Saturday, October 13, 2012

Review: Ironskin by Tina Connolly


by: Tina Connolly

Published October 2nd 2012 by Tor Books

series: Ironskin #1








Set in a alternate-history Britain, Jane Eliot, the MC, wears an iron mask over half of her face to protect others from the curse she holds there. In the last fey war she had been hit with shrapnel from exploding fey magic, like many others, but unfortunately her injury is much more visible which causes her some social awkwardness and makes it difficult for her to find and keep a job. Jane finally finds employment with the mysterious and reclusive Edward Rochart caring for his daughter Dorie who seems to have fey magic in abundance, which is frowned upon in society. She needs to help Dorie learn how to do simple things like eat, drink, and play without using that magic. At the same time, she seems to be drawn to the secretive Edward.

Apparently Ironskin is based on Jane Eyre, which I haven't read, so I don't know how it compares but from the very beginning, Ironskin had my attention with the unique way fey magic was presented. The fact that Jane carried this curse on her face that, without the iron mask, would seriously affect those she came into contact with was fascinating to me. That magic also affected her moods and she had to consciously try to tamp down the emotions stirred up by the fey curse.

The way Dorie used magic was interesting as well. This small child had never learned to properly use her hands to care for herself, using magic instead. I felt so sorry for her at times, she seemed so lonely and desperate for her father's love and attention. Edward, however, remains distant and locked away in his room of masks.

While the unique way magic and the fey were presented was what I enjoyed most about Ironskin, the alternate history and straightforward writing style also worked for me. The relationships between the characters were very subtle and at times puzzling. The slight romance between Jane and Edward felt a bit stilted but I enjoyed the way Jane interacted with Dorie, as well as the rest of the background characters. The dialog felt authentic and I enjoyed the whole gothic feel to the story as a whole. I would definitely recommend it to fans of gothic romance, alternate history fantasy, and steampunk.

Rating 4 of 5


Aman said...

Same here, I don't know anything about Jane Eyre. There are so many cursed type book nowaday, but I really like the fey twist in it. I'll definitely add that to my TBR list.

The Happy Booker said...


I haven't come across a lot of books with curses, but I generally enjoy books about the fey. This one was a lot different than the usual fey stories though. I hope you like it too!

kimbacaffeinate said...

O.o awesome review...i am totally adding this to my list as your review reveals it has so many elements I love!

The Happy Booker said...


Thanks Kim! This does sound like something you would enjoy!

Sam said...

Now that I think about it, I haven't read many alternate-history books. I'm quite looking forward to this though, especially after seeing how much you enjoyed it. The Jane Eyre comparisons will most likely be lost on me as I can barely remember reading it all those years ago in college... we'll see what happens. :)

Donna Smith said...


I didn't know when I requested the title on NetGalley that it was an alternate-history. I just read "magic" and "fey" and that it was published by Tor so automatically figured I would like it. From the reviews I've read, it looks like those that did not read Jane Eyre liked Ironskin much more than those who did. I guess that is the problem with marketing a book comparing it to an already popular or classic book or series. I wish they would stop doing that.

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