Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Book Review: The Iron Witch by Karen Mahoney

The Iron Witch
Author: Karen Mahoney
Series: The Iron Witch Series (Book 1)
Publication: Flux; Original edition (February 8, 2011)

Description: When she was seven, a horrific fey attack killed Donna Underwoods father and drove her mother mad. Her own nearly fatal injuries were fixed by alchemy - the iron tattoos branding her hands and arms. Now seventeen, Donna feels like a freak, doomed by the magical heritage that destroyed her parents and any chance she had for a normal life. Only her relationship with her best friend, Navin, is keeping her sane.

But when vicious wood elves abduct Navin, Donna is forced to accept her role in the centuries-old war between human alchemists and these darkest outcasts of Faerie. Assisted by Xan, a gorgeous guy with faery blood running through his veins and secrets of his own, Donna races to save Navineven if it means betraying everything her parents fought to the death to protect.

My Thoughts: Donna Youngblood is the child of alchemists. She had a terrible accident when she was seven and captured by wood elves. Her father died rescuing her and her mother was damaged mentally. Donna had her hands and arms damaged. They were repaired by Maker - one of the alchemists - who used cold iron in what looks like a series of very complicated tattoos. She always wears gloves and feels like a freak.

She couldn't handle going to regular school and has been home-schooled for years. Her best, and only, friend is her next door neighbor Navin Sharma. But she has been keeping secrets from him too.

One night Nav convinces her to go to a party and she meets Xan Grayson who has also retreated to the roof to get away from the party he's hosting. They are attracted to each other and seem to have things in common.

When Navin is captured by wood elves, Donna calls on Xan who is half-faerie to help her get him back. The wood queen makes a difficult demand. Donna needs to exchange the elixir of life for him if she wants to take him home. Donna had thought the elixir was a myth but she goes to the home of the head of the order of alchemists to try to find it.

She has her suspicions about what the order wants and she is quite sure that she doesn't want to become a member when she grows up despite the assumption that that will be her future. The story was filled with interesting characters. I liked Donna and her friendship with Nav. I also liked her beginning of a romance with Xan.

This is the first book of a trilogy but it doesn't end with a cliffhanger. There are still questions to be answered but the main action in this one comes to a satisfying conclusion.

Favorite Quote:
"Nav, I said you'll keep your mouth shut about all of this. Right?"

"Right," he agreed, nodding so hard she thought he'd lost control of his neck muscles. "I won't say a word. Never. I'll take it to my grave and--"

"Nav?" Donna cut in.


"Shut up."

"Shutting up." He made a zipping motion across his lips, mimed twisting a lock shut, and threw the imaginary key over his shoulder.
I bought this one Jan. 4, 2011. You can buy your copy here.

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