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It has been thirteen years since Ethan Chase had been kidnapped into the Nevernever. Back then, his sister Meghan managed to bring him back, but now she is part of this world herself. Meghan won’t come back which doesn’t apply for other Fey: he has the Sight and they know it. They make his life hell and put him into situations he can’t explain to other people. Ethan tries to stay away from both Fey and humans, so he can lead a more or less calm life and won’t endanger anyone. However, things don’t go his way, because then he meets Todd and Kenzie. The former is a half phouka who isn’t so bad after all; the latter is a young girl who is much too nosy for his taste and whom he definitely likes way too much. He can’t keep any of those two from meeting the Fey, though, which has become much more dangerous than it used to be. Ghostlike Fey that had been forgotten by Fey and humanity alike are willing to fight so they can come back – whatever the cost.
It is probably the best to read “The Lost Prince” when you already know “The Iron Fey”. There is no problem in understanding what’s going on, but Meghan’s story adds some layers to Ethan’s adventures that simply increase the fun you have – and if it’s only for the joy of meeting certain characters again.
Besides, you then already know what you’re up to when picking up this book. Julie Kagawa’s writing style still is a simple one and she goes into details whenever she has to. It never gets pompous or anything like this; you can say it is a lovely easy read.
Also concerning the journey, Kagawa again offers a trip right through the Nevernever, though this time much of the action also takes place in the human world. Standstill might be something that would be helpful to the Fey, but it’s something the book lacks. The goal of this journey might not always be too clear, but sooner or later the thread is visible again and the story keeps on going.
What’s missing in this book is unnecessary romantic drama, though I can’t say I’m sorry about that. Ethan simply isn’t his sister and hopefully he won’t start any “I’ll just try to be with my best friend because I can” business especially when it’s clear that this has nothing to do at all with love. He also isn’t a boy who is said to be strong who has to be rescued, nonetheless, whenever things get nasty. No, he has been fighting the Fey for a long time now and tries to protect the people around him, especially his family. He might not be able to use glamour; instead he’s a genius with his weapons which makes him perfectly capable of saving himself most of the time. Of course, some help is always welcome; still, he’s a much more likable protagonist than Meghan.
All this doesn’t mean that there is no drama at all, but it’s not the Romeo-and-Juliet kind of drama that is the most prominent. Ethan and Kenzie have different and, honestly, much bigger problems. Furthermore, Ethan naturally is very (very) angry with his sister, even though his accusations are not really fair sometimes. It were those parts during which I had to suffer the most, mainly because I kept hoping that they would finally talk to each other. But be it as it is, there is no time for that.
Another important character, Kenzie, is also a very tough one. She’s a young, rather bold girl, determined to do what is necessary without hurting anybody. She has her own burden to carry and is, to simply state it, a very lovely person.
That can’t exactly be said for Keirran, but on the other hand he causes some controversy that is very welcome. Of course, most Fey are not overly fond of the Forgotten who threaten their existence. It reminded me of the Iron Fey who seemed to be hostile as well, until we step by step discovered that they can be rather nice, too. Here, again, the first reaction is rejection. The Fey want the Forgotten gone for good; what they’re doing can’t be accepted but … but. Are they really all like this? Are there no other solutions that suit both the Fey and the Forgotten? It is not possible to clearly distinguish between ‘Good’ and ‘Bad’, especially because both sides have their strong and their weak arguments. It creates not only a conflict between the Fey but also an inner conflict for the reader: on whose side are we? What kind of ending do we hope for? I can’t say that I have an answer for myself and I am really looking forward to what else Julie Kagawa is going to reveal.
Besides all of this, there are enough other points to be thrilled about. There’s Kenzie and the relationship between Ethan and Meghan, just as those between other characters that are just hinted at or that aren’t supposed to be (without any reason visibly presented). There are a lot of details and questions that are left open without letting the book look unfinished. So, I am very eager to continue this journey.
Julie Kagawa offers much in “The Lost Prince” that we are already familiar with from her other books. In the end, it’s much more fun, though, simply because Ethan is such a nicer protagonist than his sister. Combined with no mere black-and-white characterization, a lot of drama that has not only to do with love, and Kagawa’s typical writing style this results in a very entertaining read I would recommend without hesitation to everybody who liked the other books as well. You might even try it if the last books have been a letdown for you.