Title: 1) The Iron King 2) The Iron Daughter 3) The Iron Queen 4) The Iron Knight (coming soon)

Author: Julie Kagawa

Redonk Synopsis: Half human half faery unwillingly steps into the realm of The Fey

I had seen the covers of these beauts several times and thought, “oooo…that’s awfully pretty,” but then passed over them in lieu of a different selection.  I finally committed to reading this series after hearing positive buzz about the most recent release, The Iron Queen.  Yeah, yeah, I know – get an original idea, Amanda.  But seriously, I’m glad I finally got around to them, because these were a real fun romp of a read.

Meghan Chase is on the cusp of turning 16 – she lives a somewhat ordinary life until certain…strange…things beginning happening around her.  The biggest of them is the disappearance of her younger brother, Ethan; or rather he didn’t quite disappear.  No – he was replaced by a ravenous doppelganger.  A faery one.  Meghan quickly finds out her best friend, Robbie, is more than he appears to be, and the strange occurrences that have been happening are all linked to the faery world, Nevernever.  Meghan decides to venture to Nevernever to retrieve her brother, and in the process she comes face to face with trolls, goblins, driads, nymphs, the intimidating King & Queen of the Summer Court, the icy Winter Queen Mab, and Mab’s alluring youngest son, Prince Ash.  Most importantly, Meghan comes to find out she is actually part fey, and she may be the only one capable of figuring out why Nevernever is dying to a strange epidemic of iron.

This is a YA series, and Julie Kagawa’s first step into the world of publishing.  She creates an amazingly awesome world.  Her faery world is terrifying, violent, and brilliantly ravishing.  She manages to keep it refreshing as well.  What I appreciated most about Kagawa’s style was her ability to create suspense.  All three books are chock full o’ action that leaves it difficult to put down the book.  The characters are intriguing, especially the dynamic between our heroine’s two love interests, Puck (Robbie) and Ash. I also appreciated that Meghan, though a typical teenager, is a strong, independent woman who gradually comes into her own.  In The Iron King she starts out ignorant and overwhelmed and by The Iron Queen she has figured out her place in the world.  Unlike other popular YA fantasies, this series is fairly violent – there’s blood guts and gore (Score!) and LOTS of sexual tension.  There are also some funny moments, and several of the supporting characters are a hoot (Ironhorse?  I loved that hunk o’ horse!)

I had a fun time with this series. Originally author Julie Kagawa envisioned this as a trilogy, but she recently announced that there would, indeed, be a fourth (and final).  There is also a novella, Winter’s Passage, available solely as an ebook.

What I loved about this book: The world building was phenomenal.  The series is also terribly romantic with lots of kissing, sighing, and caressing.  Who couldn’t fall in love with Ash?  Or Puck?

What I didn’t like: I wasn’t always quite 100% convinced in Meghan’s love for Ash – it was a bit rushed for my tastes

Rating: B  If I had to pick a favorite in the series (so far), it’d probably be a toss up between 1 & 3; the first one was great – almost perfectly paced and delightfully suspenceful; the third was just…EPIC.

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