I am yet to figure out if I really enjoyed The Iron King. Having never read anything about the Fae universe before, and having heard great things about Julie Kagawa from authors I know and love, I had an open mind and was expecting something new and exciting.

Perhaps my expectations were too high? Introduced to Meghan Chase (the social outcast who discovers, on her birthday of course, that there is something truly different about her), the formula is easy to predict. For the record, I like the formula. I don’t need a book to have an original plot line to love it – but it needs to be done well. Iron King just didn’t feel like it was put together properly. Maybe my lack of Fae knowledge was to blame, but I found it difficult to construct the fantasy world in my head – Meghan, Puck, Grimalkin and Prince Ash move through so many parts of this world that it’s hard to keep a mental image of what’s going on. I found myself skim reading large chunks of descriptions that felt excessive and not overly necessary to the story, and there seemed to be a relatively low content of actual dialogue.

Aside from the setting, the characters were a mixed bag. Robbie/Robin/Puck was beautifully constructed in the first section of the book, and I was looking forward to his character development – yet he disappeared and reappeared so many times during the course of the novel that this never happened. Prince Ash, too, held amazing potential for development after his initial introduction, but again, he tossed and turned between the good guy love interest, and the back-stabbing enemy. The romance between Meghan and Ash seemed like a great idea for most of their journey, and yet when it happened it felt disjointed and strange. The jump from, ‘I’m just here for my own selfish reasons’ and ‘You make me feel alive again,’ happened within less than 20 pages. Kagawa teased the reader (but maybe it’s just me) with the suggestion that Meghan’s ‘dad’ plays a crucial part in her journey – but it amounted to absolutely nothing. I only hope it’s something that’s addressed in later books.

Having said all this, I was determined to finish the book. Long story short, if I don’t like a book, I refuse to finish it – there are too many great books in the world to waste time with ones I don’t enjoy. So perhaps it was the impending romance, or the desire to find out where the heck Meghan’s little brother was, I don’t really know. But I finished it, and I will probably read the sequels (apparently there’s a love triangle – can’t really go wrong with one of those!).