Wednesday, 14 November 2012

The Lost Prince by Julie Kagawa

The Lost Prince by Julie Kagawa is the first book in her new Call of the Forgotten series. In a way it's also the fifth book in the Iron Fey series, set in the same universe and chronologically later in time. However, I was told it was a good place to start if I didn't want to commit to the earlier books. The only other book by Julie Kagawa that I've read was The Immortal Rules, which is set in an entirely different universe. So this review is from the perspective of someone who hasn't read any of the Iron Fey books. Since the Iron Fey series does provide back story to The Lost Prince, it's possible this review will contain spoilers for the earlier books, but I suspect only in the form of who survived them. A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley for review purposes.

Ethan Chase is a normal kid except for one thing: he can see faeries. He spends most of his time keeping them away and trying to ignore them, because once they realise he can see them, they enjoy making his life difficult. Ethan also tries to make himself  unapproachable to his peers out of fear of putting them in faery-shenanigan danger. As a result, the first half of the book was a bit of a metaphor for teenage angst. Not in an annoying way, but a) he was moody and pushing everyone away and (thanks to faeries) getting into trouble and b) his problems were something that no one could understand (because faeries).

The secondary character, Kenzie, was great. She's a smart high school reporter who starts off wanting to know the story behind Ethan. Then she gets dragged, with Ethan, into the world of faeries. Of course, it's not just any faeries. Some new dangerous kind is running around causing trouble and killing things.

What I really liked about Kenzie is that she was smarter than Ethan. I can't think of another book told in first person from the boy's point of view where the girl gets to be the smarter one. Of course, Ethan's brawn and kali (Filipino martial art) are also required to save the day, but it was refreshing. There was also an interesting reveal about her towards the end, which I don't want to be specific about because spoilers, but I'm looking forward to how it will be addressed in later books. Highlight the rest of this paragraph for a minor spoilery comment: basically, I'm hoping for heartbreak at the end of the series, not a magic saves the day scenario.

I enjoyed The Lost Prince a lot. It was a fun read. It didn't rely on the earlier books to make sense and I am definitely keen to keep reading about Ethan when the sequel comes out. I'm interested to have a read of the earlier series, but I'm not going to rush out and buy them immediately. They're on my "when I have time to get around to it" TBR list.

That said, I definitely recommend The Lost Prince to fans of YA fantasy looking for a fun read with action and faeries. Do not be put off by the pile of preceding books, they are not necessary for the enjoyment of this one.

4.5 / 5 stars

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