The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

The Iron King - Julie Kagawa

The Iron King

This book had a hard time winning me over from the get-go. Once the Robbie/Puck semblance had been established, I feared that it would turn out to be a retelling of A Midsummer Night's Dream for teens. Fortunately, it didn’t. So much could have gone wrong in such an endeavour.

Puck/Robbie turned out to be my favourite character. However, Meghan’s adventures never really kept me interested, especially when she was separated from Robbie. Her choice of putting her own and her family’s well-being in the hands of someone she hardly knew and who openly proclaimed that his intentions might be detrimental to her own goals baffled me. As a heroine, she wasn’t as self-reliant as I would have liked.

I guess that I should have found satisfaction in the character development, but I didn’t. The changeling brother and the quest to free the real little brother from fairy captivity, while being an overused topic, had potential. But Meghan’s mantra-like repetition that she had to go on to save Ethan (who really was quite cute to make the reader care about his fate) smacked of pretext and I couldn’t shake the feeling that, after a while, she did this more for herself, to find out more about her roots and the possible implications for her future, than for any real concern for her brother’s well-being. After all, her “real” life’s circumstances aren’t that great and the desire to find a way, any way, to change them is quite understandable.

There isn’t much I can directly criticise. It’s not a bad book, but on turning the final page I KNEW that I wouldn’t pick up the next novel in the series. Frankly, I was bored for most of the time and it was really tough going. The prose and story telling were just not my cup of tea, I guess. Also, a somehow bland rehash of fairy lore. Everything I need to know about fairies I learned from Terry Pratchett already. There!