Reviewer: Amy Lignor
Title: The Iron Witch
Author: Karen Mahoney
Release Date: February 2011
Genre/Sub-genre: YA Urban Fantasy
Publisher’s Age/Grade Recommendation: 13 and up
OUAR’s Age/Grade Recommendation: 13 and up
Year/Setting: Present Day/Ironbridge, Massachusetts
Overall Rating: 4.0
Sexual Content Rating: None/Subtle
Language (Profanity/Slang) Content Rating: None/Mild
Violent Content Rating: Minimal/Moderate
Karen's Website/Blog: www.kazmahoney.com
In the sea of young adults out nowadays, I have to tell you that I breathe a sigh of relief and happiness when a writer turns AWAY from the "fanged" ones and into other legends and characters. Ms. Mahoney has earned an 'A' in my book for not following the crowd, and I guarantee that you readers will become faithful followers as well.
This new series centers around Donna Underwood, a girl with an amazing secret hidden beneath her long black gloves. When Donna was seven years old a tragedy occurred in her life which uncovered a history that she never would've thought humanly possible. While out in the woods one afternoon, her father ended up giving his life in order to save her from a creature that surely doesn't exist, and her mother has ended up in a hospital with barely a thought left in her brain. In fact...many believe that on that afternoon her mother went "mad." What Donna will always remember clearly, however, is being taken to a man called Maker and having him save her life by adding an alchemical mixture of iron and silver to her arms that were burned and bleeding from the strange attack, leaving her arms covered in strange-looking metal tattoos.
Donna now lives with her Aunt and has been taken out of school. After an incident where she overstepped her boundaries and unveiled the strength that she possesses, everyone thought it best that she be trained by her "own" far away from the normal world. Donna has learned over the years that she is a member of The Order of the Dragon and her parents are considered heroes. This silent Order is part of a larger world and their claim to fame is to protect the secret of immortality (the elixir of life), as well as protecting humans from the Fae world. The Fae world is comprised of many beings, but the creatures that infect Ironbridge, Massachusetts are elves. These wood elves were once part of the Underworld but broke free in order to live on their own without being overseen by the demons below. The elves want one thing and one thing only, the elixir of life, and will do anything to get it.
Navin Sharma is Donna's best friend and always has been. Without him and his love, Donna would feel quite alone in the world. They share everything and one day, because of a decision where Navin followed Donna to see what she was up to - Donna's secrets are exposed and Navin finds himself in a position where he must accept this amazingly unreal side of his very best friend.
Included in the mix is a boy by the name of Xan who has his own past to shoulder. When he and Donna meet at a party they find themselves falling for each other. But will the relationship last when they come to realize that they're quite different beings? Or will the love they feel bind them together as a force to be reckoned with?
I can go on and on about this story, guys and gals, because I truly believe this one should be read by all...but I won't. The story is so fantastical and fun offering possessed statues, iron woods that warp and change with doors to enter into the elfin world, as well as a beautiful story of emotions between best friends that strikes deep in your soul. This one has it all, and this is one YA where I can't wait to read the sequel! Bravo!
Until next time,
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