Saturday, June 18, 2011
Kagawa, Julie: The Iron King (Iron Fey, #1)
363 pages, Harlequin Teen
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.
Meaghan has always been haunted by her father's disappearance when she was a child. Now, at seventeen, she feels isolated, forgotten by her mother and stepfather in the wake of her precious half-brother Ethan's presence, and, after a disasterous attempt at confessing her feelings, dealing with a ticked-off jock out to make her life miserable.
But of course, when you think your life is at an ultimate low, fate has to make things interesting by making it all hit the proverbial fan.
In a twist of fate reminiscent of Labrinyth, Ethan is spirited away and replaced with a creature with a hunger for carnage. Meaghan's only friend turns out to be one of the most famous fairies in the history of literature. And, of course, there's a dark-hearted boy whose idea of courtship is constant death threats.
All in the life of an undiscovered faerie princess, right?
I have to give Julie Kagawa props: going on the same idea as Lesley Livingston's Wonderous Strange - which I love - (daughter of the fairy king, Puck as her guardian, falling in love with a faery boy she's not supposed to have), she churned out an unbelievably real, albeit dark and frightening, world that you could just see playing out on the big screen from the hands of Johnny Depp and Tim Burton.
There are gnomes. There are trolls. There are fast chase scenes and gruesome deaths. This is definitely not a book meant for younger readers. With the innuendo and constant language, it's way out of my comfort zone even as a teenager. If you feel the same way, I'd really recommend Wonderous Strange - a little less intense, and still an awesome storyline.
That being said, The Iron King still needs recognition for proving that even if an idea might have already been done, you can still add your own touch with the right imagination and, in this case, the right amount of Gothic horror to keep the storyline going.
Warnings: A lot of profanity, an attempted assault by a bunch of drunken satyrs, scary characters right out of a Tim Burton...yeah, let's just say "not for the faint of heart."
And let's tally up the rating points!
Originality (evil computer-virus faeries, anyone?)
Supporting cast (puck at his most boisterous, albeit foul-mouthed)
World (bristling with menace, evil goblins and blank-eyed humans in thrall to their own deaths)
Minus points for:
Situational violence (i'm really sounding like a television rating system here, aren't i?)
Annoyingly dependent heroine (though i must give her props for being determined to retrieve her younger brother.)
Cliche brooding love interest
I'm not sure if I'll continue with the series. I did receive the free Kindle edition of the companion Puck story the author recently released, so I probably will read and review that. I really don't relish going out of my comfort zone when there are other stories on my list that I am waiting eagerly to get my hands on.
It depends. Maybe.