Category Archives: Harlequin Teen

Review: The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa

  • Paperback:400 pages
  • Publisher:Harlequin; Original edition (October 25, 2011)
  • ISBN-10: 0373210361
  • Source: Meryl L. Moss Media Relations, Inc.

*Spoiler Warning: This is the fourth book in a series. If you have not read the prior books, please do not proceed.*

 

Ash, former prince of the Winter Court, is forced to deal with his past actions in Julie Kagawa’s fourth book of this series. Sworn to join Meghan in the Iron Kingdom, unable to enter due to his vulnerability to iron, Ash must travel to the End of The World to find a means of becoming human. A journey for mortality, all for the sake of love.

The journey is a challenging one, Ash must embrace the wrongs he has committed in the past.  Upon the end of the journey, he has  tough decision to make: a mortal life with Meghan or continue his mortal life. Is they love they share worth giving up his immortality?

In The Iron Knight, the author allows the reader to see a side of Ash hidden until now. Written from Ash’s point of view, his feelings, his insecurities, his fears, are all out on display. This vulnerability makes Ash a more likeable and sympathetic character. The reader is permitted to experience the love Ash has for Meghan, willing to ris his immortality to be reunited with her.  It was also rewarding to see how much her very presence changed him, molded him into a new individual. Since it is through Ash’s eyes that the reader experiences the story,  The Iron Knight does seem to have a darker feel that the previous books. Ash’s character development is clearly one of the many rewarding things about this book.

Of course, I enjoyed the return of secondary characters like Puck, Grimalkin and The Big Bad Wolf. They aid Ash in his journey to become human. This was quite the interesting journey, Ash forced to trust characters he’d been unable to trust before. The journey they make together is not only physically taxing and dangerous, but emotionally tolling as well.

Ultimately, The Iron Knight is a rewarding conclusion to such and enjoyable series. All the ends weren’t wrapped up neatly but I feel that many of my questions that persisted through the series have been answered. 

The Iron Knight and the previous books aren’t typically the types of books I enjoy reading. That said, Julie Kagawa has presented a world that I couldn’t help but enter and become immersed in, a series that I don’t regret reading.  While this series has come to an end, I look forward to more from the author. She’s done what many an author has attempted, but few have succeeded: convinced me to try a series outside of my comfort zone. Thank you, Julie! Highly recommended.

To close, for all you readers yet unable to get your hands on a copy of The Iron Knight, I’m happy to present you with an exclusive excerpt.  Tomorrow, visit Alexia’s Books and Such for yet another exclusive excerpt!

That part of my life is done. My loyalty-and my heart-belongs to another queen now. I promised I’d find a way for us to be together. I intend to keep that promise. Even if it means trekking through a sprawling, deadly marsh in search of a rumor. Even if it means putting up with my fiercest and most annoying rival, Robin Goodfellow, who-despite all his attempts to hide it-is in love with my queen as well.

Review: The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

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  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Harlequin Teen (February 1, 2010)
  • ISBN-10: 0373210086
  • Source: Publisher

One of Meghan Chase’s most vivid memories was of her father disappearing at the park.  She was six years old.  His shoes were found at the edge of a pond.  Searches by the authorities were fruitless.  He simply disappeared without a trace. Meghan is tortured by visions of her father walking into the pond.

Meghan and her mother ultimately move away from the life she had known.  The wind up in a small “hick” town and her mother remarries.  Fast forward ten years.  Meghan is about to turn sixteen, an important age for a young girl.  Yet her mother and step-father barely acknowledge this monumental event. The only one who seems to remember is her half-brother Ethan, who, at four years old, has fears of the boogeyman hiding in his closet. What if the boogeyman was real…

When Meghan returns home from school to find her mother unconscious on the floor with Ethan standing over her with an evil, mischievous grin, she knows something has gone awry.  She soon learns that her life isn’t what it seems.  Her brother has been abducted and replaced with a Faery changeling.  Her best friend Robbie is more than he seems as well.  Turns out his real name is Puck and he’s not your typical teenager.  With Puck’s help, Meghan must travel to the world of Never Never to rescue her brother.

Fans of Fae will be enthralled by this book.  Yes, every other book released lately seems to be about the Fae, but Kagawa puts a completely different spin on it.  The author also impressed me with the cast of strong main characters.  Typically when a book has too many main characters it can get overwhelming.  In this case, it did not.  Each character was developed very well and I was surprised at how much I liked each of them.  One of my favorites was Grimalkin, a talking cat who reminded me of The Cheshire Cat from The Adventures of Alice in Wonderland.

The Iron King has it all:  a lot of action and a little romance.  I’m anxiously awaiting the second book in the series, The Iron Daughter, due out in August.

Review: Intertwined, by Gena Showalter

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  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Harlequin (September 1, 2009)
  • Source: Publisher

Aden Stone isn’t your typical sixteen-year-old.  He’s not spending his time playing games on his Xbox 360.  He’s dealing with the four souls that share his body.  One is time traveler, one can see the future, one can raise the dead, and the final can possess the body of another human.  Aden speaks to each of the souls and this has forced Aden to move from foster home to foster home, from one psychiatric home to another.  The voices in his head never seem to quiet that is, until he meets Mary Ann.  Her presence alone brings him the peace and serenity he has craved for all his life.  While Aden seems to attract the supernatural, Mary Ann suppresses it. This peace doesn’t last long, for Aden & Mary Ann aren’t the only supernatural beings in town.  Aden’s supernatural “magnetism” has drawn all sorts of creatures in to town, including vampires, shape shifters, faeries. Aden & Mary Ann join forces with a shape shifter and a vampire princess to face the impending doom .

Overall, Intertwined was an engaging read. However, I do think it would be better served if it were split into two separate books.  There seemed to be so much going on at one time and got confusing in parts.  I think the character development was sacrificed in order to tie everything up into one book.  I would have liked to have learned more about the souls residing in Aiden’s mind.  I did note that a sequel, UNRAVELED, is scheduled for release in the fall of this year and I’m hoping we learn a bit more about Aden and his souls.