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
There is a book store in my little town, supposedly the oldest book store this side of the Mississippi. Rather that is true or not who knows but one thing they do every year is have a YA event. They bring in 12 authors who specialize in YA books and all day you can go chit chat with authors, make friends, buy books, etc. I met Kendare Blake there two years ago, had lunch with her last year. She is a great person to get to know. Well the same year that I bought Anna Dressed in Blood I also bought a bunch of other books. Since they are not a priority I am just getting to them. Ironskin by Tina Connolly who was conveniently sitting next to Kendare is a great book.
Ironskin follows a young girl by the name of Jane around as she tries to transverse the world 5 years after the Great War. No we are not talking about World War I, but a war that pitted humans against the Fey, and while the humans “won” it was not without great great causality. For Humans who were touched by the Fey they were cursed. Each curse was different, some it was missing limbs, for others it was something much worse. This “curse” oozed emotions from the person that was inflicted. Jane was inflicted with Rage and so when she did not have the protective Iron on, her rage not only affected her but everyone around her, sending people into blind rages.
For many people you could not see the Iron, but for Jane it was on her face and therefore she looked similar to the Phantom from the Phantom of the Opera. Half the face and all. Well she decided that she needed to get a job after being let go from a previous one. She finds a posting for a “special child” and knows that this little babe was born with the curse. What Jane did not expect, nor necessarily want is to fall in love, and with the future looking bright, Jane has no where to go but up.
So this is the first book that I have read from Ms. Connolly but it will not be the last, she is a master story crafter and I really enjoyed this steampunk version of Beauty and the Beast, although in this case Jane is not the beauty, but she is also not the beast. The characters are likable and Tina really makes you feel like you are part of the story line. You feel bad for characters and you want to cut other characters, or at least I did.
I wouldn’t mind learning more about the Fey worlds, maybe like a pre-quel to this book, it does talk a little about the war and what brought it on, but I am ever the researcher and so of course I want to know more. Give this book a try, it is good and I highly recommend it.