The Iron Fey series is my latest obsession. You know those books that just grab you and sweep you away to another world? The ones you can't possibly put down because, hey, you just found them, and there are at least three more books in the series J? Yeah, this Julie Kagawa lady really gets it. How do you create an impossible to put down series? Let's run through the basics, shall we?
1) Take a tried and true plot, and give it a twist.
In The Iron King (first in the series), Kagawa takes the whole "teen who has no idea she's a princess" idea and elevates it to another level. When Meghan Chase turns sixteen, there's nothing sweet about it: She starts seeing things--impossible things--out of the corner of her eye; her best friend starts acting more like a bodyguard; and her younger brother gets kidnapped* and taken to a place that shouldn't exist--a place where the Seelie and Unseelie Courts exist in a constant state of unease, a place where promises are binding, a place where a dark fairy prince could either kiss or kill you. Yes, this plot is common in fairy stories, but the twist is a new bad guy: The Iron Fey--a threat to both Courts born of technology and ruthless human ambition.
(*Added bonus: The girl-in-search-of-her-kidnapped-brother subplot reminded me of The Labyrinth J. I kept waiting for David Bowie to show up and bust out a ballad lol!)
2) Add a dash of romance.
As I mentioned, there is a dark fairy prince who has it out for Meghan--but after they dance, the wall around Prince Ash's wintry heart begins to thaw, and no matter how hard he tries, it's impossible to keep Meghan out. I found the romance very satisfying, but as usual, I'm going for the underdog. Robin Goodfellow (aka Puck) is Meghan's best friend, her protector, a prankster with surprisingly believable sincerity. I knew from the beginning where my loyalties lie, and it was not with the Winter or Summer Courts. It was with Puck--and I think it's clear that his loyalty and love are all for Meghan. *Sigh* Why, oh why, can't the girl ever go for the great guy/fairy who has been right there, by her side the whole time? I already know Ash is going to be Meghan's main love interest, but I'd like her better if she went for Puck :p
3) Fill it with all kinds of adventure/danger/fairy politics/sweeping descriptions and settings/the occasional kiss/impossible creatures of myth (including an invisible cat with a sarcastic tongue named Grim), and there you go!
One un-put-downable book series both kids and adults are sure to love.
I've just finished the second in the series, The Iron Daughter, and I'm still all in. Love the characters (Puck especially J), love the writing, love the world and plot. I can't wait to read the third and fourth books. Kagawa is definitely a new favorite!!
Hope everyone's having a great week and reading books as good as this one,