THE IRON WITCH by Karen Mahoney
Series: The Iron Witch Saga #1
Released: February 8, 2011
Source: Good Golly Miss Holly ARC Tours
Page Count: 299
Rating: Liked it
Cursed by a magical legacy
When she was seven, a horrific fey attack killed Donna Underwood's 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 norla life. Only her repationship 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 Navin - even if it means betraying everything her parents fought to the death to protect.
I have been waiting for this book to come out since I read Mahoney's first short story in The Eternal Kiss! Moth was such a great character, and I'm a little disappointed that she didn't make a cameo in this book. However, The Iron Witch stands on its own, and I really enjoyed getting to know Donna Underwood's character. The fae mythology was really interesting, and it reads a little like the fae are an endangered species because of humanity encroaching on their lands. (Of course, we'd be much more sympathetic if the creatures weren't so deadly!)
The Iron Witch was a little shorter than I would have liked, and because of this the characters weren't quite as in-depth as they could have been. It also could have used a little more action, as I felt that the story wasn't quite exciting enough to hold my interest. It's a fast read but also fairly easy to put down (whereas if the story is more engaging, I literally can't put the book down). Mahoney's writing style really shines, though, and I look forward to reading her next book and seeing how he writing has progressed.
One of the best parts of this book, at least for a nerd like me, was the "Making of" section after the last chapter, explaining how Mahoney came up with the idea for the story. I don't want to give too much away, so let's leave it with Mahoney being a great researcher in addition to a great writer, and now I have a whole new set of reading material to check out!
If you haven't yet read her short stories, check them out in The Eternal Kiss and Kiss Me Deadly. There will be another anthology coming out in September entitled Wicked Pretty Things. Mahoney also has a couple of articles in Nyx in the House of Night and A Visitor's Guide to Mystic Falls. Lastly, look for The Wood Queen, the second book in the Iron Witch Saga, in 2012.