Meghan Chase has never fit in at her small-town high school, and now, on the eve of her 16th birthday, she discovers why. When her half brother is kidnapped, Meghan is drawn into a fantastical world she never imagined--the world of Faery, where anything you see may try to eat you, and Meghan is the daughter of the summer faery king. Now she will journey into the depths of Faery to face an unknown enemy . . . and beg the help of a winter prince who might as soon kill her as let her touch his icy heart. The Iron King is the first book in the Iron Fey series. -Goodreads.com
I loved this book so much. I thought I'd read enough YA novels about faeries to last me a lifetime (well, really, I'd just read like two but they weren't that captivating which put me off books about faeries) then I read some of the reviews it's received so I decided to get it- best decision ever.
It does have typical elements to a faerie book: a Seelie/Summer court, an Unseelie/Winter court, a love triangle, a protagonist who discovers near the beginning of the book that she is part faerie, but there is so much more to the Iron King that doesn't make it cliched. For example: the Iron King himself. It was such an awesome, creative twist on faerie mythology and also sort of a warning that too much technology isn't always good. I also loved the idea the faeries lives were essentially based on humans' beliefs in them- I'm not sure whether it's a new idea or not, but it was genius! The characters actually acknowledged Shakespeare etc which made it a lot more believable.
I loved the world of Neverever that Kagawa created. I could visualise Meghan's surroundings at all times so the descriptions were perfect: beautiful to read, but not overwhelming at all. I really enjoyed reading about Meghan's experience at the Summer Court so I can't wait for the Iron Daughter when we will hopefully be able to read about the Winter Court. Furthermore, the world was an abode of an ample amount of all types of faeries: goblins, elves, satyrs, trolls, etc, which made the world and the story more enjoyable.
The characters were extremely likeable and well-crafted especially Puck, Meghan's best friend who turns out to be (as you can guess from the name) the prankster from A Midsummer Night's Dream, Grimalkin, the cat, very reminiscent of the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland, who acts as Meghan's guide, and of course, the swoon-worthy Winter Prince who shares a lot of chemistry with Meghan- what's particularly interesting about him, and what makes him different from similar characters in YA fiction, is that he wants to kill her, regardless of his feelings for her (or so it seems). Meghan is also a likeable character because of her determination to rescue her brother, although at the beginning I thought she was accepting everything a bit too quickly (although when the evidence is staring at you in the face, I guess it's hard not to accept it).
I would recommend this book to all lovers of faery books, those who have been hesitant to read books about faeries in the past, and anyone who appreciates a good book. It is that amazing.