Review: The Iron Traitor by Julie Kagawa


Rating: 4 stars
Pub Date: October 29, 2013
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Genre: young adult fantasy
Format/Source: ARC from the publisher, won in a tour giveaway
Status: Book 2 of Iron Fey: Call of the Forgotten


Summary:
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.

Review:
This book is exhausting in the way that all Julie Kagawa books are exhausting. When I finish one of Julie's books, I just want to take a nap. Sure, that may be because I finished this book at midnight, but I think it's much more likely that it's because reading one is so incredibly emotionally draining. Not to mention the descriptions of the action sequences make me feel like I'm there.

One of the best parts of this series by far is Kenzie and Ethan's relationship. I loved Meghan and Ash together, but their relationship was so turbulent. I'm not saying that Ethan and Kenzie don't have rocky moments, but there is a calmness, a peace when they are together. They're such a good fit. At the risk of being completely cliché, they're adjoining puzzle pieces. Kenzie softens Ethan, despite the fact that she's totally a firecracker herself, and Ethan strengthens Kenzie. His brand of protectiveness of her is very refreshing. When Ethan pushes Kenzie away for her own good, it's not him being misogynistic; it's because he really is concerned A. that she, a total newb to the world of the fey, will get sucked into some messy fairy deal; and B. the potential disastrous consequences any of their adventures could have on her health. But the awesome thing is that Kenzie allows it to a point, then she puts her foot down. There's a moment in Iron Traitor where, for Kenzie's protection, Ethan blatantly insults her right in front of her. Kenzie gets that it probably saved her life, but she, like any normal girl whose boyfriend just called her names, is upset by it. Ethan swallows his pride and apologizes, and their exchange is one of the sweetest things I've read all year.

While Ethan and Kenzie are busy cuddling and making out (YES!), one relationship that most definitely does not get better is Ethan's relationship with Kierran. With the weirdness that is the passage of time in the Nevernever, Kierran and Ethan's relatively compatible ages really should make them pretty close, but Kierran is not the same prince we met in The Lost Prince. He changes personalities at every turn, sometimes being cold and distant, and that really wears on Ethan. If The Lost Prince was the setup of Ethan's story, this book could only be both boys' downfall. Iron Traitor is difficult to read because you feel like you know these characters, you have grown to love them, and then they're behaving quite badly! And not badly in the way Puck behaves badly. They're legitimately doing the wrong things. At least we witness Ethan's reluctance and regret as we are in his head. Kierran, on the other hand, is much more difficult to read.

I'm really glad that Iron Traitor brought back all our old favorite characters from the first series. Lost Prince had to put us in Ethan's story, not Meghan's, but I think this book bridged the gap between the two series nicely. After all, as we witness, Meghan and Ash are not content to watch their son run around like buffoon. I think this says something about who they are as parents and as people. Even when their son is being a complete jackass, they don't abandon him like their horrible royal fairy parents did. Props to you, Meghash! Ashghan? Um...did Megan & Ash ever get a couple name? Whatever. Not exactly pertinent. My point is that I really like that Julie has not left off their character development now that they are no longer the main players. Also, Puck being Puck. If you read Iron Traitor for no other reason, let it be because Puck is back, and he's annoying the crap out of everybody! His shenanigans, I do love them.

The middle section felt a bit too drawn out and a bit cliché for me. I was not feeling the scene with Guro at all, even though I like his presence as Ethan's mentor. This will sound weird because this is a book about fairies and magic, but I am not a fan of magic rituals. I saw all those True Blood scenes. Nothing good comes from this stuff. However, the ending was done quite nicely, as always. The battle in the cave of the Frozen Wood was particularly spectacular. It read like a boss battle in a video game, and I loved that. I seriously could hear the sound effects from the Ice Cavern in Zelda as I was reading it. Clearly I have played Ocarina of Time enough times to have become conditioned.

And let me just tell you, the ending will take your breath away and knock you on your butt. Do NOT read the last page. I accidentally spoiled myself, and I spent the rest of the entire book dreading reading it. Don't do that to yourself. Allow yourself the opportunity to read it as it was intended. Be surprised. And then be prepared to tweet and email obscenities to Julie. I'm sure she won't mind entirely. After all, this is the woman who, when I told her how much I cried reading The Enternity Cure, told me she hopes we all cry even more. WHY WOULD YOU EVEN SAY THAT, JULIE?! Such cruelty. Clearly I'm a masochist because I choose to read these books. I do it to myself. Well, if you read this book and need somewhere to be upset, come here, and at least we'll all have good company.

Book Links:
 photo B6096376-6C81-4465-8935-CE890C777EB9-1855-000001A1E900B890_zps5affbed6.jpg  photo 111AD205-AA04-4F9E-A0F4-C1264C4E9F30-1855-000001A1E8CEB6D7_zps9b730b94.jpg  photo KoboIcon_zps515cdc1a.jpg  photo B1426D4C-9EEC-4C0B-A1FB-90524B03C0CA-1855-000001A1E82B3B3E_zps17d98f4d.jpg

About the Author:
Julie Kagawa, the New York Times bestselling author of the Iron Fey and Blood of Eden series was born in Sacramento, California. But nothing exciting really happened to her there. So, at the age of nine she and her family moved to Hawaii, which she soon discovered was inhabited by large carnivorous insects, colonies of house geckos, and frequent hurricanes. She spent much of her time in the ocean, when she wasn’t getting chased out of it by reef sharks, jellyfish, and the odd eel.

