The Iron King (The Iron Fey #1) by Julie Kagawa

Rating: 3.5/5

I had a very difficult time deciding what to rate this one. Overall, I really quite enjoyed the book. However, the first half of it had a lot of … well, they weren’t really problems, but there were definitely plenty of things I found myself complaining about.

Frankly, the whole first half of the book had me calling on cliches, and it felt like it was a story put together like patchwork. Meghan kept finding herself in all kinds of trouble, but I was having trouble focusing on the plot. In that respect, it reminded me a lot of how my writing used to be when the book was really little more than an excuse to play with the world I was putting together. This felt very much like that, and there were only loose threads holding it together.

Once the threads became a solid weave, however, I really enjoyed reading this. In spite of my earlier worries about cliches, Kagawa managed to craft something truly unique in her world—fae stories often have very similar plots: wars between the seelie and the unseelie, half-fae gaining access to their powers after exposure to Faery (or whatever name the concept goes by in any particular book), unwitting or unwilling main characters becoming royalty, star-crossed love (or hate, depending), etc. I’m guilty of it myself. The spine of Kagawa’s world fits the mold, and she actually used one of my favorite tricks. Not only are the fae dying because of the increased iron in the world, but because of the fading belief of humans. I’ve always loved using this concept—something about it just resonates with me. Kagawa took this concept one step further and asked the question, “What if beliefs changed? How would the world be reshaped?”

The world set up in this first novel is the result of answering those questions.

So, my rating was settled at 3.5 because for the first half of the book I’d rate it a 3, and for the second half I’d rate it a 4. About a third of my job is averaging things, so that’s how I get to 3.5.

I’m curious to see where the second book takes me. I hadn’t been sure for a while if I was going to invest time (and money if I can’t find it in a local library) into reading the rest of the series, but now my curiosity is piqued. This book actually left me with that tingly I-just-finished-my-book-and-want-to-know-what-happens-next feeling. I love that feeling, and that leaves me wanting to hunt down book 2.

I might work through the other books that have been on my to-read shelf for quite some time first, however—one of the stories I’m currently writing deals quite a bit with the fae and I think I need to find something not fae-related while I’m actively writing it.

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Posted on May 17, 2013, in Urban Fantasy/Paranormal, Young Adult and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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