Plot: Waking up from being stabbed in the back was not the way Ethan Chase wanted to return to the Iron Realm. He definitely did not want to tell his sister – the Iron Queen –it was her son, his nephew who had been the one to leave him for dead.
Things have never been easy for Ethan. Back in the Faery realm, he must battle against the forces of darkness to have any chance of saving his nephew’s soul. Although not alone, Ethan knows it must ultimately come down to him and Kieran facing each other once and for all.
Quote: `Everything is so screwed up. My sister is going to war with my nephew, my best friend killed me so the Lady could rise to power and the only way to stop all of this is to let another of our friends die.`
Opinion: The opening of this book is a severe disappointment. The timeline is all over the place and Ethan’s narration makes him sound like a young child rather than an eighteen year old. Reading the first part had me doubting my decision to read it at all, but I did preserve.
I’m glad I did, for the book suddenly gets much better. As soon as the plot starts moving forward rather than attempting to introduce different back stories, it becomes tense, exciting and keeps the reader on edge. The pace is fast and the danger great, especially once you realise that being on the side of good is no guarantee the characters will be able to survive.
The characters themselves are engaging. I worried about Ethan’s narration and whether he would literally be portrayed as a typical teenage boy for the entire novel, but he is mature enough for the majority of the book that his age does not undermine his narration. His relationship with the other characters seem realistic and the interactions between them all are well-written.
This is the first book that I have read in this series, so I cannot compare it to the others. However, I found that I was able to pick up the plot line easily despite not knowing the back story and the characters were introduced in such a way that it didn’t matter I didn’t know their origins, it all made sense to me. While I am interested in now knowing the back story, it is not essential.
The books are marketed at young adult. For the most part, this is true – I was gripped enough that I almost forgot to get off the train at one point. The first part reads as if it is aimed at a young teenager rather than a young adult. A younger narrator lowers the tone, hence why I will not backtrack and read the earlier books
Overall, I enjoyed this. The pacing was good, the characters well developed and the land highly imaginative, apart from half of the characters being named straight from Shakespeare’s work. Definitely glad to have read it.