YA Fantasy is one of my favourite comfort-read genres, but its proliferation in the last decade or so has meant that keeping up with its many, many iterations has been nigh on impossible. This is the only explanation I have for having overlooked Julie Kagawa’s Iron Fey series for so long, a clever and tumultuous and angst-filled Midsummer Night’s Dream-infused fancy that is a prime example of its field.
Meghan Chase is our usual Awkward and Insecure Misfit Teen Heroine, who finds herself immersed in a fairyland — the fairy land, called here the Nevernever — after her younger brother is replaced with a changeling and she and her best friend Robbie (who, it turns out, is from said fairy land himself, and is also her secret protector) plunge into a magical world in order to save him. And, of course, meet the third member of their inevitable love triangle.
His name is Ash, by the way. Ash is mean in just the right kind of YA alphahole manner that all the good girls want.
Sorry, Robbie. Game over.
Yes, it is all very silly, and there are times when Meghan is just so infuriating in her Awkward and Insecure Misfit Teen-ness, but for all her missteps and misjudgments, her histrionics and her highly annoying incompetence, she feels very real in even this most unreal of circumstances. When she flips out about stuff, it is justified, and when she makes mistakes — so many, many mistakes — it makes sense, and when she triumphs in any way, she has mostly earned it.
There are six books in this series, and I have them all (they were a bargain find at an op shop, $4 the lot!), and I liked this one enough that I am ready to dive right into all of them, one after the other. On the one hand just to be done with them and get them off my TBR and out of my life, but on the other hand because I am genuinely invested, now, in this alterna-world of the fae. I especially want to know more about Meghan’s place in it.
Oh, did I mention she’s the daughter of the Fairy King?
But this is YA Fantasy, after all. Surely that was implied?
And it is, in fact, half the reason the book was so enjoyable. Because sometimes a well-executed version of a well-worn and well-loved trope is all you need to switch off your busy mind and send you into sweet, sweet, mindless (midsummer night’s) dreams.
TBR DAY 17: The Iron King (Iron Fey #1) by Julie Kagawa
GENRE: YA Fantasy
TIME ON THE TBR: 2 years.
PURCHASED FROM: Op shop.