Reviewed by Tori
Ethan Chase is back and ready to fight to save his nephew, Nevernever, and his own world in this last installment. Having been brought back from the dead after his nephew stabbed him in a misguided effort to save the Forgotten, Ethan is shocked Kierran has declared war on all the courts. Ethan must once again travel through Nevernever to the deepest heart of the Wylde in order to find the one thing that may stop Keirran from destroying them all. Allies and enemies alike will need to band together because some of the old ones remember what it was like when the First Queen ruled and they will do anything to stop that from happening again.
The Iron Fey: Call Of The Forgotten is a spin-off of Kagawa’s best selling Iron Fey series. It focuses around Meghan Chase’s brother Ethan and her son, Keirran. I recommend reading the Iron Fey series first. Or at least the novella, Iron’s Prophecy, before starting this trilogy as it forms a loose bridge between the two series and tells us why Meghan Chase (Queen of the Iron Fey) went to incredible lengths to keep Ethan and Kierran from ever meeting. These are not standalones but Kagawa does a decent recap to bring you up to date.
Anyone who has read the original series knows this one is basically a lesser version of the with some minor tweaks and a new set of protagonists. Two people from opposing fey courts fall in love and attempt to defy the odds and the law in order to stay together. In this trilogy, Keirran, Prince of the Iron Court, falls in love with a young woman from the Summer Court. When Tatiana (the Summer Queen) demands that Annywl direct Keirran to kill an enemy from the Winter Court, she says no and is banished as a traitor from the Summer Court forever. This places her in the fade which is certain death. Once she begins to fade, Keirran makes a deal with the Forgotten Queen aka the First Queen, who promises if he helps her regain her throne, she will help keep his love alive.
The Iron Warrior picks up four months after The Iron Traitor ended. Ethan has finally awoken after his brush with death to discover Keirran failed to kill him but was able to open the Veil for small amount of time-causing chaos in the human realm. Meghan wants him to stay in the Iron Realm but Ash asks him to find away to save his son and stop the war Keirran is bringing to their door. With Kenzie and Razor, Ethan travels home to learn more about the amulet Guro gave Keirran for Annywl and figure out how to stop him. We learn the amulet is literally draining Keirran’s soul to keep Annywl alive and he must destroy it voluntarily if he is to survive. From here Ethan must find Annyel and convince her to help them stop Keirran and save his soul.
Julie Kagawa is definitely talented. She has a vivid imagination and a powerful voice that comes alive on paper. I absolutely adored the Iron Fey series and really wanted to love this trilogy with the same passion, but it’s the small differences in here that drag this storyline down rather than up. We’ve been here before and it shows. The predestined path Ethan and Keirran follow heavily curtails their ability to deviate from it and causes a curious lack of intensity and anticipation. Usually in situations like this, you can count on the characterization to be the dynamics of a storyline but that doesn’t develop well either. Ethan and Keirran are decent protagonists but their narratives are flat and their actions often inspired more exasperation then admiration.
We do see some familiar faces and some new ones join the story for its last hurrah. Kenzie, who we remember was in the hospital when Ethan is stabbed, is brought to Nevernever and joins him on his journey to find Annywl and the amulet. Kenzie finally seems to be more of a partner than hinderance to Ethan and is able to help him in his many dealings with the fey. Unfortunately, their romance is more told than felt. The lack of chemistry is apparent. I enjoyed seeing Ash, Meghan, and Puck though I miss the edginess that they each exhibited in their own story. In here they are minor players and it shows.
While I was never blown away by this trilogy, the similarities to the main series are just too strong to be ignored, I did enjoy revisiting the world. I was left with some questions and some disappointment as to how some characters were handled. This book is set up to be the last one though Kagawa leaves us with an epilogue and small note informing us she may be revisiting it in the future. Until then, for now we say goodbye to Nevernever and those who reside there.