The Iron King by Julie Kagawa
Published February 1st 2010 by Harlequin Teen
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.
It's not everyday that a teenager from Louisiana has to travel into the world of the Fae to rescue her little brother. Lots of strange things do happen in Louisiana (If you've ever been to the French Quarter, you know this) but faery abductions are rare. Notice I did not deny the possibility that there are faery abductions since that would be a reckless thing to say on my part, as they might be listening and they might decide to prove a point.
Let's stop a moment and all collectively clap our hands just to be on the safe side.
Meghan has to brave the terrors of the wyldwood, the vicious, ungoverned territory in the world of the fae that separates the Seelie and Unseelie courts. Here she begins to understand the dark, deceptive nature of the Fae and that even the slightest bit of help, comes with a price. An unexpected separation from Puck, her friend and faery guide, leaves Meghan with no choice but to solicit the aid of Grimalkin, a cat like creature with hidden designs who is all to eager to exact a debt from the daughter of the Seelie King. Her arrival in the Summer Court, home of King Oberon, reveals a side of Meghan's life that she would never dream existed. Here she is only a pawn for the fae, both Seelie and Unseelie, to use in their endless wars amongst themselves. With creatures from every side vying for control of Oberon's daughter, they have little concern with her quest to free her brother. But they forget, as a powerful faery princess, Meghan can decide her own fate.
This book is so much fun! There's a great adventure taking place and Kagawa's world sucks you in until you're running for your life along side a faery princess! Not a bad turn of events for someone who had just resigned herself to nonchalantly read the story from the safety and familiarity of her hammock. I really wasn't expecting to enjoy this story as much as I did. The concept seemed rather silly and maybe a bit juvenile until I remembered that THERE IS NOTHING NICE ABOUT FAERIES.
I loved Meghan for not being an incompetent whiner. This girl holds her own in this strange, exotic world- even if she does lack the sense to NOT fall in love with a guy who has vowed to kill her. Ah, youth. I'm not going to dwell on the fact that the whole falling-in-love-with-the-bad-guy thing is a bit played out, because it's the running gag in romance right now so I can let it slide. And hey, we've been there. That swarthy, overly tattooed bartender with the eyebrow ring? So not a good idea. But for future reference, authors, it's bad form to love your potential murderer. Just FYI.
I read this book cover to cover in about a second and a half because I was unable to put it down. I was be-spelled, entranced, and ensorcelated (that word copyright 2011 by Life After Jane, not to be used with out express permission of the owner).
"Excuse me, sir!" I gasped as the policeman turned to me. "Could you help me? There's a gang chasing-"
I stumbled back in horror. The officer regarded me blankly, his jaw hanging slack, his eyes empty of reason. He lunged and grabbed my arm, and I yelped, kicking him in the shin. It didn't faze him, and he grabbed my other wrist.
Plus 10 points for having zombies.
I loved that Meghan lived in Louisiana, and fought faeries just over the pond (i.e. The MS River) from me since it only involved me further in the story. I've got the sequel, The Iron Daughter set to go as my next read. And now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to run off into the backyard and look for fairies. I’ll let you know what I find, and if we don’t speak again, you’ll know that they, found me.
*Thanks to Donna @ Bites for the enthusiastic review that prompted me to pick this book up.