The Iron King (Iron Fey #1) by Julie Kagawa (Harlequin Teen, 2010, 368pp.)
After her baby brother is kidnapped by evil faeries, high school outcast Meghan travels deep into the heart of the Nevernever to bring him back, encountering fantastical beasts, jealous faery queens, and true love. Drawing heavily on traditional lore, Kagawa’s richly imagined fantasy world provides a lovely backdrop to the story, while delightful supporting characters flank the novel’s rather average leading lady. Although there is very little objectionable material to bar this from a younger audience, (the love story is sweet and mild-tempered, and the level of fantasy violence is to be expected), the novel’s sporadic use of strong language (the worst instance is when a faery tells someone to “F*** off!”) may act as a deterrent to sensitive readers. Non-stop action and elements of high adventure and romance make this tale of teenage heroines a solid entry in YA fantasy. Recommended for Ages 15-Up.
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