Thursday, September 27, 2012

Ironskin by Tina Connolly (Publication date Oct 2, 2012)

Steampunk fantasy in a world that has echos of Regency times -- right up my alley it would seem. With Ironskin, the reader enters a world just after a war between humans and fey. While humans appeared to have won, there are wounds left in the world, humans hideously scarred by fey blasts, now outcast, or else wearing iron coverings to stop the fey curses from leaking through and tainting the world.

Jane Eliot was wounded in the war that killed all of her family, except her sister Helen. While Helen has found a place in society and is to be wedded soon, Jane (definitely less flighty and frivolous, and considerably smarter than her sister) heads off to take a position as the governess for a child who also bears a fey curse.

Here's where it got a little confusing: I thought we might be headed towards a steampunk Jane Eyre (which would have been great, only sadly, the author states in her acknowledgements that when someone compared the novel to Jane Eyre, her response was, "Who's that.") Then there were Beauty and the Beast elements that got added in, the only question being who was the beauty and who was the beast. Next, came The Snow Queen bits, only this one was the Fey Queen.  While it all worked, I think my love of the other stories got in the way for this one.  In the end, though, it's all up to Jane (as it often seems to be for main characters who bear that name.

While there were some wonderful bits in this book that crossed all my t's and dotted all my i's, there were other times when my mind strayed from the plot. However, the world-building here was really well done.  It's not a retelling of a story with another element added in, but a nicely crafted tale.  The disappointments I had were probably because of my own expectations which I set myself (though a cover blurb also alludes to a reverse Beauty and the Beast).  I will look for other works by this author.

Sent to me by the kindness of Tor books. (3.5 stars)

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for posting the review... I love a good steampunk fantasy...