The last three months, I was on a blogging hiatus. I missed writing up reviews of several books, but would still like to give my overall thoughts.
Iron Fey series
Iron King, Iron Daughter, Iron Queen
By Julie Kagawa
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
Big Themes: Love Triangle, Quest, Fairy Lore, Responsibility
Summary: When Meghan’s brother is kidnapped, she heads into the world of Faery to get him back with the help of Puck, her best friend. But things get more complicated when Meghan learns who her father really is and meets the dangerous Ice Prince.
What I Liked:
Great Pacing: These books were full of action, twists, turns, and conflict that kept them moving along at a quick pace. I definitely think this is part of why Kagawa has seen so much success. These books are page-turners that you don’t want to put down.
World-Building: This was probably my favorite part of this series. Kagawa creates a great sense of logic for how the world of Faery exists and how it’s inhabitants are immortal. I don’t want to give too much of this away, but think Peter Pan… when you say you don’t believe in faeries… one dies. This translated really well to how she constructed the Iron Kingdom. Kagawa definitely created a world that was vivid enough to serve as a character in the story, and this was one of the highlights of the series for me!
Likable Characters: Meghan is a strong heroine who resolves to fight and not sit back and be protected. Ash was your typical brooding alpha male who can be cold at times (He is an Ice Prince!), but also shows a tender and protective side. Ash is the kind of male lead that I swoon for. Puck was a fun character… but see my criticism for my full thoughts on him… Grimalkin the cat made me giggle to myself on more than one occasion.
Moved to Emotion: I was moved to tears in Iron Queen, so that must say I was pretty invested in the characters. Mild spoiler… I think the whole sacrifice thing really gets to me in books.
Description Heavy Passages: I found myself occasionally skimming when I’d encounter description heavy passages. Again, I thought the world-building was fantastic, but I also think there were some areas where Kagawa could have trimmed and been more precise with her language.
Puck: Minor Spoiler… I felt like Puck wasn’t given a fair shot in the whole love triangle business and I felt like he didn’t live up to his potential. I mean it’s PUCK. Shakespeare’s Puck. Legendary Puck. I felt like the wit and humor could have been pushed more. I felt like more chemistry could have been established between Meghan and Puck if Kagawa wanted to go the love triangle route. I never had any doubt that Meghan would end up with Ash, and in a properly executed love triangle, there should be some question.
Meghan’s Abilities: Spoiler… Meghan doesn’t use her awesome abilities. If I was an ordinary human all my life, and suddenly learned I could do amazing stuff… I would want to do that amazing stuff all the time. Kagawa set up barriers to Meghan using her powers, like the Summer and Iron making her sick and stuff. Or her powers being blocked. But in Iron Queen, the fact that she wasn’t using her influence as the Iron Queen was driving me bonkers. She had all those pack rats that would obey her every word, and she barely used them at all. And her Iron abilities, barely uses them at all. I was constantly waiting for her to use her special abilities and predicting that she would, and kept being disappointed. This was a major flaw for me that kept me from really enjoying the last book.
Overall Rating: The world-building and pacing of these books make them enjoyable reads, the romance makes it a guilty pleasure and would make me give these books four stars. HOWEVER, the major flaws that I listed affect how I feel about the overall series. I’d have to knock down my overall rating to a three or three-and-a-half. Perhaps as Kagawa matures as a writer, we will see great things from her. I’ve heard good things about Immortal Rules!
Stay tuned for my review of Iron Knight…