Author: Julie Kagawa
Genre: YA, Paranormal
Publication Date: October 23, 2012 (HarlequinTeen – North America)
Source: NetGalley Review Copy
Summary: Don’t look at Them. Never let Them know you can see Them.
That is Ethan Chase’s unbreakable rule. Until the fey he avoids at all costs—including his reputation—begin to disappear, and Ethan is attacked. Now he must change the rules to protect his family. To save a girl he never thought he’s dare to fall for.
Ethan thought he had protected himself from his older sister’s world—the land of Faery. His previous time in the Iron Realm left him with nothing but fear and disgust for the world Meghan Chase has made her home, a land of myths and talking cats, of magic and seductive enemies. But when destiny comes for Ethan, there is no escape from a danger long, long forgotten.
My name is Ethan Chase. And I may not live to see my eighteenth birthday.
☆: 4.5/5 stars! A wonderful return to one of my favorite YA fantasy worlds!
Review: I’ll admit, when I finished “The Iron Knight”, I was pretty bummed out. Yeah, I got an HEA that I could live with (and that also seemed credible, considering the genre), but I just didn’t want to leave this world behind. Then “Lost Prince” got announced, and I got excited. But also suspicious. I’ve had problems with some long-running series (the “Sookie Stackhouse” mysteries and “The Dresden Files” to name just two) that it’s where I get to a point where I feel like the series has lost all of its freshness, and it feels like the author is writing the same book over and over again from a certain point forward. However. I am very happy to report that this is NOT the case with “The Lost Prince”, and if anything, had me guessing and kept my interest at pretty much every single important plot point in the book. If you’re a fan of the “Iron Fey” series, what are you waiting for? Ethan won’t wait for you forever!
What I think I loved the most about this start to a new sequel series about the “Iron Fey” world was that right from the jump, Kagawa makes it blatantly clear – even though Meghan has really, really influenced this story with her own, thirteen years previously, this is definitely Ethan’s story. This is Ethan’s story about coming to terms with being faerynapped in the first place, and dealing with the loss of his sister to her duties as queen. This is also Ethan’s story about dealing with all of the reprocussions of being able to see the fey, but being human at the same time – there’s not much you can do aside from constant vigilance, anger management, and self-defense when you’re in his situation. And Kagawa really dives into all of that anger and angst (which seemed really realistic, especially since/because he was a teenage dude, and it feels like not a whole lot of YA female authors can write cross-gender narration well enough for a realistic effect) without hesitation or qualms.
She got her start with cross-gender narration in “Iron Knight”, which at points did kind of fall into some of the traps of the ideal YA dude, but since he’s a faery, I can forgive that. Here, we’re dealing with a 100% faery-afflicted human, who has some serious trauma and anger to work through in order to get healthy about everything that’s happened to him. And you know what? He knows it. He admits he has some issues within his personal journey arc within this book, and that just makes me love Kagawa even more. Even when it’s a grudging admittance to all of these things, the fact that she can write a realistic guy with fantastical problems and still make it feel real definitely gets her a solid gold star (instead of a “you tried” star) in my book. If you’ve read other reviews of mine where I mention cross-gender narration, you’ll know it’s extremely hard to get right. Only a few authors that I’ve read who have tried have actually gotten it right. Kagawa now makes the list (and it’s in good company with David Levithan and others).
I also love how there’s no insta-love here. Ethan is way too angry for that, and I love the eventual relationship that develops between him and Kenzie. He resists it so very much, and that’s always really, really refreshing to see in a genre that’s stuffed with insta-love trying to claw at you at every turn. But because of Ethan’s very pronounced issues, their romance is very, very gradual, and is a friendship before it’s a romantic relationship. All of the action scenes where Kenzie jumps into the fray (even though she can’t do very much) really made me happy, a couple of definite “Adventure Time” Finn and Jake bro-fist-bump kinda moments scattered here and there.
Speaking of bromances, one of my favorite in all of paranormal YA comes back for fifths in this new book: Puck and Ash. I must have had my slash goggles on whilst reading because it seemed that Puck was way more flirty with Ash than in previous books. But, you know, that could just be the slash goggles. Nevertheless, I was definitely happy to see them come back – it just wouldn’t be an “Iron Fey” tale without those two.
We also have a lot of new characters in this book along with the old that helps bring in newcomers while satisfying those already familiar with the series. While I would have liked to see a lot more about Todd (and his origins – as in, who’s the faery parent?), what I got was enough to really fuel Ethan’s journey back to his sister and eventual acceptance about how the faery world and the human world have to work together in order to co-exist. I also loved the new villains/victims (because really, the Forgotten are both in this one), and I can’t wait to see more. Add to that one very uncomfortable family encounter and you basically get a huge stack of awesome that becomes “The Lost Prince”.
The rest of the technical areas of this book (worldbuilding, sensory language/imagery) were so flawless I’m not even going to touch them. There’s no need. Kagawa totally has this well in hand.
All I can say is, if you’re a fan of the first quartet, start this new series ASAP. “The Lost Prince” is out now through HarlequinTeen in North America, so be sure to get your paws on a copy as soon as you can! It’s on my best of 2012 list for good reason.