Dare Review: The Iron King

Julie Kagawa
YA lit
363 pages
Iron Fey #1
Chapter 1
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.

I was so surprised with how I ended up feeling about this book.  I have to be honest with you, {would you expect anything less} at nearly the half-way mark I was about to call it quits.  Although the story-line was fine, it felt like I was reading a rip off of Alice in Wonderland {there was even a Cheshire cat for crying out loud}.  I also didn't think I actually cared about what happened to the main character. There was a plot, and it was pretty constant, but it wasn't feeling very unique. Somewhere along the way though, I realized I'm suddenly rushing towards the end, anxious to see how it all turns out.  This has never happened to me before.  Sure, I may become slightly more, or slightly less interested or attached to a set of characters or a plot along the way to the finish line, but never before have I gone from nearly a DNF, to dying to know what the next book has in store for me.  I have to assume that it was planned this way.

Meghan Chase is your typical teenager, or so it seems, and therefore she is written as a very typical teenager for the majority of the book. She's concerned about the lack of attention she's getting over her upcoming 16th birthday. She only has thoughts about the cutest boy in school and their upcoming tutorial session, etc. etc.  You don't get a glimpse into anything about her true character. Yes, she has only one friend. Yes, she hates the po-dunk town she lives in.  Blah blah blah.  But, does she have any hobbies or interests at all?  What subject at school does she like?  What does she see herself doing/being when she grows up?  Meghan also has the self-confidence of a turtle, which didn't help my attachment.  But as she comes out of her shell you {and she} realize that she's actually very brave, and strong minded, and has a tender heart.  She also has integrity. Woot! As she plunges into The Nevernever (aka Faeryland) she changes from an adolescent to a young "adult" right before your eyes, and it had just the right effect on me.  I realize that watching that change unfold is part of the reason I grew so attached to her. I want good things for her. I want her to get the happy ending that I think she deserves.  I honestly ended up enjoying her character much more than I thought I would, and I can't wait to see what she's going to do next, now that she's revealed her true self.  

Even with the woes I had with the main character, the plot was quick to start, and had very few hiccups right from the very beginning.  It was a constant mish-mash of adventure and complications.  Nothing was ever simple, and I eventually stopped trying to guess what might happen next. I enjoyed the many twists and turns and the "oh crap, what now" moments throughout.  There is a hint of romance to come, but it is not the focus... as it shouldn't be. The ending left me wanting to know what happens next, without being ciffhanger-y. 

Bottom Line: After a soft first half in my opinion, The Iron King solidifies into a coming-of-age story of undiscovered destinies, and self-actualization. I just HAVE to know what happens next. 

3.5 stars


  1. I'm glad that you ended up really liking the book by the end. I actually recently had the same thing happen with a book, I was close to not finishing it but then I started to actually care about what happened in the end. It is nice when books surprise you and come out of their shell.

    Can't wait to read this one, thanks for the great review :)

  2. Love this series so far! I just finished The Iron Daughter and can't wait to read the next one!

  3. I have to say I was not as impressed with this one as everyone leads on about it either. I gave it a 3.5 too. But I will say Iron Daughter was soo much better. I really started to enjoy the characters more and the story line had so much more to it. I'll be starting Iron Queen this weekend. Thanks for the review!

  4. Alexa: Hope you end of liking this one too :)

    Becca: I'm glad to hear it keeps getting better!

    Melissa: I'm gonna HAVE to schedule the next 2 asap. Can't wait

  5. Oye. I don't know about this one. I know people who read it are usually fanatics over it, but i'm still not convinced. *sigh* I'll sit on it. (I do have it on my Kobo though. lol)

  6. I'm glad that you stuck with it and made it to the end. I've heard amazing things about this series and it is on my TBR list to check out sometime...so we'll see what I think whenever I get around to reading it.