Monday, March 28, 2011

The Iron King Review

The Iron King Review

I love the world of fantasy, not because it’s an escape from reality, quite the contrary. It’s because of how fantasy inspires the imagination and helps to color in the stark contrasts of our black & white existence. Everything in reality is an absolute. Up is up; down in down and the law of action and reaction remains constant. But with fantasy, nothing truly is impossible. Those possibilities in our mind turn into possibilities in our reality. We don’t truly live as a human being without a dream or a vision to propel us forward into the unknown realm of artistic creativity. Where there is no vision, there is death. I’m sure if you think about it hard enough, you’ll be able to name some of the zombies you’ve met in your life; breathing corpses, people who walk around in rut (a repetitive routine), too scared to go outside the lines in fear of failure, not realizing they’ve already failed. They’re hollow, empty, life-less zombies.

The Iron King by Julie Kagawa has a lively imagination. Though most of the characters in her book we’ve previously met before in A Mid-Summer Night’s Dream, The Labyrinth and Alice in Wonderland, she did a great job weaving these new versions into a fresh adventure, creating an even more compelling and lovely story. While goose bumps didn’t pop up on my arms, it felt nice having a sense of familiarity while venturing on a new journey; like taking a summer trip with a car full of old friends. The love I had for these characters that inspired my own young adult series several years ago, came flooding back into the forefront of my mind, as if it only slept beneath a thin veil waiting for me to remember them, and remember them I did.

Meghan Chase made for a great and realistic heroine, Puck plucked on my heart strings and Ash reminded me of what I love so much about warring princes and their royal quests.

This quest reminds me about a truth I was recently reminded of (you’ll get that about 4am): Life isn’t lived in the moment of a promise or even in the revelation of its fulfillment, but in the journey between called the Land of Promise. It’s from moment to moment along life’s journey that we truly live, where our characters are developed; where our strength is tested. We all want to make it to the top of the mountain standing before us, but it’s only one peak in the midst of a mighty mountain range. Our life is the journey up to those peaks and then down the other side to our next mountain. I think that’s why I love to read about coming-of-age quests mostly found in young adult fantasy fiction. They inspire my imagination and encourage me to keep going, to focus on my destination and enjoy the adventure along the way. The Iron King is one of those books that have inspired me lately and I can’t wait to read the next one. I highly recommend it for anyone else who’d like to take an adventure.