Author: Tina Connolly
Release Date: October 2nd, 2012
Publisher: Tor Books
Pages: 304 (Hardcover & ebook)
Genre: Romance | Re-Telling | Fantasy
Series: Ironskin #1
Read: from August 29 to September 1, 2012
Source & Shelf: NetGalley | Kobo
ISBN: 9780765330598 (Hardcover)
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 own 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 is true? Step by step Jane unlocks the secrets of her new life – and discovers just how far she will go to become whole again.
Disclaimer: I received this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
*This review might contain spoilers*
I absolutely loved this book. Jane Eyre is my favourite book so, when I saw Ironskin and found out it was some sort of fantasy retelling of Brontë’s masterpiece, I just had to have it. I’ve requested it to review on Netgalley and when they’ve accepted it I was extremely happy and eager to start reading it.
Despite the several and obvious connections with Jane Eyre, Connolly’s novel feels original. The twist she gave it managed to diverse us from its bone structure and enter a fairy-tale world… a brand new world. The whole plot against the fey and the masks really brings the main essence of a good fantasy book.
In Jane Eyre, Mr. Rochester wears a mask which is his features, quite complicated to evaluate during the entire book, His dark secret and his constant swings of humours transforms him into a mysterious man. And Mr. Rochart is quite the same. He is mysterious, difficult to look through and understand. And I really liked the fact that Connolly had him working with masks.
Jane was simply an amazing female character to read. She didn’t had that complexity Jane Eyre has in connection to her status and her beauty. Elliot is “damaged”, being wounded in the war against the fey. She lost her brother and since then has a curse in which she wears a mask – another connection to Mr. Rochart – to conceal it. She’s not an orphan (having a younger sister called Helen – perhaps from Eyre’s childhood friend Helen Burns) and she doesn’t have an aunt or cousins to bring her down. Her relationship with Dorie was very well explored, both young woman and child learning how to use and control their powers. Jane also learns quite a lot about herself while staying at Silver Birch.
Despite not having a full Mrs. Fairfax, we are introduced to Poule, a dwarven. She was my Mr. Fairfax in this book in a more bold manner. Being a female half dwarf permitted her to be a bit more opened and to teach Jane.
There was one particular thing I found very kind and adorable: the reference to Beauty and the Beast tale in chapter 4. For me, Jane Eyre has always been a kind of re-telling of that tale and when I read Mr. Rochart using it has a way to tell Jane he needs her, that he would “die” if she left him, I immediately fell in love with it.
Tina Connolly was very smart when she decided to use Jane Eyre as a basis for this novel and I can clearly say this is Jane Eyre of the 21st Century and of my generation. This book was lyrically beautiful hooking us since the moment we start reading it and hypnotizing us with its mystery and masks and dark secrets.
A beautiful romance which will be the delight of all fairy-tale lovers and Jane Eyre readers.