The Iron Traitor
Author: Julie Kagawa
Release: October 29th 2013
Genre: Fantasy, Fey, YA
#2 in the Iron Fey: Call of the Forgotten series
Series: The Lost Prince (#1), The Iron Warrior (#3)
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.
What? WHAT? WHAT?! Kagawa, did you just...? What did you do?!
Dat ending. Dat ENDING. Oh well the shit just hit the fan big time oh man oh man
HOW IS THIS GOING TO BE SOLVED THIS IS A HUGE MESS!
Okay, let's calm down a bit.
I'll start off by saying that I think Julie Kagawa has created a really lovely story with nice threads to the original Iron Fey series, and I loved that. Old characters we love make cameos and things that happened during that series are essentially the catalyst to get some events rolling in this series, which has been made clear in this second book. Nice connecting there!
Furthermore, I think the characters are really strong and relatable. While I may not love them as much as I do Meghan, Ash and Puck, I still think that Ethan, Kenzie and Keirran are great. I think that Ethan has so many moral questions about the fey and his connection to them, as well as about the things that he does, partially out of necessity and loyalty, made him a very down-to-earth guy and I thought it was realistic for him to have these kind of doubts and blame himself for some of the shit that goes down. Also, his reaction at the end, where he's hella pissed at Keirran because of, ahem, something, I think that was exceptionally portrayed. He displays very raw emotions, which I like, especially since it's so at odds with his tough guy exterior. Kenzie is also a badass, what I loved most about her was that while being no damsel in distress or a coward per se, she still knew when to get the hell out of there and stay out of trouble. If she's unarmed and there's an ancient faery beast on the loose, she's not going to punch it, or try to distract it by waving her arms around — smart, smart girl. However, she never passes up a chance to show how much of a bamf she really is, even saving Ethan's life once or twice or telling people that she ain't putting up with their shit. I LOVE THAT. And Keirran, well, he was kind of a softie because all he did was whine about Annwyl, Annwyl here Annwyl there, but I liked his emotional transition from moping and whining to heartless bastard. It was well done, and made sense.
The fighting scenes... Kagawa really has a hand for writing engaging and interesting fighting scenes, may it be with swords, daggers or even dual-wielding swords. May the enemies be human, fey or may it be a hand-to-hand fight. You can get lost in the battle and think you're fighting yourself, they're so well written.
I did have one issue, however, and that was the whole romance thing, which was way too sappy at times. I already mentioned how much Keirran was whining about Annwyl, but even Ethan and Mackenzie are constantly making out and whispering sweet nothings to each other. I don't know, this never bothered me with Meghan & Ash, but it did this time. It was a bit overkill, if Kagawa had cut out two or three of these lovey-dovey scenes it would've been bearable. But well, it didn't destroy the whole thing for me and I was, evidently, still able to enjoy the book immensely.
All in all, I admit that maybe I'm a bit biased because Julie Kagawa is one of my favorite authors and I think I am honor bound to like everything she writes. But I honestly did enjoy The Iron Traitor, because it was witty, intriguing and engaging, everything I love in a novel, with countless shockers on the way and, I repeat, DAT ENDING. Man, it was like a punch in the gut... I'm REALLY looking forward to how she'll continue on in the next book, that was a damn mean cliffhanger. I still can't believe she really did that!