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 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 are true? Step by step Jane unlocks the secrets of a new life—and discovers just how far she will go to become whole again.
©2012 Christina Marie Connolly (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
I love to read. I also love to write.I'm a harsh critic and very, very, very rarely give five star reviews to anything. Three stars for me is an average representation of literature and not a bad review by any stretch.
I think that the story in Ironskin is told very well from a writing standpoint. The prose is very tight and conveys character and their emotions very well. Jane as the point of view character is able to portray the world around her well.
However, while the story is well told, the story itself does suffer at times. It is a very slow developing tale, which is mostly about Jane and her relationship with Dorie and how the two struggle against one another until the end. Jane’s romantic interest in Edward seems borderline shallow, only stemming from the fact that he touched her and that she was starved for someone to make even the most innocuous of contact with her. Since she is fey-cursed, apparently not many people do that. That’s the way I felt anyway.
I’ve seen this book billed as steampunkish in nature, but there really isn’t much of that element to the story. In fact, the steampunk elements were so far and few between, and so glossed over, that they seemed only put in place to make the claim that it could fit into that genre. The aspects of Fey technology was much more predominant.
Towards the end is where those who enjoy a little action with their story will be most satisfied. Without saying too much, I’ll just say that the Fey actually start making an appearance (after a very long wait) and there are a couple good action scenes with Jane battling the Fey Queen.
The story does fall off a cliff at the very end. But, with a 2013 sequel (surprise, surprise) that seems to be the norm for stories these days in an attempt to draw people into the next bit of the story. I would have preferred to have had a little more resolution at the end of Ironskin however.
Overall, a very nice, light fantasy tale that doesn't cookie cutter a lot of what is out there.
I'm a big fan of SF/F/Horror, and all things in between and out.
This is the second time I've visited Tina Connolly's Ironskin - I read it back when it first came out, and I wanted to revisit it in audio before listening to the sequel: Copperhead.
Ironskin follows Jane, a young woman who watched the fae kill her brother and was wounded by fae shrapnel. (Yes, in this book, there are evil faeries. It's kind of awesome!) To be rehabilitated from the cursed shrapnel embedded in her face, Jane must wear an iron mask that keeps the curse from infecting others around her. She accepts a job in the country as a governess for a young girl who exhibits abilities that suggest she has been touched by the dangerous fae. The girl's father is an artist who sculpts odd masks for women, and while attempting to help the girl rehabilitate, Jane soon finds she has feelings for him. Things get complicated very quickly - just about everyone seems to wear masks, even if they're made of flesh and blood.
Ironskin is a romantic fantasy novel drawing inspiration from Jane Eyre as well as fairy tales. I appreciated that it tackled big themes - that anger is sometimes a good thing, beauty is within ourselves, and that just because you're disabled or disadvantaged doesn't make you any less of a person.
Initially, I was a bit disappointed that Connolly herself wasn't reading - she has a great voice and has done lots of great readings at her podcast Toasted Cake, as well as at PodCastle. However, Rosalyn Landor gives a very polished reading that helps transport the story to a world that's similar to our own early 20th century, and it's easy to see why she was chosen to narrate this one. She can sound cool and detached, or bring a cold fury depending on the character and the situation. When Jane is struggling with her curse, as well as her feelings toward Mr. Rochart, we don't doubt the conflicting emotions that could easily sound like overdone melodrama coming from another reader. From Landor's lips - it works.
Ironskin is a story rich with love and empowerment, told from the point of view of a woman very much trying to find her new place in the world. I'm thoroughly looking forward to seeing what Connolly does next - not only with Copperhead and the books in this series, but beyond.
Everything about the narration was spectacular.
I could barely wait to get back to it when I had to stop listening.
This book was so very clever. It certainly had a sense of Jane Eyre, but it diverged from that story line well. The world Tina Connolly has created is rich and realistic and I can't wait until the next installment!
I hold a BA in History from York University of Toronto; a 3yr Diploma in Computer Networking from Sheridan College in Oakville Ontario. I have been "reading" audio books sinces the late 80s and a member of Audible back to 2004. What a really like is a good long story preferable over 30 hours. :)
I really enjoy this story. While the romantic themes of the book are very similar to Jane Eyre the book doesn't use it a cookie cutter template. The Fey side of the story will be familiar to people use to reading books about elves not influential by Disney or Tolkien. However the blend is better then both of those suggest - the plot does not follow the same well worn pattern and Jane's desires and dreams are so believable. The story isn't overly one thing or the other.
Voracious reader of kid lit. Love of all furry mammals. Fangirl extreme.
Yes, if they love books with Fae lore.
I loved the fairy lore and the magic system. I got extremely bored with the romance and the way that arc ended frustrated me beyond belief.
I loved Jane in all her neurotic glory.
Overall a decent fantasy enriched with fairy lore that could have done without the romance or had the romance developed quite a bit more.
The author retooled the classic Jane Eyre with a light and fantastic touch. While the conclusion was forgone, I enjoyed the journey of the tale. This is an appropriate choice for teens 13 and up, but not too juvenile for adult readers.
Rosalyn Landor is an able narrator.
The last quarter of the book finally got interesting and then it ended. The reader did not make it interesting either. The story could have been good if it hadn't been so slow.
my mind lives in the aether
Yes. Its just a fun listen. I wouldn't say it was great but it was worth the credit. Also, the second book in the series is better.
No, but she did a very nice job.
The basic premise of this book is Jane Erye with fae. If that sounds interesting, then this is the book for you.
I am a writer who loves reading.
This beautifully narrated book was very reminiscent of Jane Eyre, with the house on the moors, governess position, and grumpy/absent father. However, the main character has additional conflict - she must deal with a crippling disability caused by a war between the fae and humans. I loved the mix of conflict. And seriously, the narration was absolutely gorgeous.
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