Review: The Iron King (Iron Fae book 1) by Julie Kagawa

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.

Julie Kagawa is the master of the Fae. The writing style she uses is incredibly addicting. You are clinging to each page, with your heart thumping willing the protagonist into safety. This is not your modern Tinkerbell. In Kagawa’s take on the Fae, they are cruel, true horrors and Meghan Chase is thrown right into the middle of their unseemly world.

Kagawa takes the myth that when humans begin to forget the Fey they cease to exist and turned it into a new age tell of the technological world biting out their world. I was entranced with her winter and summer courts and her iron Fae as well. The descriptions were so haunting you feel that you could almost reach out and touch one of the characters.

The main and side characters are fully fleshed out and have amazing traits. You get a feel for the personality of everyone inside the book. I bow to you Julie Kagawa. If I don’t get my hands on a copy of book three soon I might cease to exist myself! Look closer to the release date for my review of book two in the Iron Fae series The Iron Daughter.

If you like Melissa Marr, Lesley Livingston, or Maggie Stiefvater then grab a copy of The Iron King a cup of tea and enjoy.

A special thank you to @Irisheyz77 from Ticket to Anywhere for pushing me to give this read a go sooner rather than later.

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Review: Eyes Like Stars (Theatre Illuminata, Act I) by Lisa Mantchev

It took me a long time to read this book. I failed at ordering it three times. The UPS man gave it to someone else once. I bought at Barnes and Noble. Have no clue where it ran away to. After seeing the cover art for book two I tracked down a copy at the library and devoured the book.

I had some trouble in the beginning. I felt like I came in at the middle of the book and was racing to catch up. I asked if any other readers had encountered this issue. I got loads of replies telling me it makes sense keep going. Not that I was planning not to finish it. I finish every book. So I did keep going. Everyone was right. It fits perfectly with the ending of the book and because of the fun way it is written the ending will be a complete surprise for you. In a good way.

We follow Bertie through her coming of age. She grew up in a theatre in London and is facing expulsion from the only home she has ever known. She can’t seem to stay out of trouble. Causing an Earthquake or firing a cannon onto the stage and ruining props. The managers have finally had enough of her.

Bertie has one last ditch effort to stay in her home. She takes a stab at directing Hamlet set in Egypt but the characters keep forgetting their lines with the new set and costumes. She was just about to give up when the book of play’s is stolen and her last four days are spent trying to right that wrong instead of practicing for her director debut.

Eyes Like Stars is a breath of unique fresh air that is desperately needed in the stale YA air these days. Bertie learns a lot about herself and others. I love the ending and I cannot wait to see where the next book goes! The fairies that hover around Bertie’s blue tresses are absolutely hilarious. Pastry eating rude little fellows. If you are like me and having picked this up yet it’s not too late! I suggest you reading it. If you have let me know what you think. I always enjoy others opinion and remember you can add your star rating here at the top of the post!

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Review: Darklight (Wondrous Strange 2) by Lesley Livingston

Read the interview from HarperTeen with Lesley Livingston!

I love this series. There will always be a soft spot in my heart for any faerie tales, but these go beyond my wildest imagination. Livingston takes you from urban NY to Shakespearean Faerie and back again in one smooth flow. I love the writing style, and the story and all of the characters.

I read it in one day, no way I was putting this book down. A new play, a new magic, a summer court room mate. In this book Kelley has a whole different set of problems to work through. With Sonny stuck in Faerie with Oberon, Kelley tries to stay out of the park and not tap into her mother’s brand of dark magic.

For Kelley staying out of the park is an impossibility. Her mothers magic calls to her and she is aided each time by the Janus Guard. Evil leprochan’s are in search of the necklace that keeps Kelley safe. When they realize they cannot pry it off her neck, the glue it there leaving Kelley normal again.

All Kelley really wanted was to be normal again, but now that she is can she really stay that way?

This book will take you on a magical ride, the hook, the plot, the crescendo are all worth your time! If you love faeries and you read Wondrous Strange go get this book. Tell me how you liked it!

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Unsung YA

So Kelley from over at YAnnabe had an awesome idea, the most epic of awesome ideas I have heard this year so far. I was tripping over myself running to her comment box to ask if I could also participate.

