Monday, June 18, 2012
The Iron Witch
I was very intrigued just by the title of this one when I first heard about it last year so I kept my eyes open and was able to pick up a copy from my library, especially relishing the short length, which suggested to me a fast-paced story.
The book is told alternating between first-person journal entries from main character Donna (which I loved-I'm a big fan of epistolary books) and third-person narration. It was hard for me to switch between the two and it was also hard in that I preferred the journal entries more. They only occur every few chapters so I spent most of my time anticipating their return.
Despite the title suggesting it (and honestly I didn't read the summary), I was a little surprised to discover that this was a fey book. I am on the record as someone who usually doesn't like fey books but I did enjoy this one. I think I prefer it when the fey are pretty unambiguously evil. I can't handle the manipulations of fae in a lot of books where they present their beautiful faces and words while secretly plotting malicious actions toward the main character. Here they are dark dangerous creatures as everyone who knows about them recognizes. They killed Donna's father and destroyed her mother's mind so she has no sympathy for them. In fact she would really rather just forget about them except for the fact that they kidnap her best friend and require her to step in.
The kidnapping is mentioned on the back cover so it's not a spoiler but I assumed it would happen much earlier in the book than it did. Honestly it felt like half the book was buildup and establishing the world and then the other half was Donna rushing to save him. I wish it had happened earlier but this looks to be the first book in a trilogy so the whole thing will be part of a larger story. But this book does wrap up on its own without a cliffhanger almost as if it was entirely self-contained-I appreciate books like that as I am sick and tired of cheap cliffhangers to get me to pick up the next book. If the first one is well-written and enjoyable, I will be back! Which I am planning to do in this case as I think there is promise in the characters and world created.
I also really appreciated the author's note at the end where she discussed her inspiration for this book as well as some of the big themes. We don't usually get such insight into the author's mind and it was fascinating to reflect back on the book with what she shared there. Even if you don't usually read such additions, you will definitely want to in this case.