The Iron Witch
20th January 2011
Random House Children's Books
Freak. That's what her classmates call seventeen-year-old Donna Underwood. When she was seven, a horrific fey attack killed her father and drove her mother mad. Donna's own nearly fatal injuries from the assault were fixed by magic—the iron tattoos branding her hands and arms. The child of alchemists, Donna feels cursed by the magical heritage that destroyed her parents and any chance she had for a normal life. The only thing that keeps her sane and grounded is her relationship with her best friend, Navin Sharma.
When the darkest outcasts of Faerie—the vicious wood elves—abduct Navin, Donna finally has to accept her role in the centuries old war between the humans and the fey. Assisted by Xan, a gorgeous half-fey dropout with secrets of his own, Donna races to save her friend—even if it means betraying everything her parents and the alchemist community fought to the death to protect.
First off, can we just take a second to marvel at the beautifulness that is the cover? I am just in so much cover love at the minute. :D
Okay, so now on to the actual thing. The Iron Witch is a really, really good book. Really good. I liked everything about it, from the title (which was in the book! I love it when that happens! It just makes me love the titles even more :D) to the cover, the story to the characters. I mean, it's about faeries and alchemy (little know fact about Cicely, she is obsessed with Full Metal Alchemist. It may or may not have something to do with a midget alchemist named Edward Elric, but it spurred her interest in alchemy nevertheless, not that she has or will try to make an elixir of life... :D)
Donna was a fab main character. I loved how she was so vulnerable, yet she was kick-ass at the same time, and being that I'm a fairytale nerd, I loved how it was related to The Handless Maiden (I loved the essay at they back) and the tattoos were such a good idea. I also felt I could relate to her in ways that she shares my pain of not being able to raise one eyebrow! We are truly kindred spirits ;p Navin was brilliant too. It's rare that you see a best friend who is male who isn't totally crushing on the MC. (Though I still think he fancies her. A little bit.) But Xan and Donna are such a good couple! And I was so in love with Xan. He's just... *swoons* But I'm glad he wasn't a complete Knight-in-shining-armour, and that Donna could definitely look after herself (metal hands=awesome super stength), and I think that her knowing that she could defeat her demons without some guys help helped her develop better as a person.
As I mentioned before, I loved leaning about all the alchemy, as it's not something you read too much about these days. I love the whole idea behind alchemy that magic and science and so intertwined, and I will admit that that bit with the screaming bust did creep me out a bit. I am scared of model people, so I can safely say that that would be part of my worst nightmares.
The Iron Witch is a fantastically told story of love and magic and science and evil wood elves, and I am really looking forward to The Wood Queen as I know it's going to be fabulous! (and I can't wait to see the cover when it's made either :D) 4.5 stars :D