Release Date: October 23, 2012
(Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher!)
Published by: Harlequin Teen
The Lost Prince (The Iron Fey #5: Call of the Forgotten #1) by Julie Kagawa
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’d 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 myth and talking cats, of magic and seductive enemies. But when destiny comes for Ethan, there is no escape from a danger long, long forgotten.
This novel is one of Julie’s books that will have you demanding for the second one as soon as you finish your read.
1. (+) Ethan Chase, the protagonist - Ethan wasn't the kind of protagonist I'd expected. Let's face it: when I read the Iron Fey books, I didn't really think of Ethan, and the thought that he might turn into this bitter, angry guy who's left to his own devices when his sister makes her choice never even crossed my mind. But that's what he's become. He's independent, protective, fierce, strong, quite the jerk at times, yet I couldn't help but sympathize with him because I understood, I could see how everything that he'd gone through had turned him into this jaded person. I do wonder, though, if people who haven't read the original Iron Fey trilogy will have a harder time sympathizing with Ethan, since they don't understand the extent of his struggles. Also, sometimes Ethan's moodiness/brooding bothered me. Sometimes it just got to be too much, all these reminders of him being unable to protect X and X, how his life screwed with those who got close to him, etc. etc. All the self-loathing. Ethan calls it bullshit later, and I tend to agree. I wanted him to relax and stop being the macho / masochistic guy for a little while longer than he did in the book.
2. (+) World Building - This is how Kagawa has scored legions of fans, and she does not disappoint. Although less time is spent in the Nevernever than in previous novels, I could not help but admire her imagination in creating this whole new species of fey, in reinventing what it means to be a faery and a mortal. There's a combination of magic and normalcy in this, with their journey to the Nevernever and the strange happenings here in the mortal world. Everything was shown to us with really clear imagery, and I can't wait to find out more about the Forgotten.
3. (+) Romance - I was really worried about this, because generally I'm not a fan of male protagonists, especially when it comes to their POV on romance... But it was sweet watching Ethan's transition from pushing Kenzie away to caring about her without even realizing it... and I really like Kenzie. She's fierce, spunky, determined, and self-confident. (I want to include strong, but when I think about it, I think there were too many moments when she was the weak link in the group -- hopefully that will change.) And hopefully, she'll also take some of the bitter edge off Ethan. She jokes a lot about his brooding. In general, they seem to balance each other well.
4. (+/-) Plot - Plenty of twists and turns (though I did predict both major revelations way earlier in the books), and Ethan started his hero's journey, but when I think of what actually happened, what I can say this book did, all I can say is that we've been introduced to the villain, and Kenzie and Ethan have started falling for each other. In a way, it almost reminds me of Shatter Me. It seems to follow the hero's journey, but at the end of a hero's journey, there's generally something good that has to do with the main plot, and not the sub-plot (i.e. the romance). I don't want to compare it to the first Iron fey book, but I will - with Iron King, you get the sense that Meghan has done something extraordinary re: Machina, but there's still something more. Here, I get the sense that there's still something more, but what has Ethan accomplished?
5. (+) Cameos - Puck, Ash, Meghan, Leanansidhe, Razor, Glitch, Grim - characters you know and love return to the scene with their usual theatrics and comedy.
6. (+) Character Cast - The cameos don't overshadow the fact that there are still other characters we're introduced to who you'll love. Like Kenzie, Kierran, Annwyl.
7. (--) Villains - I kind of touched on this before, but I didn't feel the threat of the main villain. The main villain's cronies-- sure. There were scenes of them draining others but the Lady, aka their queen? It wasn't like Machina or any of the other villains, who'd shown their power to us, and shown that they were dangerous. The Lady sits back on her throne, beautiful but unmoved. Maybe this is partially because I thought there was going to be a much larger battle than there was in the end.
8. (+) Writing - It's the same as any other Julie Kagawa book. Pretty vivid and alternating between tense and comical, though Ethan smirks a bit too much, and the characters in general have too many of the cliched reactions, like grimacing, wincing, etc. etc. And here's a nitpick: sometimes there was a strange formality in the writing, like when Ethan would use for instead of since or because. But don't get me wrong: I still enjoyed the ride the writing brought me along.
9. (+) Pacing - As I said earlier, I always had the sense that something was happening... though the story itself takes a while to start. If I remember correctly, around page 100? was when Ethan and the rest really and truly started their journey.
10. (+/-) The Cover - I'm not sure I understand the significance of Ethan's skin looking like vines? Or??? But I do like how it matches with the rest of The Iron Fey books.
The start of another promising journey in the Iron Fey world, complete with your favorite characters and new ones you'll soon love, with another species of fey that raises the stakes for the Nevernever, and with a startlingly sweet romance-- Julie Kagawa has done it again.