Trying to finish up reviewing books from last year so I can start 2013 fresh. Reviewing four books at once will help. 🙂
I feel like I’ve talked about these books a lot, but it might have been mostly on the podcast. Most of the mentions on the blog have probably been my attempts to find copies of all four books in the series. And then I broke down and bought them all. Why? Because they’re that good!
The Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa consists of four books: The Iron King, The Iron Daughter, The Iron Queen, and The Iron Knight. Since I have been reading a lot more books about fairies lately, these had a lot to live up to. They didn’t disappoint. The series tells the story of Meghan Chase, a teenage girl whose little brother is kidnapped by the fey and taken deep into the Nevernever, or the fairy realm. While trying to rescue him, Meghan not only discovers that her best friend Robbie is actually Robin Goodfellow (or Puck, as most people know him from A Midsummer Night’s Dream), but that she is half-fey herself, an illegitimate offspring of Oberon, king of the Summer Court.
She also discovers Ash, the youngest son of Mab, queen of the Winter Court. The two fairy courts are uneasy allies, but their hatred for one another adds a whole other layer of tension throughout the books. The one thing that could unite them – a common enemy – is found in the Iron Fey, a new generation of fairy born of mankind’s dreams of modern technology. Since iron is usually poisonous to fairies, this new enemy has a very powerful weapon and their very existence is threatening to destroy the Nevernever. The Iron King is behind stealing Meghan’s brother and it is him she must face in order to get her brother back.
That all takes place in the first book alone! In the later books, Meghan develops feelings for Ash, only to have him betray her to the Winter Queen, who takes Meghan prisoner. The Iron Fey are still lurking out there, slowly taking over the Nevernever, while both Courts try to turn a blind eye, focused only on their hatred for each other. There is also my favorite magical feline since the Cheshire Cat – Grimalkin, the cat saith, a fey catlike creature who is always there to help Meghan, but for a price.
The best thing about these books for me though was the treatment of the fey themselves. Julie Kagawa does something pretty unique here, by giving us both a very classic, traditional fey, but also something completely different and new. If the fey are created from the stuff of dreams, why shouldn’t a new type of fey spring up based off mankind’s ever growing love of metal and technology? It makes perfect sense, and it’s this conflict between the two that makes the series so interesting and engaging. Add to that a great supporting cast of fairies and other creatures, and you’ve got a really good story.
Since finishing this series, I found out that Julie Kagawa has started another series that is based off Meghan’s brother. Must add that to the list! If it’s anything like the Iron Fey, it will be an enjoyable read.