Sunday, July 3, 2011

The Iron Witch by Karen Mahoney

Donna Underwood is from a family of alchemists, which is bad enough without including the fact that her arms were taken from her by wood elves in an attack that killed her father when she was little. With magically remade arms, she considers herself a freak and is close only to her friend Navin. Her horizons suddenly broaden when she meets Xan, a half fae who feels as outcast as Donna does. Things take a dark turn when Navin is kidnapped by elves and Donna is forced to face the fact that her alchemist Order she belongs to is acting mysteriously.

Genre: fantasy; contemporary

Rating: 4/5

Not to be confused with the Kagawa series, this book feels like the beginning of another series. The end definitely left a lot of questions. The book was quickly plotted and a fairly fast read accordingly. Donna was a nice leading character, though her relationship with Navin was more talked about than shown. For as desperate as she was to get him back in the end, there really wasn't a whole lot of that relationship shown. I wish the book would have spent more time on the alchemy aspect of things, as just when that part started to get interesting, the book was almost over. While Xan was a nice romantic interest, I was more interested in the shady issues of the alchemists than I was about Xan's personal issues. Xan isn't a bad character. He actually apologizes for being mysterious at the beginning, but he's still not as interesting as other parts of the book.

This honestly felt like the opening of a series, which will hopefully get better as it goes on. The ending was left very open. My major complaint was that there wasn't enough detail. Mahoney has an interesting premise, surprising in the overabundance of fairy YA novels I've been seeing recently and I hope she spends more time on the alchemy in the next book than the elves.

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