Magical Tattoos & Alchemy

Iron Witch by Karen Mahoney

First Look:

The silver tattoos are quite pretty, though since Donna’s ashamed of them, I don’t know why she’s hiding behind her arm.  Points for the vial, it’s very important at the denouement; points off for the clockwork bits on the vial, since I have no clue what that’s about (other than pandering to the steampunk crowd).

Jacket Copy:

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.

…I’ve made the decision not to reproduce the rest of the jacket copy.  It’s one of those terrible instances where the description mentions an event which happens halfway through the book, thus making you anticipate this event throughout the first half, when that was never the author’s intention.


First of a trilogy, naturally.

Worth Reading?

Sure.  It’s not the most perfectly written piece of literature ever, but there’s nothing major wrong with it, either, and there are some unique touches.

Notable Things:

Scary Fae!  Who needs Disney Fairies when you have vicious, kidnapping fae?

Tattoos!  As a tattoo wearer myself, I love the idea of magical tattoos.  And metallic!  If it were something that could be done safely, you could be sure that I would have one.


Alchemy!  It’s like magic, only scientific!


Aside from the spoileriffic jacket copy, I liked it.  Besides the awesomeness of Donna’s tattoos and the world she lives in, I didn’t find a lot to love, but I did find a lot to like very well, and that will be enough to get me to read the next book in the series.





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