The idea is to share your top five or ten or twenty favorite unsung YA. You need to be a LibraryThing user to participate.

After the kid lit award announcements on Monday, I daydreamed about how those authors’ lives will never be the same. Their winning books will forever more sport a shiny badge, reserving them a spot on crowded bookstore shelves. And other books the authors write? “By Newbery Medal winner Rebecca Stead” certainly won’t hurt sales.

But the flip side of all this is that many wonderful books get published every year without registering a ripple, let alone a splash. And in the YA world specifically, the vast majority of great books don’t approach anywhere NEAR the fervor of Twil—er, The-Series-That-Must-Not-Be-Named. The Cybils help spread the love a little. As does the Nerds Heart YA tourney.

So head on over to Kelly’s post to see her list and get more info.

My unsung YA:

Warrior Princess by Frewin Jones (whom you will see later in the list again). I loved this book for well the only thing I can call it is historical fantasy. I just made that up but still if it exists then please pretend I did not just make that up. Midievel Wales, princess, losing family to Saxons. Beautiful story and number one in a series of I think three. You can check out Frewin and his work by clicking that link and heading to his official site.

Dreaming Anastasia by Joy Preble. Anastasia survived the Romanov massacre that rocked Russia and ended the era of the Tsar. Since then she has been stuck in a hut with creepy evil witch Baba Yaga whose house runs around on chicken legs. It is up to Ethan who has remained 18 for all of these years to find the one who can save Anastasia. A decedent of the Romanov line, a young girl obsessed with her dreams of Anastasia and Russia. Can Ethan and the girl race against time to save Anastasia? This book had me immensely interested. Really this story has it all!

Bones of Faerie by Janni Lee Simner. Dystopian fans how did you miss this one? The apocalypse has come and gone. Faeries slipped through the veil into our world, destroyed most of our race and left behind magic that makes even the plants dangerous to be around. Liza lives in one of the smaller towns left. Day dreaming about a world long gone with cars and television. Her father rules the town and Liza with an iron fist. Any child born with the least bit of magic is ‘dealt with’. When Liza begins to realize she has some magic of her own she risks escape.

Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George. George is swiftly becoming one of my favorite authors. Her fairy tale re-telling of Grimm’s Twelve Dancing Princesses knocked my socks off. I am forever championing this book to those who enjoy a good re-telling. I always wanted more from this Grimm story as a child and George has filled in those gaps for me. I also loved her Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow, a revision on the Scandinavian Polar Bear Prince story.

What’s a girl to do when she realizes her boyfriend is a powerful faerie who has came to the mortal world only to guard her until she realizes and accepts she is the daughter of Oberon and Titania. A princess in the realm of faerie and medieval world parallel to our own. I love The Faerie Path and really anything from Frewin Jones. I loved the urban feel of London and the old feel of the Faerie world. I love the characters, especially the bookish sister Sancha.

So there you have it my unsung YA, what’s yours? Have you read any of these books?

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Review: Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston

I am a bit late with reading this one. I noticed at the start of last year, if Harper Teen puts it out I should read it. I was dusting my shelves and most of the books I had bought came from Harper Teen. When it came to reading Wondrous Strange I just never got around to picking it up. I was still on a high from reading another Faerie series from Harper Teen, The Immortal Realm by Frewin Jones, and this book had gotten so much hype I just thought, “huh, no way I want to read that and be disappointed”.

We follow Kelley as she is living in the rough city of New York trying to find her way onto Broadway. She works at a small theater called the Avalon as hired help and the understudy when fortune would have it the lady playing Titania “went snap”. Kelley now faced with being thrown into the spotlight also faces a few twists and turns a coming of age and needing to look deep inside herself to save the people she truly loves. Along the way she meets Sonny and they of course fall in love, will the Faerie’s allow one of their prized Janus Guards to consort with a mere mortal?

This book has it all, a kelpie who turns into a war horse, and evil autumn queen scorned by the lack of love. Beautiful and cold faerie kings and queens, changeling children, samhain, magic. The list could go on and on. I am so glad I finally purchased this as an ebook. On my way to buy the next in the series. I have to know what happens next! If you like Black, Marr, Werlin, or Simner then you will love Wondrous Strange.

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