Friday, April 23, 2010

Review; The Iron King by Julie Kagawa (+ some other Kagawa news!)

The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

Description; "My name is Meghan Chase. In less than twenty-four hours I'll be sixteen. Countless stories, songs and poems have been written about this wonderful age, when a girl finds true love and the stars shine for her and the handsome prince carries her off into the sunset. 

I don't think it will be that way for me."

Meghan Chase has a secret destiny - one she never could 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.

One of my earliest memories of this book was the day it came out. I remember seeing it in the stores, thinking it looked interesting but never possessing the time to pick it up (and for that, I am an idiot!). Finally, about 2-3 weeks later, I picked it up in Target while shopping with friends (they go to the clothes section, I go to the books section). I agonized and agonized over buying it (another idiotic moment) for a good half an hour, reading and re-reading the book description and trying to decide if it was really the book for me. Call me silly, but I have this no romance/no "happy" (I mean, satisfying) ending = no read. (LOL). As long as it meets that at the end, I'm ecstatic to see any bumps and bruises thrown in along the way! :) I was so unsure that this book was right for me...but being the over-thinker I am, I tucked it under my arm and marched to the checkout before I could change my mind.

Best. Decision. Ever.

Really :)

The Iron King was captivating from the word go. I started it late one night after slugging my way through another book and was finished by 10 am the next morning (yes, I did go to sleep after an hour of reading!)

Julie Kagawa has incomparable imagination and writing so fluent you can't help but drift off on her unique, lovable style. I was SO impressed that she built her world from Shakespeare's play, "A Midsummer Night's Dream" - one of my favourites. Not only did this create a sense of familiarity, it also gave the book suspense. Right when you thought you knew where the plot was going, thanks to your intimacy with Shakespeare's play, you were whirled in a whole other direction that was gripping, fast-paced and thrilling.

Every character possessed depth and Meghan is possibly one of the best heroines in Young Adult fiction today. She matured far beyond her years in the novel and made strong, selfless decisions. She learned quickly the "fine print" to faery bargains and even then made sacrifices in order to save her kidnapped brother. This was not only admirable but evoked a sense of pride within the reader for Meghan and her maturity on her journey.

The world Kagawa creates in this book is beyond any imagery I've ever seen before. Yes, Harry Potter and Twilight, I'm talking about you. The Iron King doesn't just describe a magical world which you can see through the eye of the imagination. It brings it to life in a way that makes you feel it and experience it vividly, almost deceivingly tangibly.

At times, there were so many mythical creatures it was *almost* difficult to keep track - but not quite. For me, as a reader, this only thrilled me all the more because I know there's going to be MORE to pick up on when I read it for the second time after writing this review!

And if you're a romance fan let me say, just quietly, Ash is the bomb. A huge, icy, swoon-worthy bomb with such impact that I want a hot-and-cold boyfriend who hurls icicles. (How cool!!) His character was one I particularly loved, gorgeousness and gooey romance aside, because he was so complex. He teeters between the pain of his devastating loss and his growing attraction to Meghan and although there will be obstacles ahead for them, I know he'll do right by her. :)

And Grimalkin... :) I love Grimalkin. If you think you own a cool cat, he's got nothing on this fellow!

Definitely a Five-Horse rating and now in my Top Two favourites (Hush, Hush being the other! and they're an equal first if you must ask). My hat's off to you, Julie. Thank you so very much for such a fantastic story and I wait in anticipation for more Ash, Meghan, Grimalkin and Puck in the Iron Daughter! :)

And while we're here, some exciting news from Julie Kagawa's blog! She's revealed the cover to The Iron Daughter, second in the Iron Fey series (and has been floating around the web before now, I believe, but here it is again in all it's awe-inspiring greatness!).

Half Summer faery princess, half human, Meghan has never fit in anywhere. Deserted by the Winter prince she thought loved her, she is prisoner to the Winter faery queen. As war looms between Summer and Winter, Meghan knows that the real danger comes from the Iron Fey, iron-bound faeries that only she and her absent prince have seen. But no one believes her. Worse, Meghan's own fey powers have been cut off. She's alone in Faery with only her wits for help. Trusting anyone would be foolish. Trusting a seeming traitor could be deadly. But even as she grows a backbone of iron, Meghan can't help but hear the whispers of longing in her all-too-human heart.

THE IRON DAUGHTER will be published by Harlequin Teen.

Look for it in August of 2010. 
(Taken from Julie's Website) 
Below is the never before seen cover to the free novella being published by Harper Teen in June of this year, "Winter's Passage". It tells of Meghan and Ash's story to the Winter Court, right after the Iron King finished. What a great way to get us through the wait for the Iron Daughter! :) Here is the beautiful cover;
Emma :)


Jami said...

Fabulous review! I loved this one too. Kagawa is an amazing writer. Not every writer can completely take you to another world like that. And Winter's Passage looks really good!

Julie Kagawa said...

What a lovely, wonderful, fantastic review! Thank you so much, this definitely made my morning. :D

Emma Kate "Coops" said...

Thank you so much guys for taking the time to read and comment on my review! *hugs* Still new to the blogging thing, but not to reading :D LOL.

And you deserve it, Julie! Thank you again for commenting - it made my day in return! :D ha ha :)