lunedì 15 ottobre 2012

Review: The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

The Iron King
The Iron Fey #1
Published: February 1st 2010
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Number of Pages: 363
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
Purchase: Amazon, B&N, TBD

From GoodReads:
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.

My Review

I had very high expectations for this book, especially because I've heard so many good things about it and most of the reviews I've read gave it 5 stars. As soon as I started the book I wasn't particulary caught by the plot, which proceeded quite slowly and I really couldn't get into Megan's world; it resembled way too much a fairytale and at the beginning it seemed to me like a banal story. Fortunately things changed a little with the introduction of the NeverNever; I really liked the world the author created and what I enjoyed most was the distinction between the Winter and the Summer court but my favourite realm was the Iron court. I thought it was so particular and it made me reflect also about the destructive nature of men. Infact, I'm sure the author created that particular realm with a purpose, considering it had been created by men's desire for power, for control on the world through technology.
The great variability of landscapes made the book more vivid, easy to be imagined and while I was reading it I could easily imagine all the places where the story took place. This was certainly one of the points who made the book more interesting to read.

Another thing that I really liked was the variability of the characters, of all kind, from cats to pixies, from iron creatures to trolls. I'm always fascinated by authors who dare to put in their books many fantasy elements because it is quite difficult to develop a story who knows how to contain all that material withouth seeming too far-fetched. I think that the author, in this case, has done an amazing job: there were many fantasy elements, true, but they didn't load the story; their presence was slight and it contributes to make the NeverNever appear more magical but also more dangerous. Infact, another aspect that I really liked is that in this book the fairies are mean, they really are! For those of you who've read Shadowhunters you'll probably remember the Seelie Queen (God, I hate her) and I've always liked characters like her because I've always thought about faeries like angelic, good beings. But they're not, as Julie Kagawa demonstrates in her book, they're naughty, resentful, always in search of revenge and they don't give absolutely nothing for nothing in change.

Speaking of the characters I LOVE Ash; he's mysterious and full of secrets. It's like he has a double personality and he wants to hide what he really feels toward Megan but also toward Puck. Just in the final part of the book something of his past started to come out but then, as usual, it is never enough. He's certainly been hurt in the past and now he's torn between the desire to forgive Puck and the desire to avenge his beloved; he also wants to save Megan but it's like he's bound to obey his queen, even if it is evident he doesn't want to. I think he is one of the most interesting ( as well as the most charming) character of the book because the moment you think you know him, it is the moment you realise you've never really known him; that's what I like, his unpredictability.
Neither Megan or Puck have really caught my attention; they were kind of ordinary, like many other protagonists I've read about. There was nothing unusual or original in their personality, in my opinion. There was just one thing that I noticed about Puck: he always smiles and jokes, even when he's in pain. I think he's a very sensitive character, very sweet and this emerges when he tells Megan about his and Ash's past and why they were in war; I can't remember a moment in which Puck did not have a smile or a ready joke outside of this particular moment.

Overall, the story was good even if it had its weaknesses; nevertheless I'm really curious about what will happen in the Iron Daughter, also because the Iron King can't be dead so easily, can he? 

Rated 4,40

Favourite quotes:
"Of course I won't forget about Ethan! He's my brother! Are you really that inhuman, or just stupid?"
To my surprise, a grin spread over his face. He dropped the bottle, caught it, and put it on the floor. " The first," he said, very softly.

"Shit", I whispered, falling back against the wall. I stared at Robbie with new eyes. " Robbie Goodfell. Robin... you're Robin Goodfellow."
Robbie grinned. "Call me Puck."

"But if the NeverNever dies. won't you disappear, as well?"
"I am a cat," Grimalkin replied, as if that explained anything.

"So," he murmured, grinning as he tilted my chin up, "before I march off to battle, how 'bout a kiss for luck?"

" I would have gotten you there!" Puck roared."Me! You don't need his help! Don't you trust me to keep you safe? I would've given everything for you. Why didn't you think I'd be enough?" 

"Saggind down the wall, I pulled my knees to my chest and joined them in their grieving, feeling I'd left my heart in the tunnel where Ash had fallen."

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