Title: The Iron Witch (The Iron Witch #1)
Author: Karen Mahoney
Release Date: February 8, 2011
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 normal life. Only her relationship 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.
There were many things that made me want to read The Iron Witch. First, it is part of the debut author challenge; and second I had heard only great things about it. But most of all, the gorgeous cover is what drew me in more than anything. As it turns out, the book was a lot more than just a pretty cover.
When she was young, Donna lost both her parents to the fey. Her father was killed saving her and her mother is now in a mental facility not even able to recognize her own daughter. But something also happened to Donna’s arms and now they are mostly made of iron and covered with an intricate pattern. Everything was going fin with Donna’s life. She was living with her aunt and her best friend, Navin, is next door. but then at a party Donna meets Xan and things start to change. Wood elves start attacking Donna and even go so far as abducting Navin. With the help of Xan, Donna goes after to wood elves to save Navin. But in order to get Navin back, Donna may just have to betray the alchemists who saved her as a child and everything her parents believed in.
I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started reading this book. I had read other books about fey but never ones that revolved around alchemists so I was a little intrigued. To be honest, I could not have enjoyed it more. Basically it became addicting really fast and I found myself getting the book out every time I had a spare few minutes. Karen Mahoney wrote a fast-paced and action-packed story in a way that made it hard to believe that this is her first book. The story was incredible and beautifully written. I particularly liked that the story was written from the third person point of view. As much as having books told from the first person point of view can help me relate more to characters, but every once in a while, third person is a nice change.
The characters were all interesting and unique. Donna was not necessarily your usual protagonist. While she was an outside like most of them tend to be, Donna was more than just the typical outsider. She had never really fit in at school and had even gotten herself expelled. To me that made her more real and made me want to get to know her more. I loved her friendship with Navin, it was simple and perfect. It even reminded me of the relationship I have with my own best friend which made me enjoy the book that much more. As for Xan, I still don’t quite have him figure out but I did like him a lot. I loved how quickly and how willing he was to help Donna despite barely knowing her or what she needed help with. Plus he sounded quite dreamy and that’s never a bad thing.
The Iron Witch was a superb debut novel that I could simply not get enough of. I can’t wait to read more from Karen Mahoney, especially the sequel to The Iron Witch.