So, fervent apologies for creating a blog and then disappearing into the void. I hear that's bad for business. I moved and had no internet (long story, boo installation scheduling) but now I have internet. Yay!
And I have an apartment, which is fun. It's certainly different.
For instance, the maintenance guys are here chillin' as I write this.
Well, they aren't chilling, per say, as much as they are...maintaining? They're super nice, though.
At any rate, I digress.
While I had no internet I did get quite a bit of reading done, and I made my first foray into a teen fiction dealing with the Fey.
And not just any fey, The Fey. Fey of Shakespearean proportions and epicness, who wage fearsome politics, magic, and have love affairs with humans. (Also optional: Terrifying or kidnapping said humans.)
I bought The Iron King as an ebook ages ago, but hadn't gotten around to reading it until recently. I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would. Don't get me wrong, the cover is gorgeous and the premise sounded fun, but as much as I love Shakespeare (and I do love me some Shakespeare) I wasn't sure I wanted a whole story about an American Teen in King Oberon's Court.
Ye who fear Shakespeare, fear not! Kagawa's world building is magnificent - and no stuffiness to be found. (The Bard forgive me.)
Meghan Chase, our heroine, is an average teen girl whose insecurities and difficulties mostly stem from economical and social class issues. Her family is poor, and all her classmates are aware of it. Meghan at points seems to wear it as a badge of honor. She's not a genius, but she's smart. She doesn't think she's the hottest thing since sliced French bread, but she (as far as I remember) doesn't think she's the ugliest stick in the woods either, which I appreciated. I like my lead characters to have some semblance of self-confidence.
For example, after she discovers Robbie's true identity and he does his "trick" with the crows, I especially appreciated her total and complete freak out. It wasn't some ho-hum moment where she knew it all along or wasn't phased because he'd been her best friend forever. It's a legitimate what-the-heck-is-my-life-right-now moment and it's fantastic.
Also fantastic? Puck. He's hilarious and dangerous and is willing to defy his King to assist Meghan in her quest to rescue her little brother. *insert girly sigh here*
I also loved Ethan, Meghan's younger brother. He's absolutely adorable. Think:
|Honey from Ouran High School Host Club|
There's a lot of action and adventure in this story, which keeps it moving at almost break neck speed as Meghan and her companions try to navigate the NeverNever to accomplish her mission of finding Ethan and discovering her own identity in the world of the fey. Meghan grows as the story goes along, and she becomes pretty savvy, even if she makes a few unfortunate deals. (The fey take their deals very, very seriously.) All though, one such deal brings us the character Grimalkin, who is the most awesome cat. If this ever gets made into a movie, Alan Rickman needs to be the voice of Grimalkin. That's how awesome this cat is.
And yes, there is the complicated fact that Meghan finds herself attracted to the Winter Prince, Ash. I'm not overly fond of Ash in this first outing, but I'm willing to give him a chance in volumes to come.
Over all, I very much enjoyed the Iron King and will certainly be continuing on with the series to find out what happens to Meghan, Puck, Ash, and Grim.
The Iron King was first published by Harlequin Teen in 2010.
I give The Iron King four out of five stars and would recommend it to teens and YA readers who enjoy fantasy, action/adventure, and snarky cats.