Usually I really hate starting a series in the middle or anywhere other than with the first book, so it was with a bit of trepidation that I started The Lost Prince. This is book 5 in a series. I was pleasantly surprised to find that this did not keep me from enjoying the book at all.
Julie Kagawa does a wonderful job creating a story that can stand on its own, but still feels like it belongs in a larger whole. That is difficult to do. Perhaps it was made easier because this book starts the story of a different character than the other 4 books. Whatever it is – it works.
There have been a multitude of faerie (fairy) books in the last few years – some of them have been really great – the majority have been rather weak. It is hard to take was is essentially a well-known concept that everyone has some knowledge of (though very few actually know any detail about) and make it fresh and new without bastardizing it. Kagawa has managed to do just that.
Ethan is an imminently relatable character. Yes he is supposed to be a loner, outsider and all of that – but the reasons why he is such are what make him someone we all can relate to. He has a deep compassion and goodness that speaks to anyone. And the difficulty fitting in and worry about hurting others is something most have felt.
The faerie worlds created seem vivid and real. I would like to know more about them and the history and such, but I understand that is one of the problems coming into a series anywhere other than the first. I will just have to go back and read the rest of the books to get my backstory. Which is as it should be.
The prose of the book is excellent. It has a very modern feel and moves very quickly. The new takes on some familiar characters is fun and quirky. Overall the entire book has a fresh feel with a hint of darkness. It contains elements of some of the most popular genres without being cookie cutter. There are hints of steampunk and vampire, but on the whole it is a unique and fully created world.
I was provided a copy of the book for review.