Oct 16, 2012

{Review} of Ironskin by Tina Connolly

Ironskin by Tina Connolly
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

GENRE: Fantasy
THEME: Fae/ Romance
RECEIVED: Tor for honest review
AUTHORS BLOG: Tina Connolly's Blog

Jane Eliot wears an iron mask
It’s the only way to contain the fey curse that scars her cheek. The Great War is five years gone, but its scattered victims remain—the ironskin. 

When a carefully worded listing appears for a governess to assist with a "delicate situation"—a child born during the Great War—Jane is certain the child is fey-cursed, and that she can help. 

Teaching the unruly Dorie to suppress her curse is hard enough; she certainly didn’t expect to fall for the girl’s father, the enigmatic artist Edward Rochart. But her blossoming crush is stifled by her own scars, and by his parade of women. Ugly women, who enter his closed studio...and come out as beautiful as the fey. 

Jane knows Rochart cannot love her, just as she knows that she must wear iron for the rest of her life. But what if neither of these things is true? Step by step Jane unlocks the secrets of her new life—and discovers just how far she will go to become whole again.

When I saw that one of my favorite authors quotes that Ironskin was “A steampunk Beauty and The Beast tale but reversed” I couldn’t wait to start reading. It’s a very dark and twisted tale; a unique take on fae was what really pulled me into the story that made it very original.

Ironskin follows a young Jane Eliot who is known for be an excellent teacher, but since the war against the fae left her scarred she doesn’t keep a job long. She takes a chance in becoming a governess for a wealthy man’s daughter who was born during the war and is also “fey curse” like Jane. Though where Jane wears a mask to shield her curse face, the young daughter has a curse that could be a problem in the real world. Jane must learn to understand this little girl, understand her own curse and try not to fall for her very mysterious boss Edward.

Jane, as I’ve heard from many others say, that this story takes on the essence of Jayne Eyre. Jane is a strong and independent woman, her sister and her are close but very different in society. I like how devoted she was to finding a way to connect with Edward’s daughter Dorie, whom is very dependent on her curse and doesn’t use her hands. The growing romance between Edward and Jane seemed odd, they had little interaction and I couldn’t really feel the connection and it fell a little flat for me. I would of rather there had been no romance and more scene with Jane working with Dorie. But overall Jane discovers a lot of secrets in the house and that Edwards behind a lot of it.

Edward is a huge mystery and really quite strange. I couldn’t connect with his character and didn’t like the fact he didn’t help his daughter a little more. He does however have a great backstory when it comes to these horrible mask that are in his office. It’s a bit dark but once the readers find out more about the mask, that’s when things start getting interesting.

The setting of this story is in Britain and it’s been five years since the fae war changed the world and people. Iron is used as shield to keep the curse at bay. The war had a huge impact and the readers will hear how Jane got curse and what happened to Dorie and Edward. The fae are written very differently, normally they are good in the books I’ve read but in this, they are the enemy.

Overall I liked how dark and creepy the tone was, it gave an eeriness into the effect of the war it had on society. My only issue was that as much as I wanted too, I couldn’t connect with any of the characters and at some points I wish there was more fae and fantasy that was focused on. I did enjoy the mystery behind Edward and the connection to fae with Dorie, everything in the end came together.

This is an adult series that has lots of mystery and a dark edge. Fans Kresely Coles Poison Princess and Talia Vance’s Silver will enjoy Ironskin by Tina Connolly.

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