Book Review: The Iron Warrior by Julie Kagawa
It’s been a while since I’ve done a book review. Partly due to the fact that I stated I wouldn’t review any books unless they had a five-star rating, partly because I’ve sort of forgotten. Sorry.
But the good news is I finally remembered to do a review and I just so happened to read a five-star book this week. Yippee! It’s actually one I’ve been waiting on for years. Literally. I accidentally began with Book 1 of this series back into 2013, which logic would say was the beginning. Alas, I missed the part where this was a spin off from another series by Kagawa – The Iron Fey series. You’ll notice this one is called The Iron Fey: Call of the Forgotten, so it’s totally different.
All this to say, I fell in love with both series and had been waiting for the last book of this series to come out for so long, that I forgot about it and never read it. But this past week I found it at the library and was happy to get the chance to finally finish Ethan and Kenzie’s journey through the Nevernever! Read on to find out what I thought. (Hint: As stated above with the five-star comment, I loved it!)
The Iron Prince—my nephew—betrayed us all.
He killed me.
Then, I woke up.
Waking after a month on the brink of death, Ethan Chase is stunned to learn that the Veil that conceals the fey from human sight was temporarily torn away. Although humankind’s glimpse of the world of Faery lasted just a brief moment, the human world has been cast into chaos, and the emotion and glamour produced by fear and wonder has renewed the tremendous power of the Forgotten Queen. Now, she is at the forefront of an uprising against the courts of Summer and Winter—a reckoning that will have cataclysmic effects on the Nevernever.
Leading the Lady’s Forgotten Army is Keirran himself: Ethan’s nephew, and the traitor son of the Iron Queen, Meghan Chase.To stop Keirran, Ethan must disobey his sister once again as he and his girlfriend, Kenzie, search for answers long forgotten. In the face of unprecedented evil and unfathomable power, Ethan’s enemies must become his allies, and the world of the fey will be changed forevermore.
So, like I said, I loved this series from the very first book I picked up. Kagawa does an excellent job explaining the world of the fey and the Nevernever and I’m downright amazed at how intricately each of the plots were able to weave together. Even in this very last book (which was technically book 7, total) she brings back references from previous books and is able to keep her world consistent with what she’s already laid out – a challenge in itself, considering how incredibly vast the world of the Nevernever truly is.
Ethan is the grumpy but lovable teen who struggles with doing what’s right and not making the same mistakes he saw his older sister, Meghan, make when she first journeyed through the Nevernever. I appreciate his struggle and was pleased to see that he didn’t stay a whiney brat for the entire novel, but he learned a thing or two by the end. He came to accept his sister’s decisions over the years and matured in his thinking. I loved that he could come to accept that no situation ever has just one point-of-view.
I enjoyed seeing Kenzie again, and liked that she had a bigger role than in the past. I’m also glad that the Nevernever didn’t magically cure her of her cancer, either. For some reason, I feared that Kagawa would have her cured by some trick of the fey, and end her story with a pretty bow on top. While Kenzie is in remission at the end, I liked that it had nothing to do with the Nevernever and was more of a real-world solution.
My greatest appreciation of this book was the ending with Kierran. Yes, he stabbed his best friend and uncle in the back – literally. Yes, it was obvious that Ethan wasn’t truly out for revenge from the beginning, no matter how angry he was about the whole thing. But my favorite part had nothing to do with Ethan – it had to do with Kierran’s dad, Ash. At the end of the climax, when the amulet was smashed and Kierran got his soul back, pretty much everyone wanted him dead and punished for his role in the destruction of the Veil and (almost) the Nevernever. Instead, his father saw him from afar and ran to him – gathered his son in his arms and forgave him for turning away. Gave him undeserved love. This screams of The Prodigal Son story from the Bible. The parallels with this being how God loves each of His children unconditionally was so obvious and clear. I honestly almost cried.
I have no idea if Kagawa is a Christian or if she even intended to have that snippet of the Father’s love for us in her story, but it just goes to show how impossible it is to separate God’s love from his Creation, no matter how hard we try. His fingerprint is everywhere we look.
Ok, enough said about that. To sum up my thoughts – I loved this and recommend you pick up the entire series, if you haven’t had the chance yet. You won’t be disappointed!
Happy reading, friends!