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304 pages, ebook
First published September 4, 2013
My name is Ethan Chase.
Just shy of a week ago, I was dragged into Faeryland.
The first time it happened, I was four. Yeah, four years old, kidnapped by faeries and taken into the Nevernever, home of the fey. Long story short, my older sister rescued me and brought me home, but became a faery queen herself and now rules a part of the Nevernever called the Iron Realm.
Thirteen years later, despite all the precautions I took against the Fair Folk, it happened again. I found myself smack-dab in the middle of Nevernever, and this time I wasn't alone. A classmate of mine, a girl named Mackenzie St. James, managed to get pulled in, as well. A lot of weird, screwed-up stuff happened in the next few days, like following a talking cat through Nevernever, meeting my sister in the Iron Realm, sneaking out of the Iron Realm to meet up with the Queen of the Exiles and, oh yeah, discovering that my sister has a son. That's right, I have a nephew. A nephew who is part fey, completely unknown to my parents, and who, by the way of screwy faery time, is the same age as me.
Bees and butterflies floated everywhere among the flowers, sparkling like living jewels, and I could feel the sun’s warmth beating down on us. Everything looked peaceful, but I knew what a horrible lie that was in Faery. If everything appeared this tranquil, there was probably something stupidly dangerous lurking nearby.The creatures and the setting is typical Kagawa, which is to say, evocative, beautiful, brilliant. For me, a book has to have a combination of a compelling plot and complex characters, and this book has everything I could ever want.
I wish I could, I thought, closing my eyes. I wish there was some way, some bargain or deal or contract, to make you well again, but I know the rules. Nothing is free. Magic and power always come with a price. And maybe that’s selfish and paranoid, but I’m not willing to pay that price, or have you pay that price. Not yet. Not when there’s still a chance you could be okay without it.Ethan knows loss, and he is willing to put up with loss, because Ethan knows some prices are higher than he is willing to pay. Damn it, Ethan. You are this close to being my 4th book boyfriend, and this feels so wrong, considering I've watched you grow up from a scared little 5-year old boy. I don't want to be a pedophile ;_;
...as the hooded figure spun, his cloak swirling around him. My stomach lurched as our gazes met. Cold ice-blue eyes stabbed at me from beneath the hood, and bright silver hair fell around his face, the only spots of color to be seen. Beneath the cloak, he was dressed in black: black shirt, pants, boots, even gloves. I remembered the smiling, easygoing faery from just a week ago. The hard-eyed creature dressed all in black, staring at me in this den of shadow and fear, seemed like a stranger.He is driven almost insane by desperation in his quest to save Annwyl. So many times within this book, I found myself wanting to scream with frustration at Keirran and his foolhardiness. Ethan was right. Keirran will pay "any price" for Annwyl's life, and really, it's just too much. The boy cannot see beyond himself and his wishes.
“I am standing right here, Keirran,” Annwyl said, sounding angrier than I’d ever heard before. Her green eyes flashed as she stared the prince down. “And I did not ask you to save me if it meant bargaining at the goblin market, making deals that could get you killed and running away from the Prince Consort of Mag Tuiredh. You did not ask me what I felt about this plan—you just disappeared without telling anyone.”Old friends make an appearance in this novel. We meet Grimalkin, Robin Goodfellow, etc. again, but they do not play a major role in the book, and I completely agree with that. This is not their book. This is not their story. As much as I love them, Grim, Puck, etc. are part of Meghan and Ash's crowd. This is Ethan and Keirran's book. This is a new generation. Grim and Puck help things along, but they are not major characters, nor do I expect them to be. Their presence in the book was delightful, unexpected, and just right.
...two golden eyes blinked into existence, regarding us lazily.You will never hear me say this again, but Ash is a total DILF.
We leaped to our feet, and Grimalkin yawned, raising a hind foot to scratch an ear. “Hello again, humans,” the cat purred, as Razor screeched a loud “Bad kitty!” that made Keirran wince. “Still getting into trouble, I see.”
A silhouette was striding down the center of the road, heading for the alley we’d just vacated. Lean, tall, a long black coat rippling behind him, he was instantly recognizable. Even from this distance, I could see the glow of his sword, blue-black and deadly, and the glint of a cold silver eye.I'm so desperate for the next book, you cannot even imagine.
His dark gaze met mine. “You can’t save everyone,” he said in a gentle voice. “Sometimes, you have to make the decision to let them go.”
I swallowed hard. “I promise,” I said, holding her gaze. “From now on, I won’t ever try to keep you away. I’ll still probably be insanely paranoid and overprotective, but if you want to march into the Nevernever and wave a stick at a dragon, I won’t try to stop you.”
She raised a disbelieving eyebrow, a faint smile crossing her face. “Really? You won’t try to stop me at all.”
“Nope. I’ll just be sure to stand in front of the dragon with a shield when it tries to cook you.”
The smile broke through. “I think you have the roles backward, tough guy. Of the two of us, who’s more likely to go waving their sticks at a dragon?”
“Hey, I have swords now. If I’m going to be picking a fight with a dragon, you can be sure it’s not going to be with a stick.”
“Shut up and kiss me.”
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