The Iron Fey Series
Learn as much by writing as by reading
The First Six
It is my New Year policy to find some inspiring words written by someone else to start my website essays. This quote is what I came up with for this essay. Which are my views on the Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa. This review may rub people the wrong way because I am not a big fan of young adult or new adult fiction. I get caught because I read and listen to paranormal, urban fantasy, science fiction, high fantasy stories. They are very popular and go hand in hand with each other, crossing over into over-achieving but still underwhelming movies. Despite my mild irritation with them sometimes they are interesting enough to grab me. I might list the reasons why these genres or sub-genres irk me but that is essay for another time.
I may not have said this before but the books I read or listen to are rarely stand alone. They are also rarely just released. So I came to the Iron Fey series just last year. It was on sale on the audio book site I am member of. I was between books and I decided to try something different and new to me. I have seen the cover of the first book in the series the Iron King over the years. It was first released in February of 2010. The series is a bestseller and adapted to a graphic novel. I found that interesting as well. I am big fan of graphic novels and comics. Anime and manga as well. I was peaked.
The story begins with a human girl Meghan Chase on her 16th birthday, in someplace Louisiana. She is on the outcast in school, she lives on a pig farm and her only friend is another weird boy by the name of Robin. In fact although she loves her family and knows they love her, Meghan often feels like an afterthought in her parent’s memory. The only person that remembers her besides her good friend is her little brother Ethan. He is about four years old and remembers her birthday, when mother and stepfather didn’t. Ethan is special. So he is taken to the never-never by fairies. This begins Meghan’s adventure and the revelation that she is a part fey and fey royalty. Iron Fey are the opposite and enemy of the natural fey divided into two powerful courts Summer and Winter. Meghan must maneuver and negotiate with agents of both courts to save her brother and as the whole Never-never. She achieves these goals but the cost changes the course of her life forever. If I explained further than that, this wouldn’t be a skinny overview. However I have to add that Meghan also finds love. It is forbidden love but like all YA books, love must prevail over all. Meghan and her Prince Ash lay the ground work for the second series.
Caution here there be spoilers
It starts with this novella Iron’s Prophecy. In which Queen Meghan of the Iron Fey is happily married to Prince Ash formerly from the Winter Court. It is Elysium a time where the Summer and Winter Courts, meet and greet w/o killing each other. Meghan and her consort are also invited b/c the Iron Fey are an established Court of the Never-never. Meghan realizes that she is expecting. Then she is attacked by a proactive Fey oracle type. The creature shares with Meghan a horrible future and the never-never and the human world is at risk. There was a reason why Meghan and Ash’s love was forbidden. This sets up the stage of what will happens next in the story.
Series 2 of the Iron Fey is also named the Call of the Forgotten. Ten years go by and Four year old Ethan Chase is now sixteen years old, this is his story now. This is the story of the Lost Prince. The math may seem off but by the time series 1 ends, two years have passed. So that Meghan is a legal adult when she gets married. So actually it has been twelve years. Ethan like his older sister in the past is an outcast or maybe something worse, the new boy. Ethan is going to a new school. Ethan has a troubled past and sordid reputation. The Fey are involved. They make his life miserable because he can see them and he is related to a Queen. However Ethan’s contact Meghan is next to nothing. They have moved from the farm to the city to get away from the fey. As a result Ethan is surly, full of angst and anxiety. He has a full seething rage against the fey. He just wants a quiet school year. Of course that becomes impossible as he meets a Halfling who later disappears. In fact all the fey are mysteriously disappearing and weirder ones than usual are showing up. This becomes Ethan’s problem, when a girl by the name of Mac, ignores his hard bad boy persona and finds his gooey center. He goes into the Never-never with Mac to investigate. There he realizes two things: 1. He has a prince title from the iron fey. 2. He is an uncle and the nephew Kieran is the same age as him. Time in the never-never moves in mysterious ways. There is a new type of Fey introduced, the ghostly fey-essence eating forgotten. They prey on Halflings and exiled fey. Kieran and Ethan work together to stop them and it happens and they are successful to a degree. The Forbidden with their Queen stop feeding on Halflings and exiled fey. Ethan believes his life can get back to normal. He turns his back on the Fey world.
Iron Traitor is actually the Godfather with Fairies. Every time Ethan Chase tries to get out of the fey world they pull him back in, this time it may cost him his life. Anyone who has read the series knows blackest moment is coming up. I think in a sense Ethan knows it as well, he was stolen and tortured by the Fey when he was a smaller kid. It is quite possible that he always knew they would do him in. Mac, his totally understanding girlfriend is fascinated with the fey world. She has her reasons besides being the inquisitive editor/reporter of the school magazine.
Kieran has run away from the Iron Fey Court. Meghan, Ash and the rest are desperately trying to save him from himself. They enlist Ethan. He joins up because, well Kieran is family and despite his misgivings, Ethan does not want Kieran to get hurt or more entangled with the Forgotten Queen. She has a hold on him that is spooky. Ethan finds Kieran. They again work together to solve the serious problem. However as the title and book cover suggest, Ethan is betrayed by Kieran. It is heart breaking b/c during the whole course of the book we readers are praying that Kieran goes against the prophecy. The books ends with a huge cliff hanger. Ethan is dying slowly and the world is thrown into chaos as the veil between fairy and the human world is split in two.
I found the whole series interesting because it was able to keep the viewpoints of two young people as honest as possible. Julie Kagawa writes an excellent misunderstood teen. In series 1, Meghan was clueless and the Fey used her naiveté. She has lost an important people in her life. She feels out of place in the world. Ethan in series 2 is more prepared. He has always known and seen the fey. He is always on guard. He prepares himself the best he can for bad situations. He also suffers from guilt and anger at the fey. They took his sister away and she stayed away once Kieran was born. Kieran too feels troubled, although he is a Prince. He is also a unique being, related to all the courts, part human and powerful. He has felt that there is something his parents has kept from him his whole life. The fey world is all he has ever know but still feels out of place there. Ironically Ethan and Kieran are similar in surprising ways, like they both resent Meghan and Ash for keeping them apart. They both have big hearts and willing to do anything to protect and save the people they love. Emotions are very strong and they were really performed well by the narrators of the story.
My only problem for now is that I have yet to see the book that will complete the series in the making. Two years have passed already. Julie Kagawa has produce two different YA series and they both seem to be doing well. There is no novella or inkling of another book. I know that the writing process is sometimes fickle but I wonder if she is thinking about her fans. The ones that are at this moment or after typing out misleading fan-fiction. The ones that check her website every week or so to see if book seven is on the way. I am one of that number. There is also the publishing company to consider, Harlequin Teen. Should I start a writing campaign? These are the few things I wonder about when thinking about this series.
In conclusion the series is worth reading or listening to. It is something new on an old trope of fiction. I should be envious but I since I have moved away from that negative paths. I can give the book three and half stars.