Author: Tina Connolly
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.
Ok, so I first have to say that I don’t normally enjoy steampunk, and this was the first steampunk book that I actually finished. I also need to say that I have never read Jane Eyre. I know the story and have probably seen a movie before, but I have never read the book.
Also, when I received this book, I didn’t know that it was steampunk OR that it was a retelling of Jane Eyre.
SO- That being said, Ill offer my review now.
The story is set in a different time and place, maybe England a century ago, but it is never mentioned when or where this is. Which kind of bothered me the whole time. But in this time, the war with the Fey has been over for 5 years now. This was interesting, because for the first half of the book, the Fey are mentioned but make no appearance.
You meet Jane, who was damaged in the war. See, the Fey have these Fey bombs that can kill the humans, but if you don’t die, it damages your skin and curses you. If this happens, you must wear iron on your skin, to hide your curse.
So, as I said, you meet Jane, and she has been damaged/cursed by the Fey, and now must wear an Ironskin Mask. (talk about Man in the Iron Mask??? I loved that movie…) And for people with Ironksin, they are shunned and considered dirty or ugly, and its difficult for them to find jobs.
So Jane goes to be a governess for a wealthy man with a different child. This child is fey cursed as well, but not damaged in the war. Her mother had been captured by the Fey, while she was still in utero, and thus was born with Fey abilities (like telekinesis)
Jane considers it her mission to help this child adapt and be more human. To use her hands and fingers instead of her mind powers. This was a VERY large part of the story… and I had not been expecting it to be. It was very Hellen Keller- ish.
Then, if you know the story to Jane Eyre than you must know that, Jane falls for Edward, the childs father, the wealthy man. This romance was very subtle and not nearly a large enough aspect of this story.
You don’t know until the end WHY there even was a war with the Fey.
I will say that I did like Jane’s character, but Edward was too weak for my liking. I like a strong MAN, not a weak boy. And maybe im being harsh, because Edward had a hard life and childhood and the Fey are stronger than humans… but oh well. I didn’t really like him at all.
I need to mention that the writing was amazing! Even though I don’t like historical fiction or steampunk, I can respect the lyrical beauty of it. I don’t like the way they talked back then, but Connelly made it pretty. I really loved her writing, it was flowy and embellished, but not too much.
“On the north the house had war damage. It had been bombed, and now only the skeleton remained, the scraggly black structure sharp and jagged, mocking its former grace and charm.
Just like me, Jane thought. Just like me.”
“I cannot believe you are evil,” she said. “If all the world spat on you, what care I for the world. If they all left you in a great flurry of fear, I should still be here, and stay by your side.”
ALSO... Check out that AWESOME cover! The cover is what caught my attention and I love it!
Overall, If you like Jane Eyre or steampunk, you will love this book. If you are like me, and aren’t too into anything like this… than you might like it. I thought it was ok.
Release Date: October 2nd, 2012
Rating: 3 Stars
I received a copy of this book from Netgalley. Thanks