THE IRON WITCH by Karen Mahoney
Reading level: Young Adult
Paperback: 312 pages
Publisher: Flux (February 8, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 073872582X
ISBN-13: 978-0738725826
Source: Publisher
Book Jacket: Stunning
Rating: YY out of 5

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.


The Iron Witch by Karen Mahoney was a book that I have been waiting for months to read. I could not wait to get my hands on it and devour it whole; the cover was enticing and the synopsis was based on Faeries and a human girl that literally had the power of iron within her body. AWESOME!! right? Yet, I am hate to admit that I was sadly disappointed.

The story begins well enough as we witness the protagonist (Donna) angst about her relationship with her best friend (Navin). Donna wishes she could confide to him her deepest secret, but knows that to do so would endanger her life and Navin's. Her world is shrouded in dark truths and lies and she wishes she could forget it all but it is difficult when her iron inlaid forearms are a constant reminder of the night her father died and her mother was taken away, gone crazy.

Throughout the story I am constantly reminded of how important Navin is to Donna, how she could not survive without him and yet I never feel that bond. It feels like an empty promise and I kept waiting for that feeling to change within me but even as I reached the last page I was left unsatisfied. I also had a hard time having empathy with any of the characters for they all seemed a bit lack luster and one dimensional, although Donna did have some brief moments of shine. Because when pushed she defended herself quite admirably, but it was an expected action that did not surprise me. As was the too quick for my comfort romance between Donna and Xan. It is an issue I have with the stories I have read lately and I really wish that these romantic relationships would slowly build and appear believable, because it does not come across that way.

Although I did appreciate the story concept of THE IRON WITCH I was ultimately left with alot of questions that did not sit well with me. I could not get my mind around the fact that Donna's hidden world was governed by four orders, yet they never formally make an appearance. Not to mention that fact that Donna has a hunch on why her mother is insane but nothing is ever done about it. Arrrg!! Because I had multiple issues I was not wholly surprised on how this story ended with many loose strings. I can see that a sequel is most definately needed but I cannot proceed any further.


  1. I am so sorry you didn't like this, I have been reading a bunch of bad reviews about this book, so you are not alone. My copy came in the mail today, and I agree, the cover is so pretty. I am worried it will not live up to its expectations. Thanks for the review.

  2. Thats to bad I just got my copy yesterday and had high hopes since it sounded so good. :(

  3. I'm currently reading this and I feel the same way. It's hard to connect with the characters and it feels like something's missing.

  4. Such a disappointment. Glad I don't have this one in my pile.

  5. im sorry you didnt like this...this has been on my wishlist for a while now but i havent read that many reviews for it yet...might put it towards the bottom of the list now though


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