Book 1 in the Iron Witch series
Publisher: Flux Books
Date published: February 8th, 2011
Fantasy Young Adult
Reviewed by Dawn (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/Iron-Witch/dp/073872582X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1349046653&sr=1-1&keywords=Karen+Mahoney
Obtained by Library
For Donna Underwood, being different is a hard thing to bear, especially when you are a senior in high school and have to leave to be home schooled after an incident that left her an outcast there. For a fey attack at the age of seven has left her injuries that only alchemy magic and iron were able to heal her though it left her with tattoos that swirl on her arms and hands. That attack left her family in tatters. Her father died trying to save her, a mother who was driven mad by the wood elves attack and in a half-way house. For Donna, it left her alone, trying to fit in, trying to be normal when normal is not what she is. When she meets Xan, a mysterious boy that has as many secrets as Donna, she finds a person she can be free with and soon starts to fall for him…until her best friend is kidnapped by the Wood Elves and Donna will risk everything to save him. Even her life.
This was the first book I read by this author and I have got to say, I was intrigued by the way she combined fantasy such as Fey and Alchemy together in a story. It was quite unusual but a highly enjoyable story to read. In this first book in the Iron Witch series, we meet Donna who was healed from a bad fey attack with alchemy that left her with an iron tattoo that changes pattern constantly as well as special gifts that can get her into trouble…especially if Donna loses her temper like she did that one day in high school and now because of that incident, she is home schooled, an outcast among her peers. I enjoyed the fast paced storyline and the hints of mystery that surrounds Donna and the way this author weaves alchemy into it was phenomenal. What I had an issue with was the several passages of information dump. I understand you need a back-story on Donna and everything but it felt very overwhelming at times when you get a passage on what happened to Donna’s family or how she was healed, etc. It would have made more sense to weave it slowly through the story but even with those few pages of information, I still enjoyed THE IRON WITCH. I have to warn you, the ending leaves you scrambling for book two immediately as it has a few questions left unanswered.
Overall this is a unique story that a reader will enjoy. There are just enough characters to enjoy and I have got to admit, there were one or two that had me wondering if they were bad guys but overall the characters were well written and enjoyable. The story was a little bumpy as I mentioned above but it smoothed out until the ending when my jaw dropped and I raced for Book two, The Wood Queen, to see if the questions left at the end of book one are answered in book two. I am eager to check out book two and see if the author smoothed out some of the information dumping and if Donna will be able to figure out the secrets to what happened to her at age seven. If you are looking for a unique blending of Fey and alchemy, then try THE IRON WITCH.
This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.