Title: The Iron Witch
Author: Karen Mahoney
Series: The Iron Witch #1
Release Date: February 3, 2011
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.
The story is told from Donna's point of view. She's some sort of magical bionic woman; something happened when she was a kid that made her lose her parents and both her arms and they were later replaced with magical induced iron arms. She makes her own decisions and doesn't let anyone push her around, which are the reasons I liked her so much. There was some sort of incident that happened at her school and I was disappointed that it wasn't explored more, especially since it seems to be a important moment on Donna's life.
I loved her relationship with Navin, her best friend, and Xan, a mysterious boy who understands her better than anyone else. It seems like the're is a posible love triangle with them. As for her family, we almost don't see her aunt Paige at all and I would have liked knowing more about her parents and what exactly happened all those years ago in the clearing where her father died.
There are some parts of the story that were told as Donna's diary entries and all of them were really interesting. The thing is, the consequences of Donna's actions are told that way too, and it seems to me that they were too important to be told in a few lines. I would have definitely prefered for them to be expanded.
One of the problems I had was that the alchemist's society wasn't explained well. At some point we get a lot of information about them but it was too much, too quickly. I did love the whole idea of the alchemists and how they were originally supposed to protect the world from the fae.
Anyway, this was a very entertaining read with interesting and complex characters and a plot full of secrets and magic. At the end I wasn't even sure who were the good guys and who were the bad guys. I can't wait to read the next one!
“I think we should just go. We could call the police.”
“You should go, Navin. You don’t even belong here.” Her voice shook.
“You can’t make me do anything, Donna. You’re my friend and I think you’re in trouble. I’m not leaving you.”
2. The Wood Queen (2012)