I really need to stop being so surprised by Julie Kagawa and her particular brand of awesome. She truly has a class all her own in my mind. I can’t even allow myself to compare other authors’ work to her. She’s in the same sphere with people like J.K. Rowling and Jane Austen and Cassandra Clare, so what would be the point in making other authors try to meet those standards. I know favorite shelf material when I see it, and this is it. I love The Iron Fey and this world just keeps getting better. I didn’t know there was still more I could learn about this world but oh yes. There’s more.
First of all, Kagawa is a master plotter. Maybe she’s actually a pantser, but somehow, I seriously doubt it. I love the epicness of every series she writes. I love the way that she hints at the end from the beginning. And I LOVE the way she can build a scene in the nuances and subplots as much as she builds it through action, emotion, and dialogue. There is always something bigger going on and she really never stops surprising me. For example, I totally knew what was going to happen at the end of The Iron Traitor. I’d called it halfway through. I just KNEW what was going to happen, yet somehow, Kagawa left me surprised with exactly how it played out and unexpectedly satisfied but still guessing as far as what would happen in book 3. It was just so perfect.
The world and the imagery of this series, and this book in particular, are just amazing. It blows me away how cinematic it all is. Most of the time when I read, I get a sense of the world and the scenes I’m reading, but rarely do I feel like I’m actually immersed in the world. Kagawa does this in a way that is so completely captivating that I feel my mind wandering back to her world weeks after I’ve finished reading.
Characters…oh my word, these characters. Keirran is so much a character that I want to love and hate at the same time. He’s so…deliciously conflicted and lost. His drive to save Anwyl has completely overridden everything he knows. There is no longer a right or wrong, just saving Anwyl no matter the cost. Ethan, therefore, is forced to act as the voice of reason for Keirran which sucks Kenzie and Ethan back into dangerous situations in the NeverNever. I love how unapologetic and consistent Kagawa is with her characters. For example, Ethan is super overprotective with Kenzie and freaks out a bit over everything she does. In some ways we can understand that because she’s umm…deathly ill…but at the same time we want to scream “Get over yourself, Ethan!” Kenzie…yep, she’s still awesome. Love that girl and her unwillingness to let Ethan get away with treating her like she’s incapable. Their romanace is so real and genuine, I just want to smoosh their faces together all the time. And Anwyl, I love Anwyl. She’s so fae but so not. Her love for Keirran is beautiful and sacrificial. Sigh. My love for this book is immense. Also, Kagawa is epically brilliant at building beautiful bromances. First Ash and Puck, now Keirran and Ethan. I just hope they can work through their, ahem, differences.
I truly hope Julie has a HEA in store for us. I know there will be more tears first, but please Julie. Please, for the sake of my feels, give me an HEA. =)
Overall, The Iron Traitor is riveting, action-packed, and everything I didn’t even know I wanted from Kagawa’s typically flawless style. I can’t wait for more!