Saturday, August 18, 2012

Book Review: The Lost Prince

The Lost Prince 
(The Call of the Forgotten #1)
Published By:  Harlequin Teen
Publication Date:  October 23, 2012
Page Count:379
Source:  ARC Kindly Provided by the Publisher via NetGalley
  Audience:  Young Adult - Fantasy

Julie Kagawa's magical brilliance strikes again!  If there was any doubt that her spin-off series from The Iron Fey was going to be a hit...you would be worrying for nothing!  Julie continues to pump out purely GOLDEN stories full of great imagery and adventures with richly-written characters and fantastical backdrops that literally lift off the pages and play out right in front of your eyes.  I fall into her stories effortlessly...and want to savor every moment.

Where to begin...


Remember Meghan's adorable little brother whom she rescued from the clutches of Machina in Julie's very first book, The Iron King?  Yes, THAT Ethan.  Well, Meghan's little brother is all grown up (and how...did you see that cover?!)  The Lost Prince is Ethan Chase's story, as Julie's fans already knew.  I remember way back then--worrying about the emotional damage that Ethan likely would have suffered from all he went through when he was little.  Ethan was kidnapped, terrorized and irrevocably frightened as a little boy...and those are scars that will last you a lifetime.  Well...as I suspected, those scars did run very deep.


Where most others could not, Ethan could see the fey ever since he could remember.  He is now 17 and thanks to the relentless attention from the sometimes sadistic faeries who have plagued him all his life, he has closed himself off from others, he believes, to keep them safe.  Through past events, he feels wholly responsible for all the bad things that have happened to those around him so he has taught himself to keep everyone at arm's length.  Grown-up Ethan starts off angry, bitter and lonely...he is immersed in a plague of suffocating guilt and tenuously controlled anger at the hands of the fey.  And I couldn't blame him.

My heart really went out to Ethan.  Of course, we know he is being unfair to himself but he just sees the facts and accepts that this is just the way it will be for him.  But what I loved seeing was Ethan's slow emergence out of that protective shell he built around himself.  It was so ingrained in his mind to alienate everyone he could potentially care about to keep them safe that his emergence was one he fought tooth and nail.  But it warred with his longing to just be just a normal teen for once and have friends...and it took a couple of special wanna-be-friends to help pull him out of his personal prison. 

Ethan's voice very much resembled his sister's in many ways.  I found myself thinking...that's so what Meghan would have said.  And like Meghan, he had his own challenges to face when it came to the fey...but he faced those challenges with the very same tenacity that Meghan had...albeit, stubbornly and sometimes recklessly too.

Thankfully, Ethan took some solace, and his aggression out, in Kali, a Filipino martial art involving special rattan sticks and knives, that built his confidence and taught him some superior fighting skills...skills he recognized he would probably need one day when facing off with the fey who refused to stop tormenting him.  And he would be right as there is a new type of fey emerging seemingly out of nowhere (and those of us who have read The Iron Knight have already been introduced to them) and once again the Nevernever is being threatened.

As far as Ethan was concerned, one person was responsible for breaking down those walls he erected...and that person would be Mackenzie St. James.  And you wouldn't want to call her Mac or she would pop you one.  Kenzie was a tenacious school reporter who saw something in Ethan that intrigued her and despite his constantly pushing her away...she refused to go away.  But being around Ethan meant being around the fey she couldn't see...and soon a whole new world was opened up to her and it was Kenzie who gave Ethan another perspective in which to view Them.  At first, I questioned how accepting she was of all this craziness but we learned later in the story the reasons behind that.  I thought Kenzie was a breath of fresh air and was just a perfect fit for Ethan...she was his voice of reason.

Their romance was another wonderful thing that slowly evolved as Kenzie chipped away at those really high walls Ethan put up.  Admittedly, Ethan sucked in the relationship department due to his lack of interaction with others.  He had a hard time voicing the honest and heart-felt feelings going on in his mind...he lacked confidence...but Kenzie was patient and called him on it several times.

As much as this story was Ethan's...there was another strong male lead that I'm dying to mention and it would be a travesty not to.  But to talk about him would also spoil the story for those of you who cannot guess so I will do my best to dance around who I'm referring to.  But I will say that he proved to be an awesome character that I am developing a big crush on...I definitely want to know much, much more about him!  (Boy...that sucked to not say his name nor gush about him...)

