A blog about books. Oh, and some other stuff too.

Brunch Book Club – November Discussion of The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

bbc_nov13headerThrough some serendipitous quirks in planning, Michele and I were both available to meet before an evening of bookish events (thank you, HarperCollins!). Foregoing brunch for once, we found a warm and delicious (add cheap and cheerful) restaurant in Chinatown where we could enjoy something yummy for dinner while we had our chat. Corn and chicken chowder and BBQ Pork for the win, people!

As with all our discussions, we will be talking about various aspects of the book, so please take this as a SPOILER WARNING. If you haven’t yet read the book, then we will quite likely talk about something you might not want to know as of yet!

Michele and I both agreed that we had our reservations about this book, mainly due to the subject matter of faeries. Neither of us are particularly keen on the faery genre, but we had both heard such amazing things about this series that we really wanted to investigate – hence its inclusion on the read along. Surprisingly, we both really enjoyed the book, and agreed that we wanted to continue to find out more about where the story will take us. Michele had already purchased the series via a Harlequin Teen sale, and I purchased the next three books right after finishing the first!

While Michele was less enamoured of Meghan as a main protagonist, I had fewer problems with her by the end. She was a fairly classic teenager, with the typical self-absorption issues so common to her age. While I did feel that she was a little annoying, to my mind her mother was the least likeable of all the characters. I strongly disliked that she hid her knowledge of what her daughter’s heritage was from Meghan, leaving her defenceless and unknowing. To my way of thinking, a parent is someone who prepares their child for success in the future, even that future might be a little murky or other-worldly.

Both of us were less than keen on the Insta-Love aspect of the story, especially because Meghan and Ash had virtually nothing in common, besides being children of ruling Fae. It seemed a little unnatural to us, and there really wasn’t any basis for their connection.

However, we were both completely absorbed with Kagawa’s world building. Her descriptions of the Fae world were dark and a little sinister, and gave a distinct edge to the story that made it stand out from others in the genre. The development of the Iron Fey world was also extremely well done and I proposed that there is much more to be discovered about this world. We loved how she brought contemporary connections into the traditional storyline, imbibing the vernacular of our modern tech world into the Fae beliefs, and thus creating a fully believable new Fae court. I also enjoyed how the new Fae were the antithesis of the traditional Courts, with the usual weaknesses becoming their core strength. Michele and I were enchanted by the pack-rat characters, and we both felt that they added a touch of humour (as well as a much-needed ally for Meghan) to the story.

Michele made the connection to how similar this story was to the Lord of the Rings saga – right down to how Meghan kept losing her quest companions to various events – while I was drawn into the Shakespearian connections. Puck is so similar to his Midsummer Night’s Dream version, slyly working for Oberon while still having his own agenda. We would love to read the back story between Puck and Ash and how they had their falling out as we felt that it would give the story an extra dimension.

I brought up how I wondered just how Ethan might be affected, and if he will return to the land of the Fae, and both of us confessed that we had kind of forgotten about Ash’s declaration to bring Meghan back to the Court at the end of the quest. It certainly set up the next book perfectly, and left us both wanting to know more immediately.

Overall, despite the Insta-Love aspect, we felt that this was a strong start to the series and definitely one that we would recommend.

Did you read and review this month’s selection? If so, please hop over to Just a Lil’ Lost and link up your review to join the conversation! 

Join us in December as we read The Madman’s Daughter!

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4 Responses »

  1. I liked the World building of this book too, but it wasn’t enough to make me want to continue with the series. Meghan was too annoying, and she really didn’t do much of anything – all the secondary characters were the ones who did the “heavy lifting.”

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    • Agreed – I felt that she spent the first part of the book being dragged along, and not recognizing the inherent danger of the place she was in with her fixation on finding her brother. I did think that she came into her own a bit more as she started to lose her companions, and she had to stand on her own two feet more and more.

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  2. I really love this series so I’m happy to hear you both enjoyed it. I found Meghan annoying at first but she’s one of those characters that really grows both in the book and throughout the series which I find way more interesting than someone who is strong right off the bat. And though I was put off by the Insta love at first their relationship also grows a lot throughout the series and the Iron Knight is one of my favourite books. It’s really one of those series that gets better with every book. Can’t wait to hear your thoughts on the rest!

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