Saturday, June 28, 2014

NERC Review #26: The Iron Traitor by Julia Kagawa

*eARC kindly provided by Harlequin Teen via NetGalley*

There is just something about this world of faeries, talking cats, and fickle creatures that Julie Kagawa created that I just don't want to leave. But I was hesitant to start this series, because it's a spin-off. And I loved the other characters so much I wasn't sure if I'd like the new ones.

Rating: 4 Stars!
As soon as I finished The Lost Prince, I had to start this one. There is just something about her stories that draws me in from the beginning, and pulls me along until I'm staring at the end and wondering what the hell just happened.

In this spin-off series, the focus is on Ethan, Meghan's half-brother who is all grown up now. In the first book, he's pulled back into the world of the Nevernever, and that time, he wasn't alone. He learned truths and spent much of the time brooding about how he hated Faery and how pissed he was at Meghan for leaving them. He's still a brooding, sarcastic guy in this book, but his attitude is more bearable. I still dislike how he makes himself the martyr and decides what's best for everyone. But he has nothing on Keirran. 

I thought for sure Kagawa was setting up a relationship between Ethan and Keirran that resembles what Ash and Puck have. But clearly, I've been wrong. It's never going to be like that, though Ethan reminded me of Ash; sarcastic, brooding, pushing everyone away. And Keirran reminded me of Puck; a trickster who likes trouble. It made me wonder, not in a good way, whether the author could write characters with only three types of personalities (Meghan and MacKenzie are very similar too, though I like Kenzie much better). But the characters are very complex, and in this one, Keirran became more like Ash. However, I have zero sympathy with the icy and cold Iron Prince. He did whatever he could for the love of his life, Annwyl, but I find that excuse doesn't fly with me anymore. I still can't BELIEVE how many people have been affected by Keirran's incredibly stupid, selfish, and destructive choices.

In Lost Prince, I can't say I became as invested in these new characters as I was with Ash, Puck, and Meghan. They're starting to grow on me, but I still find myself wanting more interactions with the others, especially Ash and Puck. And now, with what happened in Iron Traitor, I'm unsure how to feel about them. Mostly, one in particular. Keirran. Ugh, that traitor. How could he?!

The plot follows a dangerous story-line where everything these characters do seem to make things worse. Keirran is determined to do whatever it takes to save Annwyl, even at the cost of starting a war and killing himself. Ethan is there to be the "reasonable" voice, although he needed to remind himself when enough was enough. Kenzie was her usual kickass self, and I love that their relationship just keeps developing into something concrete. I loved the cameos with Grim, Puck, and Ash. But ugh, I have no clue where this story-line is going, and it scares me!

I love Julie Kagawa's writing and this world she's created. I seriously can't wait to read the third book!