Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Iron Traitor ~ Julie Kagawa (earc) review

The Iron Traitor (The Iron Fey: Call of the Forgotten #2)
Harlequin Teen
October 29, 2013
352 pages
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In the real world, when you vanish into thin air for a week, people tend to notice.
Ethan has just been back three days from his week-long disappearance in the land of the fey when Their world comes calling again. Kierran, his nephew (who also happens, thanks to fae-time-wonkiness, to be the same age as Ethan, is missing. With everyone wondering where Kierran is, Ethan's sure it has to do with Annwyl, the Iron Prince's forbidden, exiled Summer love.

Ethan, too, has a forbidden love of his own: Kenzie. After their return Kenzie's father has now forbade them from seeing each other. Not that either of them plans to listen.

When it becomes clear to Ethan that Kierran is somewhere risking everything -- himself, the peace between the realms, perhaps even the way the fae and human worlds coexist -- he knows he'll have to find him. Even if it means, for Ethan, giving up the separation from Them he's held so dear.

Julie Kagawa does a really fantastic job in The Iron Traitor focusing the story on the new characters (Ethan - who's not 'new' new, but teen Ethan is new - Kenzie and Kierran) while pulling in some of the characters from the first Iron Fey series just enough. They don't become the center of the story, but are used when it's necessary and keep it all in the same Iron Fey world.

They know the world these characters are transversing and it makes perfect sense for the 'older' characters to be there to assist.

Not only that, they're a lot of fun. Grimalkin pops up at the perfect times with just the right kind - for readers, not always the characters - of knowledge and advice. Having Puck part of the story was perfect for me as I've always loved his character. It may just have been how I perceived things and/or the story he was part of, but he seemed that tiniest bit more mature here. Still the Puck we've come to love in previous books, but not quite Kierran's peer, either. It worked really well.

I do wish that there had been just one more strong female character. The male characters did have their flaws, but they were the ones in charge most of the time, they had the weapons and knew how to handle things. Kenzie is strong-willed and stubborn but I wanted her to 'do' more. The close timing of the start of this novel with the ending of the last doesn't really allow for her to have developed some great knowledge or skill between the two (and she does learn some), but I still wanted it. At times, it seemed the directive given to Kenzie was this close to 'stand still, look pretty.'

If that hadn't been paired with the 'fickle' queens and rational kings, I may not have noticed as much.

There is quite a bit of 'faery' plot happening in The Iron Traitor but it felt more centered on the development of the characters (namely Ethan and Kierran) and their relationships. It was nice to get more a feel for the characters - especially Kierran - in this novel. Though, the novel ends on a serious cliffhanger, for both the characters and the story plot!

Rating: 8/10

egalley read thanks to NetGalley & publisher

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