August 29, 2010

REVIEW! The Iron King.

The Iron King
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 to let her touch his icy heart.

My rating: 4 stars.


Initially, I had high hopes for The Iron King. But the beginning is rushed, information’s unexplained, and the characters show no promise – Meghan is the pettiest character I’ve encountered in a long while, and her best friend, Robbie, has so much potential but is only ever described as a grinning prankster.

Only 35 pages in, and the unbelievable clichés and unrealistic drama appear:

“Then a grin spread across my face and I whooped, leaping into the air. Scott Waldron wanted to see me!”

Really? Whooped and leaped into the air?

And it doesn’t end there. 65 pages into the story and another appears:

“I turned and fled into my room, slamming the door behind me. Flinging myself under my bed-covers, I put the pillow over my head and shook, hoping that when I woke up, things would be normal.”

And another, page 213:
“‘Puck, no.’ I clutched at his sleeve. ‘Don’t fight him. Someone could die.’”

Along with those occasional annoyances, the plot drags. Horrendously. Sticky situations come and go, but I never could determine what purpose they served. It all felt like unnecessary filler – and, unfortunately, not good filler. There’s only so many times I can read a Damsel in Distress-type event…and The Iron King is full of them.

However, more than halfway through the novel, the pace picks up. Interesting characters, like Ash, are introduced, and more of the faery world is explained and described. It had a similar feel to Melissa Marr’s world of fey in Wicked Lovely. This is the saving point for Kagawa’s novel, to me. The descriptions are beautiful and strong, superior to the severely lacking, boring, cliché dialogue. And, surprisingly enough, everything from earlier on in the story is tied together in the end.

The finish is nice, despite being a cliffhanger. The characters shape up, suddenly stronger in their personalities than before, but the romance feels forced and confusing; it blooms as if out of nowhere. Still, it’s sweet to read.

The Iron King is annoying in several ways, but the writing style – save for the dialogue – makes it all worthwhile.


In other news, I'm back at school, so reviews may be posted slowly. However, I'm going to do my best to keep up!


  1. ohhh lots of excellent points! Like you, I did give it a favorable rating but had a few issues with the characters and plot. Will you read the next one?

  2. I do plan on reading the sequel, as soon as I can get myself a copy.

  3. I have been hesitating trying this one because the reviews are not at all favourable. At least they don't evoke any particular desire in me to read them. I think I'll wait to see what you say about the sequels. Have fun in school. Mine starts next week and I await it with a bit of dread.

  4. Great review! It's nice to read the opinion of someone who isn't totally in love with this book. I still haven't read it, though!

  5. I think I have this one coming from the library soon, so I'm interested to see what my experience of the book is. I've heard really great things about it, but also some so-so things. One thing I know for sure is that I'm in love with the cover!

  6. Thanks for giving such an honest review. I really like it when a blogger admits that while the story was good, it was not perfect. The cover is beautiful though! I think I'll pass on this title.

  7. Nafiza - Thanks! I hope you end up not dreading school. :]

    Ashley - I know! The cover is very beautiful.

    firepages - No problem. I like to keep things 100% honest, in my opinion.

  8. I'm sorry to hear this one didn't do it for you. I thought it was amazing, being a huge fan of A Midsummer Night's Dream - I thought Julie filled out Puck's character so perfectly based on the original canon.

    I found you via the hop! Hope you're having a good week.

  9. I liked the concept of the book, but I really struggled with the dialogue. Maybe I'm burnt out on YA because I find myself becoming increasingly annoyed with gratuitous pop culture references and cliches.

  10. I really liked it after the first half as well. Once it picked up it was wonderful. Thanks for the honest review!

    Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog


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