Monday, 13 June 2011
Review: The Iron King by Julie Kagawa
Publisher: Mira Ink
Released: January 21st, 2011
Grade rating: C
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.