Wednesday, March 24, 2010

HBIC Review for The Iron King- Emily @ What Book is That?

Title:The Iron King
Author: Julie Kagawa
Page Count: 363 pages
Publisher: HarlequinTeen
Genre: fantasy, young adult, paranormal romance
Copy for review was purchased by this writer

50 words or less: All Meghan Chase wanted was a place to belong, and a little excitement. She learns quickly to be careful what she wishes for when it becomes apparent that that place is Fairyland, and excitement there comes in spades.

The Iron King was the landslide victor in the BWB polls for March, and as I was already beyond excited to read it, I had no problem with that whatsoever. Happily, it surpassed every single one of my expectations and has me really, REALLY excited for August when the next installment comes out.

Meghan Chase is about to turn sixteen and thinks that a brand new life would be the best possible birthday present. Her home and school life are dreary, she's the target of taunts and teasing from schoolmates and is pretty much ignored at home. Her only real friend is Robbie, a neighbor boy, sort of, and she's certainly the apple of her younger brother Ethan's eye too. When Ethan is abducted and a changeling is left in his place, then, it's only logical to Meghan that she should go after him, setting events in motion that she'd never anticipated.

Meghan's adventures in Fairyland are trippy, exotic, beautiful, and terrifying in turns. The author does a fantastic job of weaving together vivid descriptions, unique characters, action, romance, dialogue, and all other manner of elements into a really unique story. We hear over and over again in other novels about fairies about how they can't touch iron, but this is the first novel I've read that addresses that element in an ENTIRELY new and unique way.

Of course, there's a love interest- Ash, a prince of the Unseelie Court. We don't get to learn a whole lot about him, other than he and Puck (Robbie) don't get along at all, that he's got a sense of honor and a long memory, and that he's determined to protect Meghan, which turns out to be way easier said than done. I'm definitely looking forward to reading more about their relationship.

Don't count Puck out yet though- I think Meghan's going to have to make some choices about her future in the next two books and will find that attention from guys isn't always all it's cracked up to be.

With beach and vacation season fast approaching, put this title on your list of fun, exciting books to while away an afternoon. I devoured this book in one sitting, immediately checked on the release date for the second one, and huffed indignantly when I realized it wasn't until August. Oh well, good things are worth waiting for!

Overall Grade: A+
Blog with Bite Rating: 4/4

Discussion Questions
1. What did you think of the feud between Puck and Ash? How do you think that might play out in the next two books? This was one of the most intriguing facets of the story for me. I think there's got to be some kind of resolution, because Meghan is deeply connected to both characters- the question is, will it be one everyone can live with?

2. Favorite scene or line from the book? Could you relate to any of the characters? When Ash confesses his feelings for Meghan and Meghan gets her first kiss. Swoon! I thought all the characters were really unique and well-drawn, but I appreciated the tension in the relationship here and that the characters didn't just collide into smooches with each other. I liked the slow boil.

3. With whom did you identify with the most? And Why? Grimalkin. Loved the doublespeak and scheming. Plus, I'm a cat person. There, I confessed!

4. Did you find the concept behind the Iron King- being a technology fueled modern day faerie- original or unbelievable? In so far as any facet of a faerie tale can be either of those things, I found it very unique and an interesting idea to consider. Fairies are the products of dreams and imagination, and technology is too; I think this story argues that both of those concepts originate in the same place, which is definitely not something that I've encountered in other books.

5. Kagawa used a lot of mythical faeries in The Iron King, such as King Oberon, Queen Mab and Puck. Which fae from myth would you have liked to have seen added into the pages of The Iron King besides the ones she used? Here's another confession- my knowledge of world mythology is pretty lacking. If it wasn't Greek/Roman and taught in high school, I don't know about it. With that said, who wants to recommend some good books on mythology?


My 5 Monkeys(Julie) said...

I'm not counting puck out yet-- I think that should be an interesting triangle. awesome book