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.
Ironskin is a book that took me totally by surprise. I read the synopsis and thought it sounded interesting. I purposely didn’t read any reviews because I try not to before I read a book (on purpose anyway *blush*.) Since I read this as an ARC from NetGalley, that wasn’t hard. The point is, because I didn’t have any background info on Ironskin, I had no idea that it is actually a steampunk, paranormal take on Jane Eyre. Tina Connolly does an amazing job in weaving this familiar tale into something amazingly new yet just as poetic.
The iron mask that Jane wears in Ironskin is not just to hide the scarring from the Fey curse that she sustained during the Great War. It’s there to protect everyone else. The iron is the only thing that can keep the curse in check because if she exposes the scarring, the curse that she fights within herself will be transferred to others around her. Everyone who is scarred and cursed is saddled with a different curse. They even introduce themselves by their particular curse. Some of the cursed stay hidden among themselves, but Jane wants to live a normal life. That’s how she ends up at the Rochart estate. What she discovers there changes her forever in a multitude of ways.
Edward Rochart is just as damaged as Jane but he hides it well. He lost his wife and is left with his young daughter, Dorie. Jane’s task is to help Dorie control her ‘curse’ and live a normal life as well. The events that unfold once Jane arrives and discovers what she is left to deal with turn this book into one that is impossible to put down.
The action and mysteries revealed don’t slow down. The fey in Ironskin are truly evil with no conscience and quite an agenda. That coupled with Tina Connolly’s poetically descriptive writing style ensure that the pages keep turning.
Ironskin is the first book in a series and is due to be released on October 2, 2012.