Publisher: Harlequin Teen (2012)
Format: E-book / ARC | 379 pages
Genre(s): Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Description (GR): "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."
WARNING: SPOILERS for the Iron Fey series
The Lost Prince is book 1 of a new series set in the world of the Iron Fey.
Ethan Chase could always see Them. The Good Neighbors, The Gentry, more commonly known as faeries. He considers it a horrible curse, one that destroyed his family and threatens anyone and anything he loves. So he keeps people away with his attitude. That way, he's the only one that gets hurt by Them.
When Ethan transfers to yet another school, everything changes. He meets MacKenzie, a persistent girl that isn't intimidated by his bad-boy facade. And Todd, who is half-human and half-faerie. Todd wants Ethan's help... because something terrible is chasing him. Ethan doesn't want anything to do with faeries of any kind, but when unknown ghostly faeries start following him, he realizes he is already too involved in whatever is happening. And that he will have to finally confront his past and his nightmares.
Ethan Chase's first appearance was in The Iron Fey series. He was a little boy then, a boy who could see faeries. He was kidnapped by the strange and deadly Iron Fey and taken to the NeverNever so that his sister, Meghan would rescue him.
In The Lost Prince 13 years have passed and Ethan is now seventeen. He has been haunted and hunted by mischievous fey all his life, because when They know you can see them, that's what happens. Plus, his older sister, Meghan is now one of Them, a queen of Faerie and she stopped visiting. His family watches him like a hawk, afraid they'll lose him like they lost Meghan. So no, everything did not end fine. Meghan's sacrifice didn't ensure a great life for those left behind.
I found it very interesting that the author decided to write a book about Ethan. Generally is it implicit by the end of a book, or series, that "all is well" or at least as well as could be expected. At the end of The Iron Queen, Meghan Chase left the real world to rule the Iron Kingdom and save the whole of NeverNever from annihilation. But that had a price and not only for her. That's what it's shown to us in the The Lost Prince. Ethan wasn't automatically fine. He was traumatized by the whole thing and grew up to be a lonely, paranoid (young) man. Because faeries still pursue him, try to trick him and play pranks on him.
Ethan was an interesting character for the reasons mentioned above. He was rude and contrary, one of those male characters one would usually be 'booing' at for being an ass to the heroine. Knowing his motives made it a bit easier to forgive his "jackassery", as he calls it (although he was still an idiot). But at least he was consistent with his bad attitude, meaning he didn't send mixed signals to his love interest (yes, there is one).
I also liked the fact that he could defend himself. The introduction of Kali, the martial art, was intriguing (I'd never heard of it before). I loved how Ethan was scared but also prepared and didn't run into everything blindly (as happens frequently in YA books). It emphasized the fact that he is in fact, only human and his enemies are deadly and supernatural. I always liked heroes that fight against all odds.
The plot is pretty much structured in a similar way to the other books of the Iron Fey series. The hero encounters weird faeries; the hero ends up in the NeverNever with Grimalkin (yes, there is Grimalkin!!) as his guide; Leanansidhe makes an appearance. Puck makes an appearance. Ash and Meghan too (again, yay).
Still, even if the plot was mostly predictable (Keirran's identity was clear as water from the first moment he 'appeared'), the engaging writing style and the charismatic characters made me want to continue reading almost compulsively. The imagery and descriptions are beautiful and "cinematic" as always and who can resist the talking cat and the famous Puck?
Kenzie was sweet, but lacked development almost until the end. I hope we see more of her, but I must admit she didn't add much to the story (maybe she will, in the future) and that it would have been as good without her. Keirran was also interesting, but as several characters remarked in the book, his love story was too similar to that of Meghan and Ash.
Another thing I thought could have been different: the POV. Somehow, I think a narrative in third person would have worked better in this book. Not that Ethan was a terrible narrator (he wasn't even girlish, which is great and something that could happen easily, since the author is female), but I felt it would have been a bit more intense in third person, because there are perspectives that I thought ought to have been taken into consideration as well (Keirran's for example, he was a very important character).
Overall, The Lost Prince was a nice, entertaining read that will certainly appeal to fans of the Iron Fey series (or even just faeries). I'd have liked a bit more originality plot wise, but I was still surprised once or twice and I am looking forward for more on the Forgotten. Who are they? And who is their mysterious queen? Will they have strange powers other faeries don't have? Will we recognize them from ancient legends? I can't wait for the next book!
I received a digital copy of The Lost Prince from Harlequin Teen through Netgalley. Thank you.