Monthly Archives: February 2011

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Teen Librarian: Gaming special

It is with great relief that I can announce that the latest edition of Teen Librarian is ready for download here:


Author Interview with Julie Kagawa

Julie Kagawa, author of the phenomenal YA fantasy series The Iron Fey recently took some time out of her busy schedule to take part in a quick Q&A with Teen Librarian.

1. In The Iron King the fey are all from the Western European tradition of faeries – as the series progresses will you spread out into the mythologies of other cultures?

In the Iron Fey series, I stuck mostly to the traditional faeries of England, Scotland, and Ireland, because they are Fey. For example, the kitsune of Japan is not a faery but more of a spirit. However, I do love oriental mythology, and though it might not appear in The Iron Fey series, its certainly something I would love to write about in the future.

2. How much research did you do before you started The Iron Fey series?

I already had a good grasp of faery lore and legend, so it was more of a “research as you go” sort of thing. Most of my research was done online, though I did watch A Midsummer Night’s Dream before starting The Iron King, just for inspiration.

3. I loved the concept of faeries of Iron, will you be delving more into the backstory of the Iron Fey themselves from the time of Ferrum and the founding of the court of Iron?

Thank you. And the origins of the Iron Fey will be touched upon as the series progresses, most notably in the third book, The Iron Queen.

4. Will Floppy ever reappear?

He does pop up one more time in a dream sequence, but other then that, no.

5. Is the Iron Fey series open ended or do you have a definite end goal in mind for the series?

Oh, there is a definite ending for Meghan, Ash, Puck, Grim, and everyone in the Iron Fey world. I don’t like leaving things open-ended; I want to know, as I close the last page, that the story is over, and that it ended the only possible way it could.
For more information on the Iron King and to find out about forthcoming releases from Mira Ink click on the logo to be taken to their website.

The Sunday Express is giving away 1000 ebook copies of The Iron King here
Watch the book trailer for The Iron Fey

Simplified Dungeons & Dragons

Over the past few years I have spoken to a number of D&D and gaming fans that work in Libraries, without exception they have stated that they would love to set up gaming sessions in Libraries, the only problem they have encountered is the timescales involved in setting up and running campaigns.

Now thanks to BoingBoing I have found a website that has provided a ‘how to’ guide on running a D&D introductory campaign for eight year olds. The campaign can be tweaked for older players in libraries but overall the simplified rules and character creation makes it easier to start with beginners.

2) Kids chose which color dice they want and which miniature will be their hero, both of which they got to keep as “goodie bags” from the party. We didn’t have them do any further character creation (all heroes had the same stats behind the screen) except for name. Lots of the kids who hadn’t played before had problems coming up with a name, so I asked if they wanted to roll for one. I didn’t actually have a table, I just used the time they were rolling the dice to think them up.

3) The scenario was that the heroes set forth from their stronghold to explore the surrounding wilderness in search of magical items to claim and Pokemon to capture. We had the kids construct the wilderness using Heroscape hexes, and the stronghold using wooden Kapla blocks

The campaign was played over two and a half hours. For full details go here:

What Made for a Successful D&D Birthday Party

The Iron King by Julie Kagawa


Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan’s life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school…or at home.

When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she’s known is about to change.
I finished reading The Iron King today, it took me three days to read this book (in my defence I was also preparing for a job interview).

This book made me fall in love with fairy tales again. The story starts, as all good fairy tales do, with a loss, this is narrated in a very matter of fact way by our narrator, Meghan Chase. It is through her that the story is told, we are introduced to her brother, mother and step-father and her world. The Iron King mixes old fairy stories with modern 21st century life, and the travails of being a teen – unrequited love, cyber-bullying and some truly creepy scenes involving Meghan and Ethan (especially when he tells her what his toy bunny whispers to him).

The Iron King is not a new story, it takes the oldest tales of the fey and the dangers they represent and makes them new again. When Ethan is stolen away and replaced with a Changeling, Meghan risks everything to follow him into the Nevernever with only her oldest friend Robbie Goodfell (a puckish lad) at her side to guide and defend her, but even he is something more than he seems.

The faeries in this book are the Lords and Ladies of the old tales; ancient, proud and utterly inhuman, but possessed of the finest courtly manners. In the courts of the fey beware of what you say or promise as words have power and your word.

Meghan learns that both Seelie and Unseelie Courts are weakening but neither hold her brother. To find him she must brave the terrors of the Iron King and an new, unknown power growing hidden within Faery – the Court of the Iron Fey.

Read it! Loved it! Would recommend it to everyone who enjoys fantasy and fairytales in their YA Fiction

The Sunday Express is giving away 1000 ebook copies of The Iron King here

We Love Libraries – The Movie

Courtesy of

My Soul to Take by Rachel Vincent

Something is wrong with Kaylee Cavanaugh…
She can sense when someone near her is about to die. And when that happens, a force beyond her control compels her to scream bloody murder. Literally.
Kaylee just wants to enjoy having caught the attention of the hottest boy in school. But a normal date is hard to come by when Nash seems to know more about the dark forces behind Kaylee’s power before she does.
And when classmates start dropping dead for no apparent reason and only Kaylee knows who’ll be next, she realises that finding a boyfriend is the least of her worries.

Take a feisty young woman with a past shrouded in tragedy, living with an aunt, uncle and a bitchy cousin. Add a mysterious power that could be supernatural in origin or a symptom of psychological imbalance and throw in a sexy love interest that is mysterious and appears to know more than he should about her and who she is. So far so, generic right?
Well no actually…
My Soul to Take, the first book in the Soul Screamers series opens with a premonition of death in a club, unable to speak to her aunt and uncle about it (the perils of underage clubbing) she has to rely on her best friend Emma and Nash (the hottest boy in school) to work out what is happening to her.

This is the story of Kaylee, told from her perspective as she takes her first steps beyond ignorance of the supernatural, into a wider world of faeries, monsters and demons. Rachel Vincent has captured the voice of a teenage girl who is struggling to fit in with her life at school, find love and at the same time is coming to terms with the realisation that she is possibly not crazy and that there may be more to her visions than psychosis. The only problem is that her understanding of her powers comes as people start dropping dead around her.
The personal development is carefully paced and although the action quotient is high the story never feels rushed, and we are left with more questions than answers which is good as there are several books still to come.

My Soul to Take is squarely aimed at the Twilight demographic, my only concern is that plastering “Twilight fans will love it” (from Kirkus Reviews) on the cover may put off those that did not enjoy Twilight, as MSTS is very much its own story and (IMHO) far more gripping than Twilight was.

Delightfully low in angst!