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Comment: This book has already been loved by someone else. It MIGHT have some wear and tear on the edges, have some markings in it, or be an ex-library book. Over-all itâ€TMs still a good book at a great price! (if it is supposed to contain a CD or access code, that may be missing)
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Ironskin Hardcover – October 2, 2012

3.7 out of 5 stars 90 customer reviews
Book 1 of 3 in the Ironskin Series

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A Criminal Magic by Lee Kelly
"A Criminal Magic" by Lee Kelly
THE NIGHT CIRCUS meets THE PEAKY BLINDERS in Lee Kelly's new magical realism, crossover novel and casts a spell of magic, high stakes and intrigue against the backdrop of a very different Roaring Twenties. Learn more
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Editorial Reviews

Review

“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

About the Author

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 frequent reader for Escape Pod and Podcastle, and works as a face painter, which means a glitter-filled house is an occupational hazard. Ironskin is her first novel.

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Product Details

  • Series: Ironskin (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; 1st edition (October 2, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765330598
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765330598
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.1 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (90 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #833,323 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Thank you to NetGalley and Tor/Forge for the ability to read this eARC!

There are books that I would die to have enjoyed completely, and this is one of them. Sadly, it fell short of my expectations.

In case you didn't already realize, this book is a fey/steampunk retelling of Jane Eyre-you know, that book by Charlotte Bronte we all had to read in school. Jane Eyre was a school book that I actually didn't mind, surprisingly, and I had high hopes for the awesomeness that could come out of adding fantasy elements.

For much of the book, however, it seems like Connelly stays too close to its original text. The names are hardly changed (not a big deal, but still) and the biggest part for me is that Ironskin reads just as slow as Jane Eyre did for a majority of the text. Retelling or no, this is still a YA book and people still want a faster pace than classic books-that's why I read YA, at least.

My biggest problem was characterization. I never connected with Jane as a character-she was far too stiff all the time. Worse, she all of a sudden simply decided she was in love with Mr. Rochart without ANY kind of connection being made between them at all. This Mr. Rochart is more absent and strange than the one in Jane Eyre, and that's saying something. Several other decisions and plot points were also simply made without any preamble or reasoning, and that bothered me to no end. Much of the story seemed to happen without much reason other than that it had to happen for the sake of the story.

I did, however, greatly enjoy the idea behind the story. This retelling was far more interesting than the original. However, the plot holes that were left in several places continued to irk me throughout the book.
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Format: Hardcover
2.5 Stars

I had such high hopes for this book, the cover the blurb everything screamed this has to be a 5 star book but no not the case. I was a little disappointed the book had so much potential especially with that blurb but in the end it didn't live up to it entirely. Also if you have read Jane Eyre this is a retelling... a very loose retelling.

The book starts off letting us know that the Fey war has been over for the past five years. We are introduced to Jane who has to wear an iron mask since she was struck with the shrapnel's of a fey bomb and in turn she is cursed with rage and the iron mask keeps her curse in check. The people who wear ironskin are looked down upon and Jane has a hard time keeping a job until she gets the chance to work in the home of Edward Rochart who has a fey cursed child.

I was expecting a fast paced thrilling read, what I wasn't expecting was to be bored for the first half of the book. The majority of the book was Jane trying to teach the child (Dorie) how to stop using her powers and use her hands to do things. I was tempted to mark this as dnf but I was stubborn, I was determined to see this one to the end and I'm actually glad I did, it got a lot better in the second half. It was more fast paced and we finally had other interesting characters to read about. I was expecting romance but there wasn't much and what did develop did not seem believable. Jane and Edward barely saw each other, didn't have much interaction but somehow fell in love.

I did like the world building it was done very well, I was able to really picture it all with vivid detail. I really liked the fantasy aspect of the world. I also actually really liked Jane.
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Format: Hardcover
I found the little girl character annoying. The first 100 pages or so are the fey cursed governess trying to get the fey cursed 5 year old to behave. She moves things around with her telekinesis and governess is trying to teach her how to use her hands. This does not go over well.

This book is billed as a romance. There is no romance. One day, we are told the hero is in love with the governess and vice versa. Ummm what? When did this happen?

Then halfway through the book the plot changes from the focus on the 5 year old girl to the overall war with the fey. Is it over? Are the fey still around?

This book had potential and I kept turning pages to see what would happen next. But the potential was never realized. When the book ended I thought this is it? I felt the ending was very abrupt.

The other reviews say that this is a reverse Beauty and the Beast romance. I didn't notice any romance in this book. There was little conversation between hero and heroine and most of their interaction revolves around the little girl. I didn't like this book.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Ironskin by Tina Connelly is a retelling of Jane Eyre with a fantasy twist. Unlike similar classic/fantasy blends such as Pride and Prejudice and Zombies or Jane Slayre, Ironskin avoids the humorous side of such a juxtaposition and plays it relatively straight. It tells the story of Jane Eliot, a young woman who must wear an iron mask to contain the effects of a injury sustained in the war against the fae. Although the war is long over, she is still very much an outcast and takes employment with one Mr. Rochart looking after his young daughter, Dorie. Dorie, it seems, has also been affected by the fae.

What I liked

The adaptation. This version, while not following the exact plotline of Jane Eyre, does an excellent job of maintaining the characterisations and emotional beats of the original story. Like Jane Eyre, our Jane Eliot lives at the fringes of her society, and this has a large influence on her character. Edward too, is very similar to the Edward Rochester of the book – his guilt for his past is a block in his admitting his feelings for Jane. Ironskin focusses mainly on the Jane/Edward relationship and hits most of the same emotional beats as the original with the love, betrayal and reunion. I didn’t feel Ironskin came quite up to the emotion of the Jane Eyre ending where Jane is finally reunited with Rochester. The fae side of the story was nicely woven in along with this key relationship.

Beauty as a theme. This is an interesting theme woven throughout the novel. Jane, physically scarred as she is by the Great War, is very sensitive to this, especially as she sees the “pretty ladies” who congregate around Edward. She must decide how best to compete for the love of the man she adores. The whole fey beauty becomes a major plot point.
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