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The Iron King (Harlequin Teen)

The Iron King - Julie Kagawa Ok so I did something I said I'd never do and that is read a fairy book. I don't know why but the fairy genre turns me off. Every time I see and book read the synopsis, if I see the word fae, fey, fairy or faery it goes immediately back on the shelf. I really don't know what it is about fairies but I just can't. However many of the reading challenges I'm doing have options to read a fairy book and I decided to give this book a shot. I love Julie Kagawa and her Blood of Eden series; she's one of my favorite authors. So I figure if anyone can do fairies , Julie Kagawa can right? and she totally did. I loved this book and its one of my favorites.

I loved Kagawa's who fairy realm and mythology. I liked how she explained how fairies were born and how they are kept alive. It was very interesting, after I go over the ridiculous names of the realm like Nevernever, Tir Na Nog, Seelie, Unseelie for example. I also liked the creatures she included as the fey. When I think of Fey, I thing of Tinkerbell like creatures (which I found are are called pixies). Kagawa's term of "fey" means other creatures like Chimera, Mermaids, Sirens, Goblins, Satyrs, Centaurs and others that I wouldn't think of as fey. It was an interesting take on the mythological creatures I know of. I also liked how each part of the Nevernever was different from each other. The forest was its own territory with goblins and other creatures living in it. Then there was the Seelie court of the summer fairies where everything was green with flowers, bushes and trees. The Unseelie court of the winter fairies was cold with snow, ice and mountains. The Iron Fey kingdom was basically a junk yard with all kinds of electronics and machinary. I especially liked the iron dragon. I also liked how Kagawa subtly explains why the other fairies are hurt by iron and how the iron fairies came about. She doesn't outright say why they can't touch iron but from the conversations going on you understand why that is.

I gotta say that this was one book where I loved all the characters. I loved Meghan who was brave in the face of what she found out. She panicked a bit when she found out about the fairy realm and that she was half fairy but that was to be expected. Meghan is very loyal to her friends and family and thinks of them first before herself. She is willing to do anything to save her brother, Ethan from the iron fey. She goes through hell and back to get to him. She never complained about what she had to do to get him and she lost a lot doing so. She is also very determined, loving and caring. You can see that she has what it takes to become a fairy queen.

I loved Puck as well. His tricks and pranks were hilarious and the laughed out loud at the things that came out of his mouth. He is very easy going and its like nothing bothers him. He is very protective of Meghan and you can see that he's in love with her although it was never said. He was willing to risk his life and the wrath of King Oberon for her which shows how loyal he is to the people he cares about. It was crazy to find out how old he was especially since he has the body of a 16 year old. I hope there's a lot more of him in the next book.

I also loved Ash. At first he was cold and hard but as he continued on the journey with Meghan, he became loving and caring and more like her. You are told why Ash was the way he was at first and what happened to him is sad and you feel for the guy. But I loved how Meghan melted his heart and made him "Feel alive again". Ash is also very loyal to Meghan and risks his life to help her save Ethan. At first he helped Meghan because of a deal she made with him (note: making deals with fairies is a very bad idea). But then as the romance heated up between them, he helped her because he loved her. He went willingly into the iron realm where he became physically sick from being around all the iron. He actually almost died helping her. I like the romance between them because it was subtle and not in your face. Romance was not the main focus of the book~ rescuing Ethan was. The romance was a happy accident. I like Ash with Meghan and hope that they end up together.

I loved Ethan. He is four in this book and he is able to see fairies because of his imagination and because of the fact that he is a kid and believes in them. He does seem wise beyond his years especially after Meghan rescues him. I absolutely loved Grimalkin. He was hilarious and just as funny as Puck. His antics made me laugh as well as his attitude and sarcasm. I liked how he helped Meghan, even if she did make a deal with him, and in the end how he helped her because he wanted to. I also loved how he would constantly remind Meghan that he is coming along with her for entertainment. He is a character I would love to meet. I also loved the pack rats who help Meghan and Ash in the iron realm.

The book was heavy with fairy mythology which I loved. There was some action in it especially near the end. There wasn't a million things going on. There was one focus of the book and that was to rescue Ethan. The book wasn't all over the place and was nicely written. Julie Kagawa did a marvelous job. While I can't say that I will read anymore fairy books by other authors (still something about fairies I con't like) I will say that I will be continuing this series. Maybe after I finish this series I will be willing to try other authors. Baby steps.

This review is also posted on Spantalian's Book Reviews