Sunday, November 17, 2013

Review: The Iron Traitor by Julie Kagawa

The Iron Traitor (The Iron Fey: Call of the Forgotten, #2)
Goodreads 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.
Goodreads / Amazon

Genre: Young Adult, fantasy
Pages: 304
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Source: Bought copy

First Line: "My name is Ethan Chase."

Favorite Quote: "'If you visited this spot with Puck, that means you weren't really supposed to be here, right? And you probably got into trouble with whatever lives here.' 'It's sad that everyone knows him so well.'"


As I've said many times before, Julie Kagawa is one of my all time favorite authors. I will gladly read anything she decides to write, and I'm really excited for the new series she has coming out next year. In the meantime, reading the Call of the Forgotten series so far has been completely enthralling. Admittedly, I was slightly less enthusiastic about The Lost Prince than I was with all her other books, but that was mostly because I was getting used to the new characters and I didn't like Ethah much. I found him too broody and just an overall iffy protagonist.

Thankfully I didn't run into that problem too much throughout The Iron Traitor. Obviously I still missed the old stars from the Iron Fey books - Meghan, Ash and Puck - but I can't complain too much because all three make appearances here and there and getting to see them is like an unexpected treat every time. I enjoyed Ethan's point of view a lot more the second time around. I'm not sure why, he doesn't seem to have changed much, but I guess I just really admired how much he wanted to help out his friends and family. I felt sorry for him because it was obvious that he just wanted to be normal and stay out of Faery affairs, but it's not an option for him. He was also kind of funny at times (though we all know that Puck is the king of humor in this world).

There were times when I appreciated the romance going on between Ethan and Kenzie, but for some reason I just don't feel as strongly about her characters as I'd like to. Maybe she just seems a little dull in comparison to the others? Whatever the reason, I'm hoping my opinion changes in the third installment, because on some level I liked her outlook on life despite her leukemia. Although Ethan is narrating The Iron Traitor, the majority of the story focuses on Kierran and his borderline insane quest to keep his Summer fey girlfriend, Anwyl, from Fading away. I wasn't surprised that he was going to such drastic measures to keep his love alive (after all, Ash went on a pretty crazy quest for Meghan). But at the same time, things kept going wrong for him and only went downhill from there each time he tried something new. By the end of the story, I couldn't believe how much trouble he had caused. From injuring himself physically to possibly starting a war, Kierran did it all.

Also, it was pretty obvious from both the title and the cover that he was going to do something horrible at some point. Even though I was expecting it, it still came as a slap in the face. This particular thing happens at the very end, creating a major cliffhanger that left me enraged and somewhat confused. I have no idea how I will survive the wait until the third book. As far as pacing goes, I don't have any complaints. A lot was happening all the time, and of course the writing was lovely. The main thing I loved about this novel was the emotion it caused me to feel - often it caused me to yell at the characters, or to laugh, or to feel very sad. A lot of it is tied back to my love of the parents series, but The Call of the Forgotten could hold its own. The Lost Prince felt more like the set up for the story, whereas The Iron Traitor was the sucker punch to the gut.

Spoilers begin here

The main reason I'm confused about the ending is that I'm not sure if Ethan really died or not. I mean, having a sword run completely through his stomach kind of says to me that he is, but . . . I have a hard time believing it. Maybe he'll be saved somehow? Honestly, I think Ethan should have been more wary of the prophecy after he discovered what it was. Sure, Kierran was his friend and his nephew, but if I looked into the future and saw someone standing over my dead body with blood all over them, I'd at least worry that they would betray me at some point. Still, it was extremely abrupt. It was like they were fine for most of the book, but two pages before the end Kierran just stabs him because of some prophecy the Forgotten Lady told him could save himself and Anwyl. I have the distinct feeling that all hell will break loose later on.

5 stars 

Other books in this series
1. The Lost Prince
2. The Iron Traitor
3. Untitled 

Other Opinions: 

The Lost Entwife
Refracted Light Reviews
Scott Reads It

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