3.5 stars.Julie Kagawa returns to the Nevernever in the form of Ethan Chase, the younger half-brother of Meghan Chase, Queen of the Iron Realm, who we first met many years ago in The Iron King as a young, innocent boy, used as an object to lure Meghan into the Nevernever to rescue him. Now all grown up and with a record of criminal behaviour to his name, Ethan wants nothing to do with the world of the Fey, constantly pouring salt on his windowsill and hanging iron over and around his door to ward off any Fey trying to reach him. After his innocence was stolen from him at a young age and his sister left them for the Fey world forever, never to contact them again, of course Ethan would have trouble coming to terms with living like a normal teenager, with no secrets and worries. However, when a kid from school – who we learn is a half-phouka – disappears and a new type of Fey called the Forgotten surfaces in the mortal world, Ethan has no choice but to go to the Nevernever to find his missing half-phouka friend and discover what the Forgotten are after before anyone else gets attacked. And because of this, he drags Kenzie, a girl from school, into this world – something he never wanted to happen – into a world that stole his sister. Can Ethan become the newest hero and saviour of all Fey, both in the Nevernever and the mortal world? Only time will tell.I loved the original Iron Fey series with Meghan as our protagonist. She was my girl. MY. GIRL! So when it was announced Julie Kagawa was going to write a continuation series from the point of view of Ethan, I was incredibly excited. Maybe Ethan’s story would finally attract more boy readers into the Nevernever and the world of the Fey, just as I was with The Iron King (which I loved so much). Because after all, what boy reads books about faeries? Uhhh, me? Ethan was a likeable male protagonist – he was such a pro at Kali, wielding those rattan sticks (and later swords) like some martial arts master. He was someone that knew what he wanted and would do anything to get it, whether that was finding Todd, the half-phouka, or protecting Kenzie from the threats of the Fey world by bringing out his swords and killing anything that causes harm. And although I would have punched him myself for talking to Meghan the way he did, I felt for him and would have done the same thing. Meghan did change; she wasn’t the same girl we knew by the end of The Iron Queen, or rather The Iron Knight. She’s a Queen; she has a realm to protect. But she forgot to protect Ethan for twelve years since.As for the other characters, Kenzie – full name: Mackenzie St. James – is an interesting new addition to the already beloved cast of characters. Early on I was unsure about Kenzie and if she would live up to the other characters, but by the end I really liked her character arc and how she evolved as an individual, from the insistent, in-your-face school journalist to a fragile girl full of dreams. She really did change Ethan in many more ways than one and I am curious as to how she grows more in the next instalments of this series. Then there’s Kierran, who is – you would know if you read The Iron Knight – Meghan’s and Ash’s son. Once again, I was unsure about this new addition. And I am still unsure about him. I found Kierran to be a pretty flat character. Maybe it is because he is Meghan’s and Ash’s son… *jealousy alert*. But, no, I felt that Kierran did not have any positive to give to the story or to Uncle Ethan; Kierran was kind of just a plot device to make events happen. Other than those two, Meghan, Puck, Ash, Grimalkin as well as the Exile Queen Leanansidhe make appearances and influence the path of the plot – mostly Leanansidhe as it is the Exiled Fey and half-breeds that are disappearing and Grim who guides Ethan and Kenzie through the Nevernever. (I would have liked to seen Meghan more, but let’s hope that happens in the second book.)In terms of the plot, I felt so-so about it. There were similarities to the original Iron Fey series in the way that events unfolded, so I did not find my as interested as I was in them. It was great to be introduced to the Forgotten and their role, but Kierran was an element I am still on the fence about – Kierran is after all like no other fey: three-quarters human, one-quarter fey, who has the powers of the Summer, Winter and Iron Fey, so I do hope we learn more about him in the next book. I just don’t think this first book gave a first good impression of him. Especially with his fall-over-heels-for/over protective relationship with Annwhyl. The ending was pretty average and anticlimactic. I was waiting for the moment a battle to erupted and when Ethan would whip out those blades of his one last time and slice slice slice like the hero he was becoming. But nope, nothing of that sort. I really do hope we get something like what happened in The Iron Queen very soon with a greater conflict.Overall, I was satisfied in my return to the Nevernever and the world of the Fey, and I wonder what will happen next – and since the second book is titled The Traitor Son, something interesting might just happen. In a year’s time we will find out. Hopefully it will give Kierran the opportunity to redeem himself and show that he belongs in this story as much as Ethan. Being a “traitor son” wouldn’t be too fun, after all. What will Julie Kagawa conjure up next? I. Do. Not. Know.