Wednesday 9 February 2011

THE IRON WITCH by Karen Mahoney

FREAK. That’s what her classmates call seventeen-year-old Donna Underwood. When she was seven, a horrific fey attack killed her father and drove her mother mad. Donna’s own nearly fatal injuries from the assault were fixed by magic—the iron tattoos branding her hands and arms. The child of alchemists, Donna feels cursed by the magical heritage that destroyed her parents and any chance she had for a normal life. The only thing that keeps her sane and grounded is her relationship with her best friend, Navin Sharma.

When the darkest outcasts of Faerie—the vicious wood elves—abduct Navin, Donna finally has to accept her role in the centuries old war between the humans and the fey. Assisted by Xan, a gorgeous half-fey dropout with secrets of his own, Donna races to save her friend—even if it means betraying everything her parents and the alchemist community fought to the death to protect.

Okay, firstly, I just want to say that I absolutely love this cover. And when I read the book, I actually had an A-ha! moment about what Donna's holding. It's an awesome touch. :)

Donna is seventeen years old and she hasn't had an easy life. She lost her father when she was seven, and her mother's institutionalised. Her hands were also damaged during the attack that killed her father, and now has iron tattoos that she likes to hide. She also has to be careful about showing her true strength. Actually, because of that, she actually had to leave the local high school and is now taught by a tutor in the Frost Estate.

The night she meets the mysterious, Xan, at a party, she feels a connection she hasn't felt before. Well, a romantic connection, because she's got a great friendship with her best friend, Navin. They've been next-door neighbours and best friends for years, but she now finds herself forced to explain to him why she pretty much lives in a different world to his. Even though it's forbidden. Donna belongs to a hidden society of alchemists, and knows of the existence of the dangerous elves.

When Navin gets taken by the elves, she's forced to risk everything to get him back. It's quite an adventure, and Donna's tested every step of the way. Xan has a few secrets of his own, but shares a very special and personal one with her. One that I hope he gets a solution for in the next few books. :)

I really enjoyed this lovely YA urban fantasy book. A lot! The world building is excellent, and I was intrigued by the world of the alchemists, elves, and the hint of demons. I also can't wait to find out more about Donna's parents, because I'm pretty sure that there's a deep, dark secret involved in the death of her father. Oh, and The Wood Queen too, what's she hiding?

The mystery has hooked me in and I can't wait to lose myself in this world again. Very soon, hopefully.

H&UFRC books read: 7/24

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