Monday, 13 June 2011

Review: The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

Publisher: Mira Ink
Format: Paperback
Released: January 21st, 2011
Grade rating: C

Amazon summary:

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. 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 fairy 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 wanted to love The Iron King, I really did. For the last year all I've heard is how amazing it is and how it's the best book of 2010. Unfortunately I think my expectations were too high, and to say I'm disappointed is a bit of an understatement. I'm a big fan of all things faerie, but this book just didn't do anything for me. I can honestly say I didn't form a bond with any of the characters, and most of the time I felt detached from everything going on. It could be that I read it at the wrong time, but I'm not sure. I'm a bit confused as to why I seem to be the only person who didn't like it, so maybe it is me after all. Who knows.

It took me a while to get through this book, and I even put it down for a week and read some other stuff. I came back to it at around page 240, and what I read from then onwards I did start to enjoy. As Ash appeared more and Meghan stopped making daft decisions, I thought the pace picked up and things improved. For that reason I will still be reading the sequel, as I have a feeling I might like it more than this one.

I had no problems with Kagawa's writing, which flowed nicely and was peppered with some beautiful descriptions of the Nevernever. The importance of iron was also an interesting addition to faerie lore, and of course I liked Grimalkin. Who doesn't love a talking cat?! Ash and Puck were fun characters too, though I haven't been left with an allegiance to either of them. Usually I'm first in line to pick a team (Hands off Edward and Reth, guys!), but this time I don't really care either way. I think Ash probably just beats Puck, but that's because he has that whole tall-dark-and-handsome thing going on.

Sadly The Iron King wasn't for me, though I did give it a good chance and I finished it, as I do with every book I start. I'm genuinely sad I didn't enjoy it more than I did but, like I said, I'll still give The Iron Queen a go. I'm not one to judge a whole series by the first book, and hopefully I'll like the next instalment more. Wish me luck.


kara-karina@Nocturnal Book Reviews said...

Oh thanks god, someone else didn't like this book! ;)) What bugs me is that the girl is supposed to be a proper computer whizz and she couldn't incorporate it in final battle? I just don't believe in relying on only fae magic in situations like that. She has been raised in human world, she should have behaved accordingly.
You are better than me, I won't read the continuation of the series. :)

Cat @ Beyond Books said...

I couldn't even finish it. It's on my list of books for 2010 as a Did Not Finish. I couldn't stand what I was reading. Makes me somewhat happy to know we share the same feelings on the book.

Also, the comment above? Yay! I am not alone!

Alison said...

I'd give the second one a try. I couldn't stand Meghan throughout much of this book. I hate it when unpopular girls lust after the popular boy, who they obviously can't have - so she started out on a bad foot. But in later books, she actually gains a backbone. Each book gets better.

YA reader said...

I didn't manage to finish it despite all the hype. Think I'll give it another go at some point still. Hope your next read is more enjoyable!

Cait said...

This book was on my amazon wishlist since before it came out, but for some reason I just never bought it intuition maybe? I always like to see a more negative review of a book everyone's been raving about. I finally bought it for just over a quid for my kindle but I don't think I'll be rushing to read it. Thanks for sharing, I loved reading your review.

The Cait Files

scattered_laura said...

YAY! This book had so many glowing reviews that I thought I might be the only person who just wasn't feeling it.

I found that all the characters were two-dimensional and the pacing too fast. So much happened so quickly that I felt there just wasn't enough consideration of how the characters would realistically feel. And they all just bounded along with the story.

Glad I'm not the only one!

Maria said...

Thanks for the honest review! I personally loved The Iron Fey series, but I supose it`s impossible for everyone to like one book.

Here`s my review:

*Melissa* said...

I agree with you. I read the series and it's just alright.I hated the second book and the last book redeemed the 2nd on. I think it was as great as everyone thought. i much prefer Aprilynne's Wings series.

here's my review

The Hypersomniac said...

Mira books sent this to me a while ago, and it's still sitting on my 'to read' pile. Probably won't pick it up now! x

BooksforCompany said...

It's always a shame when you don't enjoy the book as much as you hope and have heard how good it is!
Thanks for the honest review.

Liza said...

I trully loved this series and can't wait for 'The Iron Knight'. I even read the short novellas (electronic version) and I am Team Ash all the way.

I hope you like the second book better, but I understand that it might not be everyone's cup of tea.

Carrie said...

I've got this series and I keep trying to start with the first book and can't seem to get past the first couple of chapters. I keep putting it away to pick up at another time. Sometimes, I need to be in the "mood" for a certain genre, but maybe that isn't my problem this time. Maybe I'm like some of you guys and just don't like it.

Anonymous said...

I loved the series, but it kind of takes some time to get used to. The first book it took forever to read. The beginning was sort of slow, but the second book was really good. My favorite by far was the third book, the character development really showed and the ending was incredibly sad but made you need the next book. I can't wait for Iron Knight to come out!!

Anonymous said...

Iron King was slow and...boring. I picked up this book because of the lots of positive reviews and promising summary at the back of an exciting book cover.

But I'm on Chapter ten now, and I have a feeling that I won't ever open the book again.

It was rather like faery wish wash found in children's storybook. I mean, I got really fed up of reading kelpies pulling you into the water and Meghan seemed rather dull.

She wasn't a strong and exciting character to read about, judging by the way she was introduction. (the disgusting I-fell-for-the-stupid-'hot'-bad boy thing)
Didn't have the thrilling and alluring tale of a dark mysterious world.

Sorry for all the negativity but this book really didn't have that alluring pull of a dark adventurous faery realm. (by the way, I got the first two books of the series without even thinking and I'm sure they're just gonna stay there gathering cobwebs :(