Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Jenn's Review: The Iron King

The Iron King (Harlequin Teen)Summary: 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.

Review:  With the third book in the Iron Fae series, The Iron Queen, hitting the shelves last week, and rave reviews from fellow bloggers, I decided to give the series a try. The Iron King is Narnia meets Midsummer's Nights Dream, and while I love Shakespeare, I have only ever been able to get through C. S. Lewis on screen.

Needless to say, it took me a while to warm up to this one, and Meghan in particular. It isn't that Meghan is unlikeable... But I just couldn't seem to form an attachment to her of any kind. Perhaps that is due to the fact that before we really know her, we are plunged into Nevernever, the land of the fae, where there is so much chaos.

Julie Kagawa has an incredibly vivid imagination and her creation is filled with all manner of mythical beasts. As with Lewis, I think I would have been better off viewing it all on screen for it was far more than my imagination could take in. —Though I would never fault an author for the limitations of my own mind. But because of it, it wasn't until she reached the Unseelie or Winter Court, almost halfway through the book, that I really started to engage with the story. And more than anything, the change of interest was due to character development. Although, it was not Meghan's character that captured me, but her guides', Ash and Puck, from separate courts with a lifelong feud. Up until then, it was mainly Meghan's other guide, Grimalkin the cat/cait sithe that pulled me through the story.

Once I was engaged with the story it became much more enjoyable. The story began to take shape and even surprised me a few times. The denouement was a little too rapid, in my opinion, falling just short of abrupt. With many things unresolved, I'm sure it dovetails nicely into the next book in the series, The Iron Daughter.

I am still rather ambivalent towards Meghan as a character; she's honest and true to herself, though rather impulsive. However, I'm more interested in the surrounding cast.  I will continue reading this series, because I would like a resolution to some of the other story lines, and even though it was a rocky start for me, I really was beginning to enjoy it. If you are a fan of Narnia, then these books are definitely for you. If not, you may grow to like it as I did.

Final Take: 3.75/5



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