Review: The Lost Prince by Julie Kagawa

Rating: 4/5 stars
Pub Date: October 23, 2012
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Genre: young adult, fantasy (fairies/fae), romance
Format/Source: Hardcover, borrowed from the library
Status: Book 1 of The Iron Fey: Call of the Forgotten

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.

 I really enjoyed The Lost Prince. I find it a little weird that I like it somewhat better than the original series (with the exception of "Summer's Crossing", which was awesome), but there are some reasons why I'm not surprised. If you have read the third Iron Fey short story "Iron's Prophecy", a lot of The Lost Prince is already going to be spoiled for you, namely 1. the big reveal in regards to Kierran and 2. the hints that Ethan picks up about him.  So if you don't mind my discussing those things and some other small-ish spoilery parts of the book, join me below the cut.

Reasons why I like TLP better than the original Iron Fey series:

1. Razor. If Julie wrote an entire novel  all about Razor, I would devour it. He's like a puppy and a small child and a walking, talking firework all at once. He's the iron fey version of Puck, only he doesn't give as much lip. He's loyal. He's lovable. He's hilarious. You can't not love Razor.

2. Lack of a love triangle. THANK YOU, Julie Kagawa! Don't get me wrong; I love a good tortured yet well-balanced love triangle as much as the next YA fanatic, but this is a device that has become over-used. I'm not saying there aren't major complications for the two featured romances because there are. However, since none of those complications include two guys on the same girl or two girls after the same guy, I'm all for the broody romance.

3. Ethan. He's a different kind of tortured than Ash was. Reading The Lost Prince and looking back at the original series, I find myself less in love with Ash. He's still beautiful and I love that he would do anything for Meagan, but his type of brood is not my forte. Meanwhile Ethan is angry and angsty and he has some pretty good reasons to be. The guy's childhood was ruined because he was kidnapped by crazy faeries, and his sister pretty much abandoned him to rule in the Nevernever. You have to admit that's not a basis for a non-broody character.

4. Kierran. Yes, please! Also not entirely like Ash, although his level of awesome fighter-ness is pretty close. I'm definitely concerned about his future (aren't we all?!), and it's got to be weird to be the same approximate age as every. single. member of your family, but he handles it well.

5. Kenzie. She's a beast. I've got to hand it to a girl who can keep up with a broody boy and isn't (entirely) in it just to grab said broody boy. I'm not crazy about her reveal (sci-fi/fantasy mixed with everyday contemporary fiction themes is an odd mixture), but I saw it coming fairly early and had most of the book to come to grips with it, even before Kenzie spilled her secret.

6. The setting. The Nevernever freaks me out, not gonna lie. I'm glad the majority of TLP took place in the "real" world.

Definitely a solid story from Kagawa. I can't wait for The Traitor Son's release. I want to see where these new (and old) characters go from here.

Recommended for: Iron Fey fans, readers who enjoy contemporary but want to branch into a bit of fantasy
Not recommended for: Anyone who doesn't appreciate angst and broodiness

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About the Author:
Julie Kagawa, the New York Times bestselling author of the Iron Fey and Blood of Eden series was born in Sacramento, California. But nothing exciting really happened to her there. So, at the age of nine she and her family moved to Hawaii, which she soon discovered was inhabited by large carnivorous insects, colonies of house geckos, and frequent hurricanes. She spent much of her time in the ocean, when she wasn’t getting chased out of it by reef sharks, jellyfish, and the odd eel.

When not swimming for her life, Julie immersed herself in books, often to the chagrin of her schoolteachers, who would find she hid novels behind her Math textbooks during class. Her love of reading led her to pen some very dark and gruesome stories, complete with colored illustrations, to shock her hapless teachers. The gory tales faded with time, but the passion for writing remained, long after she graduated and was supposed to get a real job.

To pay the rent, Julie worked in different bookstores over the years, but discovered the managers frowned upon her reading the books she was supposed to be shelving. So she turned to her other passion: training animals. She worked as a professional dogtrainer for several years, dodging Chihuahua bites and overly enthusiastic Labradors, until her first book sold and she stopped training to write full time.

Julie now lives in Louisville, Kentucky, where the frequency of shark attacks are at an all time low. She lives with her husband, two obnoxious cats, one Australian Shepherd who is too smart for his own good, and the latest addition, a hyper-active Papillon.

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