This is the first book in the Iron Fey trilogy by Julie Kagawa, The second book “The Iron Daughter” is due out in August of 2010. I got my copy of this book through the Amazon Vine Program. This was an awesome book and blew other young adult fairy series right out of the water.
Meghan Chase lives on a pig farm and her family is poor but her life isn’t awful. Then her brother complains about a dark man in his closet; when Meghan goes to look she thinks she sees something there, but when she looks directly it is gone. Things start getting weirder and weirder for Meghan. When she comes home to find her mother knocked out on the kitchen floor and her younger brother Ethan replaced by something that’s not Ethan but looks like him…well she freaks. Luckily her friend Robbie comes to her aid. Only Robbie is not really her friend but the good old Puck sent to protect Meghan…because…you guessed it she is actually a fairy princess in hiding. Meghan then embarks on a dark journey to save her brother and find out the truth of her own past.
This was an awesome book. I really enjoyed Kagawa’s writing style. Her writing style is to the point but leaves room for beautiful description. Kagawa is not afraid to show the dark side of the fae and does an excellent job of making them creepy. She also excelled at the action scenes, they were awesome…with enough danger and gore to make them believable but not overdo it. She doesn’t shy away from violence…there is some swearing, some talk of rape, and lots of injuring in this book. None of it was excessive and I thought it made for a better story, unlike some YA fantasy that shies away from showing the darker side of fairy.
The characterization was also very well done. Meghan is an excellent character that really is just a normal girl caught in extraordinary circumstances. She doesn’t whine, she just does the best she can and through her wits and caring nature she accomplishes a lot. Robbie and Ash are also excellent characters, both of them have deep dark pasts that make their characters at times tender and at times very dangerous, even bordering on evil.
The concept of fairy that Kagawa uses is unique. I loved that she adds in a third fairy group that both the Unseelie and Seelie courts are in danger from. The idea of human belief causing the rise of this third fairy group was unique and I loved how human advancement in technology ties into it all. A very unique idea; at times it reminded me of parts of the Neverending Story and at times it got a little sci-fi.
The story wraps up well at the end, but definitely leaves you wondering what will happen in Meghan’s future. I really, really want to read “Iron Daughter” as soon as I can get a copy of it.
Overall this blows away most of the other young adult fairy literature that I have read. It is much better than Marr’s Wicked Lovely series, better than Lament, and better than Aprilynne Pike’s Wings (although I did like that book). I put this book on par with Holly Black’s Modern Fairy Tales series; and I loved that series to death so that is saying a lot!