Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Review: Ironskin by Tina Connolly

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  • Publisher: Tor Books
  • Publication date: 10/2/2012
  • Pages: 304
  • Source: Copy provided by publisher for review
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | The Book Depository


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 own 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 is true? Step by step Jane unlocks the secrets of her new life—and discovers just how far she will go to become whole again.

My Thoughts

I really don't know how to write this review. I really liked the book. I thought it was wonderful, beautifully written, and the romantic aspect was very sweet. I just don't know how to say what I want without giving away anything. There is so much going on in this book and it had me completely wrapped up in it's pages. 

Jane is a great strong main character. She has the fey curse and must wear an iron mask to keep it contained. She has learned to control the rage within her a little bit, but without the iron to keep in blocked, it affects other people and that she doesn't know how to control. At least she doesn't think she can. On top of that, she feels like she is getting almost nowhere with helping Dorie with her curse and she is increasingly frustrated with Edward as she starts to uncover his secrets. She really keeps it together well though and she has some fierce determination to not let her curse take over her life. 

Although you would think of Edward as a main character too, he really isn't as present as he should be. There is so much about him in the story that it's easy for him to always be in the front of your mind, but looking back, he isn't actually in the scenes very much. It is more the thoughts of him, and the people talking about him, and of course all the events of the book come back to him. He is charming, but not the type of character you fall head over heels for instantly. It's like he has this intrigue about him that you just can't get enough of. He has a lot of stuff going on in his head. A lot of guilt and regret. He doesn't really see himself as a worthy person. He struggles with himself throughout the book. He really isn't a bad person though, it is his past that continues to haunt his present and try to affect his future. 

The creative story that is woven in these pages was just great. I loved seeing Jane try to uncover the mystery about Edward as she is falling in love with him. Both thinking they aren't worthy of each other and pushing each other away. I think the best part of the story was seeing how they change and grow. What they go through when they discover that things are not really what they seem and beyond that, what they are willing to do when they discover these new dangers. I can't really explain the things that happen, but it's a very beautiful book filled with secrets, intrigue, and romance. 3 out of 5 stars


  1. This sounds like an AWESOME read! I understand how sometimes a book can be so awesome your lost in how to write a review for it! I love the sound of Jane and her trying to uncover the mystery of edward! Lovely review!
    - Farah @ MajiBookshelf

    1. This review was more hard to write because It was hard to say anything about it without really giving stuff away. I mean I did like the book, but it wasn't mind blowing.

  2. The fact that you were "wrapped up" says enough for me :)


  3. I'm still debating on whether to read this one. I've read like one review that absolutely raved about Ironskin and than your's and a few others that thought it was just "okay". Fey books are very hit or miss for me so I think that's what's really keeping me from rushing to try this one out. Awesome review! You really gave me and insight look at the characters. Jane seems very strong, wise and independent.

  4. I'm glad you enjoyed this one. I will admit the blurb doesn't really do anything for me, but I am still glad it's a good book. I like Fae books but not all of them. It really depends. I just think it is better that I skip this one. But still. I love when other readers find a book they love.

  5. Sounds interesting. Nice review doll. ;)

  6. Oooh I like the subtleties you described in this one. I got it last week and it was completely mangled, so I'm upset about that but really excited to read it. I have seen lots of good things about it and I know I will love it.

  7. I really, really loved this book. I think the writing won me over more than anything else. And I mean, who combines Jane Eyre and Fey?!?! Pretty cool. Anyway, I'm sorry you didn't live it like I did, but glad you enjoyed it. Nice review, Amy!

  8. Great review Amy! I'm still not quite sure if I will read this one but it sounds really good. I've had my eye on this book for months now. I'm definitely curious though!

  9. Ive been hesitant to read this one because of Jane Eyre - I wasn't a huge fan. But I have seen quite a few positive reviews on this one and I've curious if nothing else. It does sound intriguing, especially with the mix of Fey in there. Lovely review, muffin!

    1. The beautiful writing itself was enough to keep me buried in the book. The storyline is really good too though.

  10. I liked this one too, Amy--but I had mixed feelings too, and I rated it the same as you.

    btw--it's definitely a Jane Eyre retelling to me, but did you see that the finished hardback has a quote (from Ann Aguirre, I think) saying it's a retelling of Beauty and the Beast? That was REALLY confusing! I get the beast comparison, I guess, but still.

    1. Yes, my copy has the quote on it saying that. I do get the comparison, but I agree that it is definitely Jane Eyre retelling.

  11. Love it when a book can just wrap you up and hold you tight! Thanks for sharing.


  12. I'm glad you loved it so much. I wasn't blown away by this book and I'm pretty sure I won't be reading the next book. For me, the story kind of dragged on. The ending was great though :) Very nice review!


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