The Iron Witch and The Wood Queen – Karen Mahoney

“Donna is a freak.  An outcast.  Branded with iron tattoos that cover her hands and arms, she is cursed with a magically-enhanced strength that she does everything she can to hide.

But now, the dark exiles of Faerie are coming and Donna must choose between saving her best friend – or betraying one of the world’s greatest secrets.”

This book was an impulse buy, I really loved the gorgeous cover and thought it was a story about witches (I enjoy a good witch story), it turned out that it wasn’t about witches but was really good nonetheless.

The action starts early on in the book and there are so many things that are intriguing and made me want to read on for explanations.  It has a dark and mysterious feel to it with lots of magical revelations, a dangerous rescue mission and other worlds that just keep the reader guessing.

I enjoyed Donna’s journal entries, it gave a good insight into her feelings surrounding the confusion in her life, especially when she finds herself battling evil to protect her loved ones.  I loved the relationships between Donna, Navin and Xan and I look forward to seeing them develop in the next book.  Donna definitely gains some trust issues after she uncovers lie after lie and I found myself distrusting pretty much everyone in the story.

Towards the end of this book I was holding my breath wondering what Donna was planning, I couldn’t see a way out of the situation she was in so I was unable to predict what she was going to do.

With all the various elements of this book I found it to be a very different story to others that I have read, I was really interested in the alchemical side of it all and details of the orders etc.  This was another thing I was looking forward to more of in the next book.

“Born into the mysterious world of an ancient alchemical order, Donna has always been aware of the dark feud that exists between the alchemists and the fey.  Her own mother – bound by a dark Faerie curse – has been confined to a hospital bed for as long as she can remember … But now there is a chance to release her, and Donna will stop at nothing until she is free.

Armed with her own brand of powerful magic, Donna must face the fearsome Wood Queen in order to save her mother.  But in the Ironwood – a place that haunts Donna’s dreams – there is far greater and more dangerous magic already at work …”

This book has an equally gorgeous cover, one that enabled me to visualise Donna’s tattoos easily – whenever I was struggling to imagine them I just took a look at the cover!

Donna is as strong and determined in this book as she was in the first, and this time she is starting to discover more about her own power.  She meets some really interesting new characters, discovers even more lies and questions some of her existing friendships as again she struggles to save someone she loves.

Donna’s relationships with Navin and Xan continued to intrigue me in this book and something happens at the end of this book that is definitely going to complicate things for her, I look forward to seeing how things turn out.

I really enjoyed the whole story, it was really different and well written, however it didn’t grip me like other books have done – I found that I was happy to put the book down to pick up at another time and this is unusual for me.  When I did pick it back up though, I had no problems getting back into it and remembering all the characters so I can’t say that it affected my enjoyment of the book.

This is a dark and magical story with many interesting elements that will keep you guessing.