Thursday, January 20, 2011

REVIEW: The Iron Witch by Karen Mahoney

The Iron Witch 
by Karen Mahoney
Pages: 304
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Publication Date: 20th January 2011


That's what they call seventeen-year-old Donna Underwood at Ironbridge High School. A horrific fey attack that killed her father when she was just a child left Donna branded with iron tattoos that cover her hands and arms - and magically enhanced strength, that she now does all she can to hide.

Now, after ten years of wishing for a normal life, Donna finally accepts her role in the centuries-old war against the darkest outcasts of Faerie - the dark elves. Aided by Xan, a gorgeous half-fey dropout, Donna must save her best friend's life - and that means betraying one of the world's greatest secrets and confronting the very thing that destroyed her family.

Donna Underwood just wants a normal life. When she was young, she was attacked by fey in the Ironbridge woods. The attack killed her father and left her arms practically destroyed. The Alchemists were able to put them together again, complete with special iron tattoos that give her extra strength after a (magical) operation. Donna lives with her aunt, and is home-schooled by the Alchemists, the effect of being excluded from school. And it's it's not like she wants to be there anyway,  the kids at the school think she's a freak. Except her best friend Navin, who doesn't know as much about Donna as he thinks he does, and that's how it needs to stay. 

But then weird things start happening, and Navin is kidnapped by wood elves and taken into a different world. Donna will do anything to save her best friend, even if it means going against all the Alchemist's rules, but will she succeed in saving her only friend, the only link she has to normality?

I've heard people around the blogoverse saying that the book sounds quite similar to The Iron King by Julie Kagawa and if The Iron King is ANYTHING like this, I know it will be a really winner, because that's EXACTLY what The Iron Witch is.

I really liked Donna, but it upset me that she thought so bad of herself. She thinks she's a freak, but I swear, she's the coolest freak I know! I understand where she's coming from though. It's not easy to be different and I respected her choice about not telling Navin. I mean, it's one thing telling your best friend you have a pet unicorn (I did it once. Horrible consequences), but a totally differnt one telling him you have iron-tattooed arms that you can hurt people with! I admired her strength throughout everything, how she accepts that nobody is going to accept her. It made me sad though.

One thing that really fascinated me about Donna, was that even though she has this ability to *totally* kick ass, she's so vulnerable and there's a lot she's scared of. Like what Navin will think when she tells him her secret. But I loved that she's doesn't sit around waiting for somebody to save her, she's so independent and brave!

The concept of the tattoos that Donna has on her hands and arms is extraordinary. It's so original and it was such a fascinating thing to read about how Donna acquired them and how they play a part in her life. I wish she'd show them more often, instead of hiding them in gloves *sadface*, but I think it could be quite dangerous for her, if not just weird to people wandering by.

I'm not saying anything about Xan. I'm just not. #willgush #notpretty

Karen Mahoney has created a world that is inspiring, thrown in a kick-ass heroine, a gorgeous love interest, a loyal best friend, as well as a spot of alchemy and an exciting quest. A must read for fans of urban fantasy, although you don't have to be a fan to love it! The Wood Queen her I come!



  1. Awesome review! I can't wait for Amazon to send me my copy. It sounds so amazing :D And I can't wait to read about Xan. I've heard good things about Xan. :P

  2. This book came into our bookshop the other day and I thought it looked intriguing. I've seen reviews of the Iron King series which didn't grab me, but this one did.

  3. I like the sound of this one, and the cover is TDF! Descriptions of The Iron King didn't do much for me either, but I think I'll be checking this one out.

    Great review!

  4. Fab review, it sounds like a book that I would love :D

  5. I can't wait to read this! And the next book is called The Wood Witch? Nice!

    Great review! =D


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