When not swimming for her life, Julie immersed herself in books, often to the chagrin of her schoolteachers, who would find she hid novels behind her Math textbooks during class. Her love of reading led her to pen some very dark and gruesome stories, complete with colored illustrations, to shock her hapless teachers. The gory tales faded with time, but the passion for writing remained, long after she graduated and was supposed to get a real job.

To pay the rent, Julie worked in different bookstores over the years, but discovered the managers frowned upon her reading the books she was supposed to be shelving. So she turned to her other passion: training animals. She worked as a professional dogtrainer for several years, dodging Chihuahua bites and overly enthusiastic Labradors, until her first book sold and she stopped training to write full time.
Julie now lives in Louisville, Kentucky, where the frequency of shark attacks are at an all time low. She lives with her husband, two obnoxious cats, one Australian Shepherd who is too smart for his own good, and the latest addition, a hyper-active Papillon.

Author Links:
   

Giveaway:
Open to US & Canada WITH exceptions. Please continue reading for details. Entrants must be 13+. Giveaway is open until 12 AM CST October 17. I reserve the right to disqualify any entries that are not in accordance with my giveaway policies as stated in the Review & Site Policies tab at the top of the page. There will be two winners. But wait! If entries surpass 500, I'll throw in another Julie Kagawa prize for a third winner. Good luck!
Prize 1: US only. Signed set of The Iron Fey. This includes The Iron King, The Iron Daughter, The Iron Queen, The Iron Knight, The Iron Legends, and The Lost Prince.
Prize 2: US/Canada: Signed copy of The Lost Prince

a Rafflecopter giveaway

27 comments:

  1. I'd like to be a winter fey. I love the world of iron fey! My favorite of the whole series was The Iron Knight. I loved that book so much!

    Dee @ Dee's Reads

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think a lot of people really loved Iron Knight because we were all mostly Team Ash! It was nice getting his story, but not just a retelling of the series; I liked that it was unique!

      Delete
  2. I dont really have anything to say about The Iron Fey, except I REALLY wanted to read it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, good luck! I hope you'll dive right in if you win them!

      Delete
  3. I just started The Iron Fey! I'm loving it so far so I can't wait to read the rest of the series. :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's pretty entertaining, that's for sure. I think I like Call of the Forgotten even better than the original series. Julie only gets better as she goes!

      Delete
  4. Probably a winter fey? I dunno, this seems like a trick question to me... haha

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha, well I'M not a fey. I don't try to trick people into deals and whatnot!

      Delete
  5. My favorite of the series (that I've read) has been The Iron Queen, and my favorite character is Grim. Although, Ash is a close second. ;) Haha, and I'd definitely wanna be a winter fey, because it's my favorite season.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Interesting that a lot of you are choosing to be winter. I think I'd go summer myself. Love Grim!

      Delete
  6. Since I haven't gotten through the series yet, I promise if I win, it will be put near the top of the TBR pile! (:

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, you need to read The Immortal Rules as well, missy! I really enjoy Iron Fey, but Blood of Eden absolutely destroys me in the best way a book can destroy someone.

      Delete
  7. I would totally be Winter fey. Absolutely!

    ReplyDelete
  8. The Iron Queen is ABSOLUTELY my favorite in the series, and also The Iron Knight is close to it.

    (Btw, Winter Fey allll the way)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I liked Iron Queen too, but seriously, what is up with all of these winter fey choices?! Am I missing something? Are you all drinking the koolaid...er, melted snow?

      Delete
  9. I haven't read the series yet, so this is a great chance for me to start! :D

    ReplyDelete
  10. I LOVE THIS SERIES! I would rather be Iron fey than Winter or Summer (Iron has much cooler powers)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yay! Love to see a new answer! I think if I were an iron fey, I'd spend ALL my time on the gliders or hanging out with Razor. He's a cutie!

      Delete
  11. Well to be honest I think it would be really cool if I could be like Keirran and have winter, iron, and summer power that would be awesome not sure what you would call that type of fey. However if I had to choose it would be between Summer and Winter. I am currently leaning towards Summer right now but this often changes because I love what both Puck and Ash could do with their powers! -Veshani

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Being like Kierran--at least power-wise--would definitely be the best option, but you'd have to make double-extra-sure not to abuse it!

      Delete
    2. Yeah I believe it would be super cool but also I think more fey would be after me more because I have power from all three courts!

      Delete
  12. This series has a lot of funny moments, especially when Puck or Grimalkin are involved. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Trust me, if you love Puck and Grim, you won't be disappointed with Iron Traitor. The gang is BACK!

      Delete
  13. Anything with Ash is epic! Fav character!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think Ash is a LOT of people's favorite character! ;) He's definitely got that whole "dark and broody" thing going for him!

      Delete