Saturday, September 29, 2012

Review: Ironskin by Tina Connolly

Title: Ironskin
Author: Tina Connolly
Series: Book One in the Ironskin Series
Published By: Tor Books (Oct. 2, 2012)
Source: ARC Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: YA Fantasy
My Rating: 4 Stars

Goodreads Description:
 Jane Eliot wears an iron mask.

It’s the only way to contain the fey curse that scars her cheek. The Great War is five years gone, but its scattered victims remain—the ironskin.

When a carefully worded listing appears for a governess to assist with a "delicate situation"—a child born during the Great War—Jane is certain the child is fey-cursed, and that she can help.

Teaching the unruly Dorie to suppress her curse is hard enough; she certainly didn’t expect to fall for the girl’s father, the enigmatic artist Edward Rochart. But her blossoming crush is stifled by her own scars, and by his parade of women. Ugly women, who enter his closed studio...and come out as beautiful as the fey.

Jane knows Rochart cannot love her, just as she knows that she must wear iron for the rest of her life. But what if neither of these things is true? Step by step Jane unlocks the secrets of her new life—and discovers just how far she will go to become whole again.

My Review: 
This really was reminiscent of Bronte's Jane Eyre, which, happens to be one of my favorite novels and I absolutely loved that about this book. I was afraid that the similarities would be a hindrance and maybe even ruin it, because let's face it, Jane Eyre is a hard book to contend with, thankfully that wasn't the case at all for me.

The author did a fabulous job with making this her own while still keeping the similarities of a much loved classic and adding a new and fun twist to the storyline, the fey.

She did a wonderful job in keeping with the ambiance of Jane Eyre, the slight dark almost gothic feel to it and adding a more modern world of steampunk to it.

The world and characters she created we very unique and richly told. The details in this one made you feel as if you walked the halls of the manor with Jane and were looking out into the forest as she did, fearing what darkness may still lurk there, waiting to be discovered.

I felt the pain and the depression that threatened to overwhelm Jane and her sadness and rage at others.

This stuck very much to the tortured soul of Jane in Jane Eyre and the complicated relationship between Edward and Jane. The sometimes confusing banter between the two, the flirting, the maddening hidden meanings behind their words and actions. And of course the air of mystery that both novels held. The secrets hidden away in the manor house and within the characters themselves.

My only regret is that while Connolly painted a very detailed picture of the manor and characters, we never really get the full story about the war with the Fey although we get small glimpses through Jane about how things started with the fey, we never really get a full story about them.  Why did the war end so abruptly? I knew there was a much more detailed story there and I really wanted to know it.

We know there are dwarves  because of Poule but, again, we  don't really know any of their secrets. Are there more creatures out there like them? More supernatural beings left undiscovered and unnamed? Who else lurks inside the forest that we don't know about yet?

There were quite a few secrets left unveiled and I can only hope that we will get more of them (as well as answers) in the sequel.

I really did fall in love with Jane and Edward and even Dorie and want to see more of them. 

I really liked how this one ended, while there wasn't a real conclusion to the story, this being the first in a planned series, it was a very satisfactory ending and did leave me wanting to read the next one, which I most definitely will be doing.  

Jane ended up being a very strong character and I think there will be many more challenges and adventures out there for her as her story continues and she tries to right all the wrong that the fey have done over time, before and after the war.

This was very well done and leave me excited for the next one.


  1. After reading your review I'm even more excited to read this book! Great review.

  2. I've never read Jane Eyre and didn't even realize this had similarities. The world building sounds really interesting. Also good to hear it has a good conclusion. I like series and I'm all for leaving some things open but I really hate cliffhangers.

  3. I didn't realize it either Jennifer until I started reading it! It was a pleasant surprise!

  4. I haven't read Jane Eyre (that I recall) but this book looks and sounds fab so I'm so happy to hear you enjoyed it! It seems like this author might have a signing here this fall, but I might be remembering wrong. If so I really want to go!

  5. A book signing would be so much fun!! I have yet to get to one.
    I hope you are able to go Candace!

  6. I was honoured to be chosen to narrate the audio's one of my favourite books this year!
    I loved every moment....!

  7. That is awesome Rozlan!!
    Thanks for stopping by!

  8. Fey, huh? I'm not usually into those types of books, but I like that it made you have such strong feelings. And I think the cover is really pretty :)