Fae · Young Adult Fiction

Review: The Iron King by Julie Kagawa



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.


I am not afraid to admit that I judged this book before I read it. I had high expectations from it considering it’s synopsis and all the hype surrounding it plus all the reviews it got given.

I came out of reading The Iron King a little bit disappointed. I felt that it had a lot more potential to it but it was overshadowed by the way it was written. Although this is a YA novel, Meghan the main character was incredibly childish throughout up until about 75% of the book when she finally grew a backbone.

The first few chapters are set in America in a little backwater town where apparently all the popular people are jocks and then there’s Meghan and Robbie. In those beginnings chapters I only liked Robbie – he gave the book a distinctly humorous feel which, considering the ultimate doom and gloom vibe Meghan gave off 95% of the time, was a a nice change.

Typically as in most YA novels the main character is picked on or made a fool out of and then they get their comeuppance in some dastardly way. Great. Fantastic. Just don’t make me feel like the person who did the picking on deserves more sympathy than the main character.

I’m digressing – back to the family. Such as they are. We’ve got a father who disappeared randomly when she was six, a step dad who acts like she isn’t there, a mother who is almost as bad and they both only care for her little brother who gets replaced by a changeling – and attacks his mother.

In swoops Robbie or Robin Goodfellow or Puck (either/or ’cause he’s referred as all three in this one book. He agrees to take Meghan to the NeverNever (I kid you not that’s what it’s called) to get back her changeling brother. All well and good until she actually gets there where she’s attacked non-stop – there’s something overly annoying by that, give the girl time to breathe for Pete’s sake.

She’s attacked by:

Will o’ the Wisp


The Wild Hunt


Red Caps

A chimera


Trolls and all sorts of other beasties and each and every one of them are Unseelie fae.

Yet she’s only attacked – to an extent – by one member of the Seelie Court – Titania.  That’s it, sorry but at least with the Unseelie Court, you know what hunts you in the darkness.

I didn’t think much of the entire portrayal of the Courts at all and don’t even get me started on The Iron King himself. That whole part of this book was so incredibly far-fetched it was unbelievable even on a fiction scale. Meghan spent the majority of the story not knowing what the hell was happening, making deals and owing fae favours and completely ignoring the people who were trying to give her human ass advice.

I did however, really really like Ash as a character, not so much as a love interest as he just gave me the wrong vibe but as a character her was incredibly well-rounded considering his background.

Another thing I didn’t like about the characters was that they were based from A Midsummer Nights Dream but they were just wrong somehow. Like they were not supposed to be in a faerytale.  The Iron King himself was supposedly made up from technology that us as humans brought into the world and Meghan – who thus far I felt was an idiot – figured that out when two faeries – a prince and a jester – couldn’t?


The writing style though, was pretty good considering how I felt about everything else.  It flowed relatively well and there was the perfect sarcastic character in Puck; he had that “I can make a bad situation good” attitude and he had some really good one liners. The character dynamic between Puck and Ash was written very well also and the author showed the animosity between them really well.

Overall, it wasn’t a bad book there was just parts of it that I just didn’t feel and felt that took away from the potential.  If the characters were better then the writing wouldn’t feel quite so let down, there was potential to make it a great book and maybe I’d have felt differently if I’d read this when I was younger.Happy Reading!


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