When I heard there was a spin off featuring Ethan, Meghan’s little brother from the first series and the catalyst that set her journey into motion, I was excited. I wanted to read about how he came to terms with what happened in the original series and how things stood between him and Meghan years later. Well, I didn’t get quite the family reunions and all I was wanting, but the scenes we did have were enough of a teaser to make me excited for whatever the future will bring. It wasn’t an easy reunion between him and Meghan, and it shouldn’t have been, considering she’d full out stopped talking to her human family for several years before the start of the book. I can understand Ethan being upset at her for it and how he’d let his anger out instead when he sees her again. As I’ve said before, I appreciate Kagawa’s willingness to make nothing easy for her characters. Speaking of the characters... well, I’m sad to say that except for Ethan and Kenzie, they weren’t really fleshed out much. Not like the characters were in the first Iron Fey novel. Meghan and the rest may have irritated me, but I knew who they were and they had very clearly defined personalities. Keirran (which was spelled Kierran in The Iron Knight, but details) was sort of there and had a few flashes of personality but nothing substanstial, his love interest was less defined than he was, and the villain was just sort of there, too. Which is a shame, because she could have been interesting! But at least the two main characters aren’t boring. Ethan’s a little angstbucket and, while after a certain point his complaining does start to grate on the nerves, he’s justified in how he feels so it makes it easier to swallow. Kenzie’s the type of character that people will either love or hate, and personally I fell on the liking side. I will say that the start to her relationship with Ethan made me very uncomfortable, as it seems to reinforce the trope that a girl will be attracted to a guy who’s an utter jerk to her. Yes, they both have their character-driven reasons for acting and reacting the way they do in this scene, but the implications still rubbed me the wrong way entirely. At the very least Ethan stopped being a jerk after a while, so it got better as the book went on. I do wonder if Kagawa’s really going to go through with the revelation Kenzie drops on Ethan late in the book, or if, by some faery magic, it’ll be resolved. I’m hoping she sticks it out instead of being talked into another happy ending. The plotting was a little messy and almost aimless at times, especially in the middle. First we went here, now we need to go here, now he leave this place only to find out we need to go back to it--that sort of thing. It’s interspersed enough with character scenes that it’s not overly unbearable, but it is noticeable. When I realized what the “enemies” were for this book, I nearly fell off my bed in excitement. I couldn’t wait to see how Kagawa brought them back and what they had in store. I wasn’t disappointed. The world building is still very solid, so the enemies here make sense and their plight is a very sympathetic one. The manner in which they go about solving it, though, is slightly harder to sympathize with. It was questionable enough that it made me wonder why Keirran was being so swayed by them, and it really wasn’t as morally grey an issue as the book tried to make it seem. What they were doing was wrong. There wasn’t really any two ways about it. Also, a small quibble: Kagawa really needs to break herself of having characters use little verbal tics such as overusing nicknames. Puck did it in the original four Iron Fey novels (he refers to Meghan as princess and Ash as ice-boy at least every time he speaks) and Kenzie here calls Ethan “tough guy” at least as much in the beginning of the novel. She tapers off from doing it, but it’s a very noticeable and frankly annoying thing that needs to be better edited out. Despite not being as good as the last two Iron Fey books, The Lost Prince manages to stand on its own as a solid book. It seems to be a more “getting the pieces into place” type of book, and the pieces set here are intriguing enough to make me interested in the next book, The Traitor Son.