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.
Paperback, 363 pages
Published February 1st 2010 by Harlequin Teen
Four stars: A book with incredibly detailed world building. Welcome to the Nevernever.
Meghan Chase is turning sixteen. For most girls, this is a momentous occasion, but for Meghan, it is nearly forgotten by everyone. Meghan comes from a poor family, she is painfully shy and trying desperately to fit in. Her father vanished when she was six and her mother remarried. Meghan is often overlooked at home and school. Her one friend and companion is Robbie. At least he remembers her birthday. On the way to school, she starts seeing strange things out of the corner of her eyes. Is there something wrong with her? At school a horribly, embarrassing mishap occurs and she is the butt of a cruel joke. Perpetuated by the hottest guy in school, who happens to be her secret crush. Robbie comes to her rescue and escorts her out of the school, while she hides her tears. When she arrives home, the day goes from bad to worse. Her baby brother is not quite right. Robbie has a big secret he has been keeping from her, and it will change her world forever. Turns out fairies are real and one has kidnapped Ethan and dragged him off to the Fairy Realm. The Ethan before her is really a changeling, left in his place. To recover Ethan, Meghan embarks on a dangerous journey into the Nevernever. Will she make it out alive and manage to rescue Ethan?
What I Liked:
- Some of the books main characters are familiar, historic literary fairies, from Midsummer Night's Dream. Making an appearance is Puck, the trickster, Oberon the King of the Summer Court, as well as his Queen, the jealous Titania and Queen Mab from the Winter Court. These characters come alive again in Ms. Kagawa's work. They are accompanied by many new Fey creations, as well as Meghan Chase, our unlikely heroine.
- The world building of Faerie is phenomenal. This book takes you to the Land of Faerie with its breathtaking beauty and its dangerous dark side. Where one must always be careful of deals and binding words. Never say thank you in Faerie! The book travels far along fairy trods,that lead in and out of our world. The Iron Realm, with its twisted metal, poisonous environment and pack rats is unlike anything I have encountered. Read this book and appreciate the creativity and complexity of the settings.
- The storyline of this book stands apart. The book begins with Meghan a misunderstood, lonely girl, who discovers a big secret about her identity. Then Meghan is plunged into the world of Faerie to rescue her kidnapped little brother. Her journey is fraught with obstacles and challenges,that she must overcome to find Ethan. I enjoyed Meghan's character development and growth. She transforms from a diminutive girl into one who adapts to her changing surroundings and learns to stand up and fight for those she loves.
- Puck... a.k.a. Robin Goodfellow; love him! I know there is a raging debate about Puck and Ash the two main male heroes, who vie for Meghan's affections. I am intrigued with the jocular antics of Puck. His ongoing feud with his former best friend, the Cold Prince Ash is entertaining. Puck's light-hearted quips lighten up the book and provide comic relief.
- Grimalkin, it is difficult to ascertain this cat sith's true intentions, but I adored this character. He is the cat who pops in and out at will, always at an opportune time to rescue Meghan but he always has a price. Is she making a deal with the devil? Where do his loyalties lie? The answer is yet to be determined. I plan to keep on following his bushy tail as he leads through Nevernever. My instinct is that he is good at heart.
And The Not So Much:
- The book establishes a strong bond between Meghan and Puck. When Ash appears on scene, she falls instantly in love with him. It was a little too quick for my taste. I disliked the way she hastily wrote of Puck's love, especially since he was her lone champion all of her life. I was disappointed that this creative book resorted to the ever so popular love triangle. It is a theme that has become far too prevalent.
- While I did enjoy Meghan's growth, I struggled with her at times. She tended to be overly rash and jumped into trouble far too often, hence she spent a good portion of the novel as the damsel in distress, who needed rescue. She was prone to numerous crying spells. Granted, she does redeem herself and grows. I guess I like my heroines to have a bit more backbone. On the other hand, her wishy washy, histrionic behavior is more in line with a sixteen year old girl.
- I wished that I had read Midsummer's Night Dream, again before delving into The Iron King. A fresh reading, would have enhanced my understanding of some of the major fairy characters.
The Iron King, is a wonderful, intricate story. Prepare for an adventure to Faerie, but make sure you set aside plenty of time before you begin your endeavor; once you pick up this book, you won't put it down. This is unlike so many of the YA novels out there. It is imaginative, beautiful and complex. I am eager to continue on with the series, to see what lies in store for our heroine and her two dashing counterparts, Puck and Ash. Who will be the champion of Meghan's heart? (Hoping for Puck! Fingers crossed!) If this book has been languishing in your TBR pile, move it up! You won't be disappointed, especially since there are three more books ahead in this ingenious series.
“Oh, we're playing nice now? Shall we have tea first? Brew up a nice pot of kiss-my-ass?"
“Bravo," said Grimalkin, peering down from Cold Tom's chest. "The Winter prince and Oberon's jester agreeing on something. The world must be ending.”
“Ladies and Felines," he stated grandly, grasping the doorknob, "Welcome to Tir Na Nog. Land of endless winter and shitloads of snow.”
“Careful human. Do not lose your heart to a faery prince. It never ends well. "
“Hi, Princess. Sorry I'm late. Traffic was a bitch." He winked at me, then shot a glance at the winter sidhe, standing in the doorway. "Hey, Shard." He waved. "Nice place you've got here. I'll have to remember it, so I can give it the special 'puck touch'."
“I've always wanted the IQ of a rock. No, wait. That would be an insult to the rock.”
All this week I will be highlighting the four books in The Iron Fey Series. Stay tuned for a big announcement on Friday!