Author: Tina Connolly
Series: Book Two in the Ironskin Series
Published By: Tor Books (October 15, 2013)
Source: Copy Received By the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: Historical Fantasy
My Rating: 4 Stars!
Helen Huntingdon is beautiful—so beautiful she has to wear an iron mask. Six months ago her sister Jane uncovered a fey plot to take over the city. Too late for Helen, who opted for fey beauty in her face—and now has to cover her face with iron so she won’t be taken over, her personality erased by the bodiless fey.
Not that Helen would mind that some days. Stuck in a marriage with the wealthy and controlling Alistair, she lives at the edges of her life, secretly helping Jane remove the dangerous fey beauty from the wealthy society women who paid for it. But when the chancy procedure turns deadly, Jane goes missing—and is implicated in the murder.
Meanwhile, Alistair’s influential clique Copperhead—whose emblem is the poisonous copperhead hydra—is out to restore humans to their “rightful” place, even to the point of destroying the dwarvven who have always been allies.
Helen is determined to find her missing sister, as well as continue the good fight against the fey. But when that pits her against her own husband—and when she meets an enigmatic young revolutionary—she’s pushed to discover how far she’ll bend society’s rules to do what’s right. It may be more than her beauty at stake. It may be her honor...and her heart.
My Thoughts and Review:
When I read Ironskin, the companion novel to this one last year I thought it was a pretty unique retelling with fantasy elements that I not only enjoyed but really wanted more of. I didn't quite get the world building and a definite ending that I was hoping for so when this one came out I just knew that it was something I needed to read as well. If not to hopefully get more glimpses of Jane than to at least learn more about the world Jane and Helen lived in.
Where Ironskin was lacking in explanation and world building, this one excelled. The author really came through with wonderful descriptions about the fey, finally explaining the Great War in more length, and delving into the dwarvven beings as well. I was utterly satisfied with where the author took the story and ran with it.
While I wasn't a huge fan of the materialist and sometimes shallow Helen in Ironskin, this was her moment to shine. Her character not only went from a timid self centered young girl to a strong and capable woman but her character grew in all most every way imaginable. She stepped up and took control of a very out of control situation and came through splendidly. In fact her character really grew on me throughout the story and I found myself rooting for her the whole way through.
Once again the author managed to blend the old (historical) with the new (fantasy element) and pulled off a stunning setting fit for any lover of both genres.
My only regret is that Jane didn't have a bigger, stronger role in this installment. I really fell in love with her feisty strong willed character in the first book and I wanted more of her and Rochart. I didn't feel we got enough of their ending in the first book and was slightly disappointed that there wasn't more to their love story. And although there wasn't more to their story there was definitely an ending to it and for that I am grateful. In fact, I love how the whole story was told, how it ended and how it leaves it open for more adventures in the future.
Connolly did an amazing job creating something unique, dangerous, and utterly fun.
*All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the publisher or author. I was not compensated for this review.*