deteriorating Nevernever, and saying 'thank you' is equivalent to sealing your own coffin. Words are binding and contracts cannot be broken.

The characters were great! Meghan was adorable. She may be of noble blood, if only half, but she is so not the noble type. She really is just your average teen trying to save her little brother. She makes some grave mistakes, but shows a ton of courage when it counts.

Robbie, or should we say Robin Goodfellow (snicker), is HIGHlarious! True to form, Miss Julie places Puck as the comic relief, but he's just as dangerous as the rest of the Fae. As Oberon's fave lackey, his job is to protect Meghan, and he takes that job seriously.

Ash... Okay, so now I understand the fuss over this Winter prince. Sure he's hot and dangerous and wickedly evil with that icy blade of his, but he is stocked FULL of determination and loyalty it makes my palms sweat. Even when faced with his own death, he pushes on to honor his contracts. There is just something so shmexy about a guy who's true to his word...

THE IRON KING was beyond awesome for me. Like I said, this puppy was full of action and did not let up for a SECOND! Miss Julie racked my socks with this book and I am soooo itchin' to get my hands on the next book, or all of them... *wink*

Through the entire book, there were only two things that really bugged me. Toward the end, Meghan is given a choice (I will not give any spoilers here, if you've read it, you know what I'm talking about). This is pretty standard stuff, but Meghan actually entertains part of the choice that didn't feel in-line with her character. It kind of set me back a bit and I wondered why Meghan suddenly showed this sort of shallow side. She didn't show that before. Maybe I just read too much into it. Who knows.

I also questioned, just a little bit, the connection between Meghan and Ash. She is a Summer princess. He is a Winter prince. Being of the Summer court, she is sensitive to overly cold things. Being of the Winter courts, Ash IS an overly cold thing, complete with cool skin. How are they able to kiss and not cause some major complications? Not sure. Maybe this will be addressed in other books or, again, maybe I'm reading too much into it.

All is all, I loved the book. THE IRON KING is a definite read!!

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