Friday, March 21, 2014

Review: The Iron Traitor (The Iron Fey: Call of the Forgotten #2) by Julie Kagawa

Firstly, thanks to Harlequin Teen Australia for this review copy <3

Date Read: October 16 - 27 2013
Release Date: October 29th 2013
Publisher: Harlequin Teen Australia
Source: Review copy via publisher
Genre: Fantasy
My rating: 

"In the real world, when you vanish into thin air for a week, people tend to notice.

After his unexpected journey into the lands of the fey, Ethan Chase just wants to get back to normal. Well, as normal as you can be when you see faeries every day of your life. Suddenly the former loner with the bad reputation has someone to try for; his girlfriend, Kenzie. Never mind that he's forbidden to see her again.

But when your name is Ethan Chase and your sister is one of the most powerful faeries in the Nevernever, normal simply isn't to be. For Ethan's nephew, Keirran, is missing, and may be on the verge of doing something unthinkable in the name of saving his own love. Something that will fracture the human and faery worlds forever, and give rise to the dangerous fey known as the Forgotten. As Ethan's and Keirran's fates entwine and Keirran slips further into darkness, Ethan's next choice may decide the fate of them all."


“The prophecy cannot come to pass without him…”

The Iron Fey series is one of my favourite series of all time. Ash and Meghan are one of my favourite couples ever and Ash is one of my top five book boyfriends. The Call of the Forgotten spin-off had me extremely excited as I’d not only get to see my favourite characters again, grown-up and living their lives, but introduced to new and fresh characters. Whilst The Lost Prince was enjoyable I didn’t find it amazing as I had hoped. Still, I kept my hopes up that The Iron Traitor would bring this spin-off series back up to scratch. Sadly, I felt that it was just like The Lost Prince – at times better, other times worse.

After returning to the human world, Ethan is once again drawn into the Nevernever in search of missing nephew Prince Keirran who is on a quest to save Annwyl. I have absolutely no problems with Ethan’s character. I really like his sarcasm and broodiness. He’s smart, witty and thinks before he acts. Despite his loathing of Ash I actually see quite a few parallels in their personalities – especially in the words department, or well... Lack thereof. Reading from his POV is quite different as he’s the one that thinks; that observes those that are rash and jump into things. Of the trio, he is the most levelheaded and I love that about his character. I must say it’s hard to reconcile him with the adorable little boy with the beautiful big blue eyes from The Iron Fey. Poor guy didn’t choose to get dragged into his nephew’s mess but out of friendship and love he does it anyway. Respect.

I’m not sure who annoyed me more, Kenzie or Keirran. Maybe Kenzie because she really seems to have a death wish but still needs saving. She’s still a damsel in distress even though she doesn’t seem it with her fiery personality. I found her unbearably frustrating with the way she kept insisting on going with Ethan everywhere, rushing into things and thinking she’s all-that because she’s saved “Tough Guy” once. I understand she doesn’t want to hold back because of what she has but half the time she doesn’t consider the consequences and how it reflects on those around her, especially Ethan. I didn’t like Kenzie much in the previous book but I hoped her character would improve in this – that she’d for once think of her actions and that not everybody has to let her way her way because she’s sick. Her YOLO attitude just didn’t cut it for me. It wasn’t independence and strength, it was stupidity.

Keirran. GRRRRR. I want to strangle this kid. Irresponsible, selfish, ungrateful little shit. Let’s be honest. His parents may have something to do with the Forgotten, but he’s in this mess because he couldn’t mind his own business and decided to do some shit stirring. I have no sympathy for his character anymore. There were so many more responsible ways he could have gone about the things he did. The repercussions and gravity of those actions affect everyone and he didn’t think it through at all, just went “I have to do this for Annwyl”. Funnily enough, thinking back, Ash and Meghan did a lot of things with seriously heavy repercussions and yet the way they went about it didn’t aggravate me at all. It could be due to Meghan’s duty as a queen or Ash’s wisdom but I LOVED the way they went about things. I don’t get it.

For me I felt no chemistry with the romances. Felt none between Ethan and Kenzie and none between Keirran and Annwyl. Actually I did feel Annwyl’s devotion but chemistry wise my heart didn’t stutter or pound in any way. Sadlyfe when Ash’s cameo in like the space of a page made me going “OMG OMG ASH ASH ASH <3” and for the rest of the book I was like “meh get on with it” with everybody else. There is no denying the characters all care for each other, and they love one another but I didn’t feel it.

The ending is definitely something to comment on. Sadly for me, I’d just finished a book with an extremely riveting and moving ending prior to The Iron Traitor and I didn’t feel this one. That being said, Kagawa writes the most gripping cliffhangers and despite the various drawbacks of this sequel I AM excited for book three!

The redeeming quality of the book lies in Kagawa’s style. Her pacing is always perfect, thrilling and action-packed. Her writing is flawless, descriptive and imaginative. Her world building is unique and like no other. The Nevernever is one of the most fascinating places I’ve ever read and I love how, each time we enter it, we’re at a new place. I’m amazed at how she comes up with all these weird and wonderful niches in random pockets of the ever changing fey realm. And I love visiting the old places too (and seeing Grimalkin) and bring back memories of another time, when another trio were on their quest.

This wasn’t entirely for me, but I can say many did love this and it’s a must for any Kagawa fan.

“Exiles, Forgotten, even the Nevernever… we will all live on because of you.”

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