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The Iron Raven by Julie Kagawa

I love Julie Kagawa’s books. If you have not had the pleasure of reading her Shadow of a Fox or Blood of Eden series, you are seriously missing out on two fantasy treasures. Up to this point, I would even include The Iron Fey series among that list. Unfortunately, the latest entry in that series, The Iron Raven is such a strong disappointment as to almost feel like it had a different author.

The main fault I see with The Iron Raven is that Puck, or Robin Goodfellow, or whatever you want to call him, is not main character material. He is perfect as the funny, sarcastic sidekick, especially because a little of his personality goes a long way. Telling the story from his point of view is simply too much Puck.

Looking at the world through his eyes is not exciting. Nor is it enlightening. Rather, it shows us just how self-absorbed, self-indulgent, and selfish he is. While we learn more of Puck’s origins as well as how he came to be a Fae with a conscience, the knowledge does little to make him likable as the main character. His internal struggles are always one-dimensional, and he never looks beyond himself before acting. Reading a story from the viewpoint of an eternal toddler is exhausting, repetitive, and boring.

The Iron Raven is not without its good points. The introduction of Nyx is an intriguing addition. In fact, she proves to be far more interesting than Puck. Similarly, the new Big Bad has tremendous potential to be awe-inspiring and fun. Plus, we get to see Meghan and Ash and the entire Iron Fey gang back together again, which is never a bad thing.

For those reasons, I am loathed to discount The Iron Raven altogether. I am too curious to see where Nyx’s and the Big Bad’s stories go to do that. However, I will have to give considerable thought should the story continue from Puck’s point of view. That is something I do not relish in the slightest.

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