Julie Kagawa's The Iron King is the story of Meghan Chase, ordinary girl living with her mom, younger brother, and stepfather on a farm in Louisiana. And of course she feels out of place, not having money for fancy clothes, longing for the hot guy at school, not feeling accepted by her stepfather. Turns out that's only the surface of her troubles, though. Instead of just the awkward teen years, Meghan's issues turn deadly when she discovers that her younger brother has been replaced by a changeling, her best friend is actually Puck from A Midsummer Night's Dream, and her father is Oberon. And the only one who can save her four year old brother Ethan is Meghan herself--and to do this, she's got to suspend her disbelief in faeries, gnomes, centaurs, whatever, and enter the land of Nevernever in order to bring him home.
Events are fast and furious in Kagawa's story: Meghan and Puck employ the help of Grimalkin, a sort of Cheshire Cat, to help them find their way through the land while her father, King Oberon, wishes Meghan to stay at his court now that she knows of its existence. At the same time, Meghan's attention is drawn to Ash, a prince of the Winter Court whose intentions seem to be at odds with her own. Innumerable creatures flit through the story; at times the descriptions seem to be more of the point than the actual tale. But Kagawa keeps things moving along at a fast pace and ends up giving us a story that could easily be an analogy for our technology obsessed lifestyles of today.
I wondered how best to describe this story and gave it a good deal of thought for this review. It's not the most complicated story nor is it unusual, but it is engaging and fun with lots and lots of action. I finally realized that Kagawa took the best bits of several different ideas and wound them all together into an entertaining mash-up. Basically, The Iron King is Alice in Wonderland + The Neverending Story + A Midsummer Night's Dream, with a helping of the Disney Channel's The Wizards of Waverly Place mixed in with Romeo and Juliet...and Star Trek's Borg poured liberally over the top. Completely fun and a great set-up for the next book in the series.
Meghan Chase's birthday is tomorrow. Sweet sixteen. It rolls off the tongue promising magic, romance and opportunity. It's the age when girls become princesses and go to dances. Sixteen is when a girl is supposed to find true love while the stars shine for her and a handsome prince carries her off into the sunset. All the stories say so. Meghan does find magic on her birthday, but it's nothing like the stories talked about. Instead of … more
I've just spent an enjoyable few days with Julie Kagawa's The Iron King. Her inventive fey (faery) world pulled me right in. It's one of those imagined worlds that has you amazed at the detail and the thought that went in behind it. This book seems to be marketed to girls (from the cover and the fact that it's published by Harlequin Teen), but I think that this book would appeal to young men or women who are interested in fantasy. In fact, there's a good bit of battle, which … more
Don't ask me why, but for some reason I kept putting off reading this book. Maybe it was the fact that it was yet another faery story or maybe it was the weather, or just that I was in a reading slump at the time. I'm not sure what was wrong with me but I am so glad that I finally picked it up when I did. This book was amazing! Ms. Kagawa has created a world riddled with characters that not only have I come to love but who I secretly wish were real. When Meghan's little brother, … more
I was at a breaking point when it came to YA faerie novels. Had enough. But I was pretty resigned to the fact that The Iron King was going to be the BWB YA pick...this book has been pretty popular among the bloggers of late. There is a reason for it's popularity. This is the best YA faerie novel that I have read, hands down. Gripping - check. Tough - check. Scary - check. Emotional - check. Creative - check. The list goes on...Ms. Kagawa you've written yourself quite a fairy tale. REVIEW: … more
This was one book I couldn't bring myself to finish. I dove in, with the promise of action once Meghan learned of her true heritage to get me through the slow beginning with a few cliches. But, even after Meghan found herself in the Seelie Court, I felt as if there were a lot of little things going on that didn't really add to the entire plot and served as a distraction from what was really going on in the book. The writing was good, and paranormal fans looking for some mischievous and dangerous … more
Before you go "Oh no, not another faery book," please know that while it sounds similar to other faery books, it's very different. (The character's taken from Shakespeare's A Midsummer's Night Dream were given makeovers and are so much better.) Meghan was a strong and reckless yet vulnerable and scared girl who would do anything for her younger brother. She went through many things just to recover him. She was a complex character, one that made me … more
[...] William Shakespeare's faeries from A Midsummer's Night Dream have been popular characters for YA fiction of late. Following Lesley Livingston's Wondrous Strange and Darklight, The Iron King marks the third book to borrow Puck, Summer King Oberon and Queen Titiana and Winter Queen Mab. Both series also imagine a daughter for King Oberon who discovers her faery heritage and is drawn from the human world into the world of the fey. But that is where the similarities end. … more
Grade 8 Up—On her 16th birthday, Meghan Chase's four-year-old half brother is exchanged for a changeling and she discovers that her best friend, Robbie, is actually Robin Greenfellow, aka Puck, from Shakespeare'sA Midsummer Night's Dream. He is her guardian and will lead her into the faery world to rescue her brother. Once there, Meghan learns that she is a princess, daughter of Oberon, king of the Seelie Court. With a mortal mother and a faery king for a father, she is very powerful, and Oberon and Queen Mab, queen of the Unseelie Court, are both fighting to keep her. With help from Puck and a talking cat, Meghan sneaks into the Unseelie Court to rescue Ethan, only to discover that he is held captive by more powerful forces that could destroy the entire fey world. Meghan is a likable heroine and her quest is fraught with danger and adventure. The action never stops, and Meghan's romance with Ash, the handsome prince of the Unseelie Court, provides some romance that is sure to continue in the sequel. Faery books are in high demand now, and this is one of the better ones. Expect it to be popular with teens who liked Melissa Marr'sWicked Lovely(HarperTeen, 2007).—Ginny Collier, Dekalb County Public Library, Decatur, GA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.