The Iron King by Julie Kagawa
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The Iron King was more of a 3.5 star rating. It was a solid read, but not one of my favourites and it certainly had some flaws.
Kagawa had some exceptional world building in this novel. She clearly put a lot of research into the fey mythology, to the book's benefit. As a huge fan of A Midsummer Night's Dream, I really loved that Oberon, Titania, and particularly Puck were featured. The writing was sometimes a little slow, but not so much that I lost interest.
A downside to this world building, however, was that there were almost too many different species of fey. It was hard to keep track of them all! And I don't mind a lot of species and characters, as long as they all have a clear purpose - but a lot of them didn't. A lot of them were thrown in to make Meghan's day more difficult and nothing else (think the goblins, redcaps, and gremlins).
Having said this, I think the concept of iron fey was truly unique. The existence of these iron fey really got me thinking about technology, and how we sometimes advance it at the expense of nature. I loved that it was thought-provoking and touched on these larger issues without being preachy.
The romance aspect of this book was, unsurprisingly, very disappointing. Ash did nothing to make me like him besides being attractive. He's a fairly typical brooding bad guy - very cookie cutter, with no unique twist. Puck, on the other hand, I thoroughly enjoyed! He was true to his Shakespearean inspiration - the ultimate trickster - but was intensely loyal to Meghan throughout the novel. I personally hope Meghan will end up with him, but I am almost positive she will choose Ash (because, don't they always?)
Ash and Puck weren't even my favourite characters - I am obsessed with Grimalkin. Maybe I'm just a crazy cat lady, but the idea of a talking cat is heavenly - and Grimalkin was thoroughly entertaining. Whenever I found myself losing interest in this book, it was because Grimalkin wasn't around! Grimalkin for President (and the packrats for senate).
Overall, this was an entertaining read, with great world-building and some interesting characters (though the romance was flat). I would especially recommend this novel to anyone who loves fey mythology or A Midsummer Night's Dream, because Kagawa is very true to the lore.
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