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.
The ending made me want to read on – need to read on. I can't wait for the next book!
I've seen lots of split reviews over this one, though I'm not really sure why. I loved The Iron Witch and I think it’s got to be one of my favourite Urban Fantasy-slash-Faerie books. There's this world, then there's the other worlds – one of them is Faerie. Donna knows about them, but she's one of the few. She can’t tell anyone, not that she would of course, as that would put them in danger. And betray the Order. So when her friend Navin finds out and gets taken, she knows she has to do everything in her power to save him. But is there something deeper going on? Why are the Faeries coming back after all this time? Who’s the beautiful new boy, Xan, who she seems to have an immediate connection with? And does the Order know more than they say they do? More importantly, just how far will she go to get Navin back...? Donna's a pretty normal teenage girl: an outcast who wants to fit in. But she never can. She's been branded with iron tattoos that give her magically enhanced strength, after a terrifying attack when she was a little girl that left her father dead and her mother insane. Donna was an amazing character, mainly because she was just so strong: mentally as well as the magic physical strength. And on top of that she's brave, smart and resourceful, traits I love in my lead girls. She's had a lot to deal with in her life, and I admired her because she coped so well. There's a little bit of a stereotypical love-triangle, of course between her, an old best friend and a new, mysterious boy. Now, I love a good love triangle, and this one was actually slightly ironic: one boy for each side of her life... Perfect, in my opinion. The new love interest is Xan, a boy with a secret – that I admittedly guessed. But, he was sweet, brave, funny and beautiful: a bad boy, with a charm that was actually irresistible. But... then there was Navin: I loved Navin. He was the perfect best friend: dependable, sweet, funny, cute. And, to me, obviously liked Donna more than a friend. In some ways, even though he wasn't exactly the main love interest, his and Donna's relationship was better for me than the connection-at-first-sight one between Donna and Xan. Donna and Xan's relationship develops at the right pace after the immediate connection, and was really quite sweet, but I just loved the friendship and familiarity between Donna and Navin. I want to see where all that goes, one of the many reasons why I am buying the second in this series the minute it comes out. I'm sure there's more going on, or will go on, and I can’t wait to see if my suspicions are right. I read this book quickly: it was light, direct and well written. However, it couldn't really be called ‘fast-paced’... But... that didn't matter to me. It was original, the myth was brilliantly thought out and the plot was just as amazing. Granted, it was a little predictable at times, but I found myself hooked and unable to put it down. Ok, so it wasn't an emotional-rollercoaster like the Hunger Games, but it did make me smile, laugh, feel shock and even fear at times. And I have to say this again: I loved the mythology, worlds and the Faeries in it: so brilliant! Written in the third person, it was realistic, the characters were well padded out, and all the scenes were amazing, whether they were romance or action. I felt like I knew all the characters, and I can't wait to see where everything goes. As for the Order... undecided. Who Donna will pick... fairly good idea. What will happen next... unknown. My Team... still undecided. The ending made me want to read on – need to read on. I can't wait for the next book! Oh, quick addition: the cover is beautiful, and perfectly ties in with the book. It also helped give me an idea of what the tattoos that cover Donna's arms looked like. And they're amazing: honestly, her tattoos intrigued me... Posted by TheBook AddictedGirl Paperback recommendation
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Karen Mahoney is a brilliant storyteller, blending magic and alchemy with bold, captivating characters who step right off the page and draw you into their world. You'll fall under this book's spell -
Mahoney's debut sizzles with romance and alchemical swashbuckling, but it's the steadfast character of Donna Underwood that kept me hooked. Her choices, her loyalty, her determination - all make for a refreshing and captivating read -
This story has it all for fans of (sub)urban fantasy: vicious adversaries, devoted friendship and first romance - Kirkus
The Iron Witch has managed to present original ideas in what is a crowded genre, and that's something worth noting. It's perfect for fans of all things magic, fey and urban, or just readers looking for a good story to escape into - Wondrous Reads
The Iron Witch is an interesting combination of fairy magic and alchemy, which makes it very different to a lot of the other fairy-centric novels around at the moment. I like fairies, and I like alchemy, so I felt this was likely to be a winning combination for me and I wasn't disappointed - The Bookbag
The Iron Witch was a strongly paced narrative situated firmly in an original, well-developed world with an appealingly imperfect character in Donna Underwood. Mahoney manages to create and maintain a two-tiered plot, preserving the integrity of Donna's character and worldview while dropping enough hints to let the reader intuit dark schemes going on out of Donna's sight - Magpie Diaries
Karen Mahoney gave up on her dreams of being Wonder Woman a long time ago, but has instead settled for being a writer of urban fantasy. She has been published alongside some of her favourite authors, in anthologies like THE ETERNAL KISS and KISS ME DEADLY. She is still in complete shock about this. Karen's debut YA novel, THE IRON WITCH, will be published by Corgi in 2011. She lives in London, though she dreams of one day living in Boston.