Monday, March 14, 2011


By : Karen Mahoney
Published By : Random House Australia
Released : Available Now
Details : Paperback , 289 Pages


Freak. That's what her classmates call seventeen-year-old Donna Underwood. When she was seven, a horrific fey attack killed her father and drove her mother mad. Donna's own nearly fatal injuries from the assault were fixed by magic—the iron tattoos branding her hands and arms. The child of alchemists, Donna feels cursed by the magical heritage that destroyed her parents and any chance she had for a normal life. The only thing that keeps her sane and grounded is her relationship with her best friend, Navin Sharma.

When the darkest outcasts of Faerie—the vicious wood elves—abduct Navin, Donna finally has to accept her role in the centuries old war between the humans and the fey. Assisted by Xan, a gorgeous half-fey dropout with secrets of his own, Donna races to save her friend—even if it means betraying everything her parents and the alchemist community fought to the death to protect.



Donna Underwood – 17 Years old. Daughter of 2 legendary Alchemists.

Navin Sharma – Donna’s bff. Navin lives nextdoor and is her closest and dearest friend.

Alexander Grayson – Guy Donna meets at party. A spark is ignited.

Maker – Alchemist who helped Donna when she needed it most.

Aunt Paige – Donna’s guardian.

Quentin Frost – Leader of the Order – Archmaster

Simon Gaunt – Adminstrator and partner of Quentin ( they are a couple)

The Iron Witch was a nice easy YA read. I had been eagerly awaiting this book by debut author Karen Mahoney. I am looking forward to reading book 2 in the series to find out more about Xan and Donna and how Navin’s relationship with Donna stands up to Xan being the other guy in the picture.

Xan has shown Donna a part of himself, she realises he has something in common with herself. I wanted to know more about Xan in this book. He has an interesting past .

Navin, I really liked his bff dialogue he had with Donna. He always called her Underwood. Very casual but , he had you feeling like he was starting to see another side to their relationship, even though he gave the pretence of being the ever loyal, buddy buddy bff kinda guy.

I had to laugh at Donna always giving Navin a shove or a thump on the shoulder. Guys, if you have a girl you have known for years and she is your bff and she is shoving and thumping you, the chances are you won’t get past bff status. They are 17 years old but they are comfortable in his bedroom tickling each!!! Donna only sees Navin as her bff. Navin is seeing Xan and Donna together and I think he not likey.

There is intrigue for me as Donna’s mum is someone I would like to know more about. I wondered why Donna didn’t ask for her mother’s lock of hair when she got Maker and Navin safe. She saw the locks of hair around the waist of the Wood Queen, but didn’t think to ask if her mother’s was amongst it to release it to her.

Simon has some hidden agenda which I assume we will find out in book 2 especially with that hidden mad scientist lab he has going on. Donna’s silver bracelet is another unknown.

Things were hinted at but not answered. Who is really the bad guy? The Wood Queen questions Donna as to why she was in the forest when she was seven and being attacked by the Striker that ended with her hands and arms being ruined and having to be saved by Maker and tattooed.

The book got off to a great start and then it mellowed out a bit, then picked up towards the end. It had a reasonably steady pace. It didn’t grab me and get my heart racing like some books do. I love Xan’s character as I found I wanted to know more. He has his history which was hinted at with the Wood Queen.

To be honest the way the book ends it feels all of a sudden cut off. Like 2 books have been written and then a spot has been found to sever book 1 from book 2. I think the book could have been longer as we are left dangling. Not a cliffhanger, just cut off. Ended abruptly, I didn’t like that at all. I was looking for more pages, to find there are none.

I did have a teeny pet peeve with Xan’s character. I know he was 19 years old, but I didn’t like that he smoked cigarettes. He only did it at the start of the book, but I didn’t think for a YA read that it was necessary. Just a personal peeve I have with smoking and knowing they are bad for you. I didn’t think it would make his character any less appealing if he didn’t smoke.


“ Come on, Donna. There’s weird , and then there’s completely bat-shit crazy.”


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