Author: Tina Connolly
304 pages, Published by Tor Books
Buy The Book: Amazon
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 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 are true? Step by step Jane unlocks the secrets of a new life—and discovers just how far she will go to become whole again. (Summary provided by Tor Books.)
Ironskin by Tina Connolly takes two of my favorite fantasy elements, steampunk and fey, and combines them for a unique story that re-imagines the classic Jane Eyre. The result is a compelling fantasy novel. It is also a spooky read, perfect company for a chilly, Fall night.
Jane Eliot, the protagonist of Ironskin, goes to work as a governess for the mysterious Mr. Rochart at his country estate, because she has trouble keeping a job in the city. She has a fey curse as a result of an injury suffered during The Great War. Jane’s injury covers half of her face, and she must wear an iron mask to keep the curse contained. Jane’s condition makes her an ideal teacher for Dorie, Mr. Rochart’s daughter, as she is suffering from a fey curse as well. The fey have not been seen since The Great War ended, but as Jane spends time in the country she begins to see signs of the fey in the woods behind the house.
Tina Connolly creates an intriguing world for her characters to inhabit with contrasting settings like Mr. Rochart’s mansion constructed of fey architecture in the country and the bustling, steam driven world of the city Jane lived in after the war. I love books that have a fairy plot line, and Ironskin does not disappoint. The fey devastated humans during the great war, killing and injuring everyone in their wake. Fey creatures in the world of Ironskin are terrifying, and Connolly creates an air of suspense around the creatures throughout the book. Are there fey in the woods? Are there not?
Connolly also allows the romantic tension to build between Jane and Mr. Rochart until it reaches a boiling point. When I found out the secret behind what Rochart was doing in his attic study, I was both surprised and hopeful for Jane.I also enjoyed the relationship Jane developed with young Dorie. Overall, I was entertained by Ironskin, and hope book two in the series comes out soon!
Many thanks to TLC Book Tours and Tina Connolly for including me on the Ironskin blog tour. Check out the other stops on the tour below:
FTC Disclosure Statement: I received a complimentary review copy of Ironskin from the publisher via TLC Book Tours. I also receive a small commission from any purchases made by clicking through the Amazon links throughout the site.