Ironskin by Tina ConnollyIronskin by Tina Connolly


byTina Connolly

Hardcover | July 29, 2014

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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 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 are true? Step by step Jane unlocks the secrets of a new life-and discovers just how far she will go to become whole again.

TINA CONNOLLY lives in Portland, Oregon, with her husband and brand-new baby boy. Her stories have appeared in Strange Horizons, Fantasy, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Highlights Magazine, and the anthology Unplugged: Year's Best Online SF 2008. Her Young Adult dystopia play, Witebox, will premiere in Portland in 2013. Connolly is a frequen...
Title:IronskinFormat:HardcoverDimensions:304 pages, 8.59 × 5.84 × 1.11 inPublished:July 29, 2014Publisher:Tom Doherty AssociatesLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0765330598

ISBN - 13:9780765330598

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Rated 2 out of 5 by from Did not like the second half I really liked the first bit of the book, the world was very intriguing and the characters were spot on. However halfway through the plot really dragged and I was tempted to just leaf through the rest to see what would happen. I guess this happened to me with Jane Eyre too, I am a plot lover and I hate it when it drags almost to a stop for a number of pages. The world didn't make sense sometimes and there were some inconsistencies which were distracting. Things seemed to happen without any significance which was annoying. I did skim the rest of the book but it wasn't very memorable as I forgot what happened already.
Date published: 2017-07-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Pretty Good A clash of Victorian era, faerie magic and some steampunk thrown in. It shouldn't work, but it makes this retelling of Jane Eyre a really good story.
Date published: 2017-03-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A very unique retelling of Jane Eyre Ironskin is a very unique take on the fey. I really enjoyed reading this one and love that it's a retelling of Jane Eyre. I found myself constantly trying to think about how what was going on compared with the classic, which probably wasn't a good thing for me to be doing. I'm not really sure what time period it was based in, I believe it was a steampunk environment in the Victorian era, but the steam technology wasn't really a huge thing yet. Humans had been relying on fey technology for years, until there was a war which resulted in them losing the fey technology as the fey disappeared. So the humans needed to create their own technology. Jane, who is quite similar to Jane Eyre (obviously), was injured during the Great War. She was curse by a fey bomb and now wears an iron mask over the scarred part of her face to suppress the curse. The curses make all of those around the curse feel strong emotion, whatever their curse is. Jane is cursed with rage, so everyone around her becomes angry, therefore she covers it up to keep that from happening. She has a hard time holding a job as a governess, that is until she goes to help Dorie, who has a strange curse of her own. Dorie's father is Edward Rochart, a mysterious man. Jane finds herself falling for him, but who could love someone so ugly and cursed as her? She is a strong character, when you get to the end she really proves just how strong she is *shudder*. She's a great heroine and I felt bad for her most of the time because her life isn't easy. She finds herself in the end and does everything she can to help those she loves. Tina Connolly has done a wonderful job creating a unique fey in this world. The fey don't have a solid form of their own, they are mostly made up of energy and lights, but they can take over a dead human body if they kill it. They still take people to their world to entertain them, but I just found them very intriguing. There are more creatures in her world other than the fey, mythical creatures that no one really believes in. I'm not sure why they don't when the fey are obviously real and have attacked them. This is a great retelling and if you are a fan of Jane Eyre and enjoy fantasy, I think you would really enjoy this. Even if you haven't read Jane Eyre, you'll still probably really enjoy this. It's definitely a story to watch out for and one that I will be recommending for sure!
Date published: 2012-11-09
Rated 2 out of 5 by from An odd clash of fey and the Victorian Era The story begins with an introduction to Jane, a survivor of The Great War against the fey. But she's not without scars, hers just happens to be a particularly angry one left behind on her face - a parting gift from the fey. She hides behind an iron mask and veils, but it doesn't stop the constant whispers and paranoia of people around her as she tries to survive in a post war world. She works as a governess when she can, but her employers never fully trust her - until she responds to an ad for a governess at Silver Birch Hall, for a very unique case. I was completely lured to this book by the stunning cover. If I didn't know better I'd think she was going to a masquerade ball with a gorgeous mask and dress in high society. But Jane's life isn't as glamorous as that... When the history behind Jane's scar is revealed - it shows how much she's suffered and lost at the hands of the fey and how much strength it must take to go on with life. I do admire her creativity, and her persistence - especially in dealing with the stubborn Dorie, but she's held back by her scars. Her longing for a normal face is a major obstacle, and I could see why, since the book is set in the time of approximately the Industrial Revolution - women didn't really have many prospects in life except to marry and those options are severely limited when you're cursed. She was a bit irritating in that she was constantly wavering in her decisions to love Rochart or not, to keep trying with Dorie or not, and especially between her actual beauty and her idea of beauty. The secondary characters were much more interesting. Rochart resides in quiet obscurity as a tortured artist who crafts ethereal faces for the obscenely rich and who is barely present for his fey cursed daughter Dorie. But he's a bit too much of a mystery for my liking, and always talking in a cryptic ominous kind of way. Dorie's chased off countless governesses with her "gifts", and admittedly she sounds and acts like one of those little ghost girls you'd find in a haunted house who would lead you to your death. Dorie doesn't say much, but with her tiny but ferocious presence she manages to leave a very disturbing impression on the reader. The story is based loosely on Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. I've never read Jane Eyre, and I know it's one of those "classics" that one should read, but I won't. It's not my kind of book. I had to read Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen for an English course once, and I only made it halfway all while rereading sentences and passages because it just wasn't clicking, it was painfully dull. Unfortunately, this story takes on a similar style of writing and tone. This kind of writing always makes me feel displaced from the story, like I'm just observing it from the outside. I couldn't really connect with the characters and I end up not caring about their petty lives. Everything is so stiff and formal. Several points were also repeated constantly throughout the book, at first it was a good reminder, but after awhile it just felt like Connolly was trying to fill space. The slightest saving grace to the story was that there'd be the odd intrusion of fey technology and magic that shatters this monotony - and that's what kept me reading. What I craved to know was the history and reasoning behind the fey war, and their mysterious disappearance. Although the first 3/4 of the book is excruciatingly slow, the last 1/4 is like this completely different story. It takes the reader on a hurtling reveal of all the secrets and recounts until everything horrific is shown to a now stronger and more confident Jane. The concept is definitely intriguing, but I never felt fully drawn into the world and story. But when fey magic finally rears its head, it didn't seem that believable, and everything was confusing and shaky - it's like an action scene in a movie where the camera never actually captures anything - but at the end the hero has the villain dead at his feet but you're not sure how he got there. This book just wasn't for me, and I think Bronte purists might either love it or hate it.
Date published: 2012-10-06

Editorial Reviews

"A lyrical, beautifully crafted debut. I was particularly taken with the beautifully conceived strangeness of Connolly's fey-touched, just-a-shade-away alternate magical England. A haunting exploration of the true price one must pay for magic, beauty, and love, Ironskin will stay with me for a long time to come." -M.K. Hobson, author of The Native Star"Clever and romantic at the same time--no mean feat. A magical and entertaining waltz across the fairy forests and dark moors just a sideways step or two from Haworth Parsonage." -Ian R. MacLeod, author of Wake Up and Dream"A gothic, eerie, and pitch-perfect retelling of Jane Eyre, in which the moors are haunted by menacing fae and the hero's secrets are steeped in magic. Ironskin kept me up past my bedtime and stayed with me long after the last page has been turned." -Leah Cypess, author of Mistwood