Author: Julie Kagawa
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Read Time: 4 days
Rating (1-5): 4
Tag Words: Fey, Iron, series, Puck, Oberon, Titania, Love Triangle, Prince, Mab, Warrior, fairytale, Changeling, Sixteenth birthday, love story, adventure, humor
On Meghan Chase’s sixteenth birthday, her brother is replaced with a changeling. Armed with charismatic, ancient faery, Meghan sets out to reclaim her brother to the natural world and defeat the evil that holds him. In the land of Fey, the Wyldwood are dying. Iron is diminishing the imaginative and ancient life dreamed up before invention. Meghan is a mortal of two worlds, holding powers that run deep. Will her strength be enough to fight new enemies, save her family, and warm the heart of a frozen prince?
I love the Fey, I think their stories make the most interesting adventures, and Julie Kagawa's new-world approach to the ancient stories only increased my intrigue. Kagawa used the minds of mortals to create the world of Faeryland. In a combination of Peter Pan’s Tinkerbell-esque “everytime a child says, ‘I don’t believe in Faeries,’ a faery somewhere falls down dead.” And the writing of William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Kagawa describes a new kind of immortal world, one with a weakness to iron and the progression of a technological society. I loved this approach, my only problem is the length of time it took to arrive at the original concepts. Everything was a bit cliché until Ironhorse and Virus made their appearance. After that I really enjoyed the adventure and can’t wait to read the coming sequels!
Unfortunately, Kagawa’s heroine, Meghan Chase, remains only a placeholder in my mind. Meghan is narrating the entire adventure, which left little to no room for inner-monologue. Her few thoughts were “Don’t think Ash is sexy” and she suffers from a dream that Ethan is being mistreated in captivity. Other than that I really didn’t feel like I got to know the character. I was told, rather than shown her “weakness” and I was a bit dazed when she grew some courage at the end. I also felt that the story lacked a sense of desperation on the part of Meghan. She wasn't desperate to find her brother, make Ash love her, or become a powerful warrior. She just stumbled (sometimes literally) through the story.
I did like Meghan’s words though. Kagawa’s speech was so interesting; she created a diverse language in the old way of the noble Fey, the passive voice of Grimalkin, as well as Meghan’s unique teenage perspective. Some of her phrases were so abrupt, giving you multiple levels to play on, instead of just floating around the sparkly faeryland.
I am putting money that this will be my least favorite of the Iron Fey series. From here on, Meghan has joined the Fey, maybe her true nature will become the character I was longing for in the first book.
Notes on the Names: Instead of concentrating on the names of the characters I want to sift through the place names. There was the Nevernever (eye roll) the Wyldwood (pretty cool, very Fey, using the ‘Y’) Faeryland (really? Why not Feyville, or Sparkle City?) and Witchwood (I wouldn’t have used this name in connection with the Dryads, it’s just too witchy for their majestic and serene ways.) I thought that the places really lacked creativity and a sense of wonderment.
Thoughts on the Cover: It’s embossed and the pages have a gorgeous design as well. It carries the theme well, but until you reach the place where Kagawa’s Fey meld with the cliché faery world, the whole “iron” concept is really lost. The model looked exactly like I pictured Meghan, but whether that was due to seeing the model first, or my own imagination, we will never know.
I'm not ready to pick a team yet, both characters, Ash and Puck have their highs and lows and I just don't have enough on either of them to pick who is best for Meghan, I personally am not entranced by either, though Ash claiming that Meghan brought him back to life made my tummy flip. So, this is my song for the Summer Princess, the Winter Prince and the Jester. May the best Fey win!