Friday, June 3, 2011

The Iron Witch by Karen Mahoney

Book Summery (via Goodreads):
Freak. That's what her classmates call seventeen-year-old Donna Underwood. When she was seven, a horrific fey attack killed her father and drove her mother mad. Donna's own nearly fatal injuries from the assault were fixed by magic—the iron tattoos branding her hands and arms. The child of alchemists, Donna feels cursed by the magical heritage that destroyed her parents and any chance she had for a normal life. The only thing that keeps her sane and grounded is her relationship with her best friend, Navin Sharma.
When the darkest outcasts of Faerie—the vicious wood elves—abduct Navin, Donna finally has to accept her role in the centuries old war between the humans and the fey. Assisted by Xan, a gorgeous half-fey dropout with secrets of his own, Donna races to save her friend—even if it means betraying everything her parents and the alchemist community fought to the death to protect.
Book Review:
There are definite aspects that I like and dislike about this book.

What I didn't Like: The first 50 pages drew me in at the bookstore. I was hooked, and eagerly made the purchase. The next 120 pages were s.l.o.w. It took every thing I had to keep flipping the pages. Then the next 100 or so pages sped up again. It felt unbalanced, and left me wanting more once I hit the good stuff. I would have like to see the relationship between Donna and her aunt splayed about a bit more. I feel like Donna is always telling us how important her aunt is and how great she is, but we never really see it. Also, the relationship between Donna and Xan felt rather forced, I just wasn't feeling their connection. Perhaps it could be because I think Xan isn't really being honest about himself. It makes me leery.

What I Liked: The concept. Alchemy, faery,'s a recipe for an interesting plot, yes? I really love the cover. It's very dark and mysterious, it's what first drew me into story. The main character, Donna makes for a good main character. She's aware of her strengths and weaknesses, and overall, has a good sense of self. Although, I did find her constantly wondering about if she should or shouldn't touch Xan annoying at times. Donna's friendship with Navin was such an anchor in this story. I honestly would have liked to see more of it. Once I hit the action part of the book, I had a hard time setting it down. I had allllmost given up on the book altogether, but once I hit the core of the story, I was glad I stuck it out. :) For more info, check out Mahoney's website.

Favorite Quote:
"Ironbridge was like a story to her, a fairy tale filled with tricks and trials and monsters in the shadows waiting to take away everything you cared about. Since she was as good as orphaned, Donna felt like that of fairy-tale heroines...At the ripe old age of seventeen, Donna had decided that 'happily ever after' didn't exist for freaks like her." (p.38-39)

Cover Art Commentary:
I find this cover very alluring and mysterious. It beckons the reader to learn more...why are her arms covered in designs? What is she holding? Is she sad? scared???

Overall Rating:


  1. Nice review! Looks like an interesting debut novel!

  2. Alchemy is something I don't see a lot of and I'd be willing to give this book a read just for that point.

  3. Wow, okay. I thought this would be so good! I really want to try this book, but I so do not like slow beginnings. ;)