Friday, March 11, 2011

Book Review: The Iron King

Oops, this was supposed to be scheduled for tomorrow. Lucky you! Here is Friday's post a day early. See you Monday, happy weekend writing!

I've been wanting to review more books on here for a while, but for some reason never get around to it. After days and weeks go by, I usually forget what I liked and didn't like so I don't review. Today I finished The Iron King by Julie Kagawa, so I'm writing the review. (Actually finished on Wednesday)

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 Take:
I really enjoyed this book. That's saying a lot, because I've tried to read several books over the last few months and decided that my reading self was broken. Yeah. For the first time in my life I've struggled to really get into a book, but finally, finally someone pulled me in again.

Kagawa weaves a beautiful tale pulling on familiar threads such as A Midsummer Night's Dream by the Bard himself. This allowed me to already have a feel for Oberon, Titania and Puck. Oh, how I love Puck. (I really wish I could be as good at pranks as he is. He really reminds me of Peter Pan a lot, don't you think?
At the same time, Kagawa made the classic fey something new. The creation of the Iron Fey is absolutely brilliant. The whole time I kept thinking, "Of course! That makes so much sense!" Ok, some of you may be wondering what I'm talking about, but beware it might be a bit of a spoiler--but I'll try to be annoyingly vague.

If faeries came into existence because of the hopes and dreams of the world, they would logically change as the world's hopes and dreams change. Right? A technologically advancing culture sets their hearts upon new things, that in turn call a new form of faeries into existence to challenge the Seelie and Unseelie courts.

Add a budding romance in the Romeo and Juliette vein and you've got a winner all around. I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the series. The Iron Daughter and The Iron Queen are both out, and another one from Ash's point of view to come out this fall (I believe).

Things to look forward to:

In the future I plan to review the books that Electric Spec Editors Blog posted. It is the top 10 SF&F books of the last decade as voted on by readers (I think it was readers) of a poll at Tor books.

I'm currently reading Old Man's War by John Scalzi and have American Gods by Neil Gaiman on deck. These were the first two on the list.

I figured I really needed to get a better picture of the current SF trends. My habit is to read classic SF and well, I know my style is a bit "lighter" than my favorites.

Writerly Update:

You may have noticed that I removed the Query Stats box from the sidebar. I've really wrestled with things this last month. I still want to be published more than anything, but I decided it was worth waiting for. As I've stewed over my trilogy and what I really want to accomplish with it I realized I'm not ready. I have a great story that I really believe in and I want it to be the very best that it can. When it's ready, I think I'll have a much better sense of who to submit it to.

It's a fun ride kind of story now, but I keep thinking of layers that I can add. These layers will make it mean something more than a good story. Right now I glaze over the things that are important to me, but I can dig deeper, expand the story, solidify my characters so that they become real to everyone--not just me.

To be honest, I'm really excited about the decisions I've made the last week. I'll tell you more in a future post.


  1. How cool that Shakespearean plots are being explored and updated!

    I can understand your decision to pull away from querying until you're happier with your manuscript. At times the online community can give us a false sense that publishing is some kind of race. It's really more important to invest in making your book something you're really proud of, then query. In the mean time, keep up the good work with short stories! The SciFi market is good and building up pub credits will help you when your novel(s) are query-ready.

  2. A fascinating sounding book. And I'm glad you've reached such a good place with your writing.

  3. It's tough to decide you aren't ready to submit. Power to you for doing it! There is a book I want to submit so badly but it just isn't ready yet. Thanks for the review on The Iron King too! I'll be checking that one out!

  4. Great review! Good for you, on the writing/query thing. Tough, but will be worth it!

  5. Thanks everyone! It has been a hard decision, but I kept thinking, what if these four books are the only ones in me? Would I want them out there 2/3rds finished? No, I would want them to be the very best they can be, and that is worth waiting for while I put in the work needed.

    *sigh* I am going to take a break though and work on some totally unrelated flash fiction pieces for a while. You know, to clear my mind, practice concise writing, and maybe work up some publishing credits.

  6. This sounds like a great read. It's been a while since I've found a decent fairy story so this looks like it's right up my street.


  7. Great review. I can't wait to read it. Thanks for the post.

  8. Awesome review of Iron King. I put it on my to-read shelf right away :)

    It can be hard to decide that there is yet More Work to do on a project, but it's always worth it. Good luck with the layering :)


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