And if you were wondering whether our favourite cast of characters from The Iron Fey made an appearance in The Lost Prince...you need not.  Each time one of them entered the picture, I had the most ridiculously biggest smile on my face because I loved seeing them again!  It was like sitting back with old friends including one you had a wild crush on.  One of the things I loved about seeing them again was that each of them seemed a tad more grown-up and wiser for all they went through in the previous stories and in the time-span between these books, while still being themselves and having not aged. 

Julie's seamless transition from the stories of The Iron Fey to The Call of the Forgotten was so smooth it felt more like a continuance with the help of our beloved characters from The Iron Fey bridging the two series...we really get the best of both worlds while experiencing all new adventures with a new generation that does NOT mimic the original story at all.  Julie truly has a gift that, if you think about it, would undoubtedly capture the attention of the fey from her very own books!

With The Lost Prince, Julie once again seals her spot as my most favourite YA author, EVER!  I'd like to thank Harlequin Teen and Netgalley once again for the privilege of reading The Lost Prince early!  I am forever in your debt (I SO hope no one there is fey.)  There is no question in my mind that this series is promising to be as good, if not better, than The Iron Fey!


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’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 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.

 

23 comments:

  1. *Michele knocks it out the park*

    Amazing review my friend. I just can't get to the same level of fangirling in reviews of stuff that I love like this, no matter how hard I try!! I bow down to your superior skills!!

    And all I'm going to say about what must not be named in case of spoilers is... I am not in the least shocked you fancied the pants off him... you liked his Dad way too much!! (You have issues, lady!!)

    Let's here it for Michele, JK superfan!!

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    1. lol!! *I* have issues?!! lol! Yeah...I guess I do. :P Jen...you are too kind but thank you! I know many of us Larks are super-fans of Julie's books! It's hard to hold-back on the fan-girling with her stories!!! They're just THAT good...GREAT!! xo

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  2. wowza, the book sounds amazing O_O but then again, anything by Julie Kagawa is, lol. Great review, I can't wait to read this from Ethan's POV! :D

    Shreya
    Chocolate Coated Reviews

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    1. You are so right, ShreShre!! ALL of Julie's books are AMAZING! Thanks so much...and I think you'll love the story! Enjoy!

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  3. I have this book waiting so very patiently for me.... and I look at it daily wishing I could read it then.....

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  4. I can't wait to read this one -- loved the first books in the series! It sounds very interesting to see what happens with Ethan.

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  5. I haven't read this one yet, but I really want to!!! I just haven't gotten the chance yet. So excited to read more from Julie!

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  6. Thanks for checking out my review!! For those of you who haven't read it yet...I'm sure you will love it!!

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  7. I was totally captivated by the beginning of this book! Love the character arc:)

    Lovely review:)

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  8. I loved the book! It was really well written and it was fun meeting new characters and seeing old ones in the story~

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  9. I'm a huge fan of Julie Kagawa, and I loved this book to pieces. Awesome review!

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  10. I really have to get started on the Iron Fey series... shame on me! Great review BTW.

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  11. I have enjoyed every book she has published. I am sure that this one will be no exception!

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  12. Thanks all for your great comments! The Iron Fey is my all-time favourite YA book series...and that includes this one! Thanks for checking out my review!

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  13. You know, I haven't finished the whole Iron Fey series. And I need to. Because I have heard such good things about this new book, too. This author must really be something special!

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    1. Jaime, she is my favourite YA author! Her writing is so illustrative...I never have any trouble picturing what's happening. I just fall into her books effortlessly! I hope you continue on with The Iron Fey series - each book just gets better and better.

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  14. A spin-off series! And it sounds awesome! So looking forward to this! Thanks for the review!

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  15. I really enjoyed this book! I loved getting to meet Ethan because we only briefly met him in the Iron Fey series. Ahha, I definitely enjoyed reading about his relationship with Mackenzie!

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  16. Your fave author must be so busy. First is the Blood of Eden Series, which I want to read, and then this series. I'm a little worried on starting on this spin-off because I haven't read the Iron Fey yet. I might get lost along the way.

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  17. Anne, I'd read the original Iron Fey series first...not because you might feel lost...because there is enough back-story to not give you that feeling, but because the original books are truly EPIC! Each book just got exponentially more awesome! And her Blood of Eden series is sooo very different from her TIF books...it would be hard to mix them up! ;)

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  18. Thanks everyone for your great comments! And I hope you enjoy this great read when you do get to it!

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