The Iron King, Julie Kagawa
Harlequin Teen Feb 2010. Reviewed from library book.
Meghan Chase has always been inconsequential: people forget her moments after seeing her, if they notice her at all. Her own step-father seems to be hardly aware of her. She is hoping that things will start to change for her on her sixteenth birthday, the most romantic, important birthday a girl can have. Meghan’s is going to be about more than boys and driving cars though. On her birthday she finds out that her four year old brother has been kidnapped and switched for a faerie changeling. Just when it seems that she won’t be able to do anything to save him, her best friend Robbie tells her that he is actually the immortal fey, Robin Goodfellow/Puck. He offers to bring Meghan into the land of the fey to save her brother, but the adventure will be more dangerous and eye opening than she can imagine.
First things first, this cover is gorgeous, Julie Kagawa hit the jackpot with this one. This is the type of cover that makes teens stop and pick up the book without knowing anything about it, well teens and grown up librarians! After seeing it on so many other blogs, I had to pick up a copy. Thankfully, I was not disappointed.
This story really sucks the reader in. I found myself completely transported to the Nevernever with Kagawa’s lush descriptions. The Nevernever is really a character all to itself and, like all good protagonists, it’s equal parts good and evil, with lots of gray areas mixed in. I loved it.
I’ve read some criticisms of Meghan as a character, that she just follows along too much while the two male leads do all the work, but I have to say I disagree. I mean yes, she is a little bit of a reactionary character, but that made her more real for me. Meghan reads like a real, 100% normal girl who finds herself thrown into an adventure that she never wanted. I could relate to her because her reactions to things felt like how I’d react. With wide eyed, full blown terror and a little bit of wonder. Meghan’s character also develops a lot as she spends more time in the Nevernever, until she becomes just as strong as the male leads.
As soon as I finished this book, I had to run out and get the sequel, The Iron Daughter, which was just as good, if not better than this one! And with another super hot cover to boot. If you haven’t already checked out this series, do yourself a favor, turn off the computer and GO GET IT! You won’t be sorry!