Ironskin (Ironskin #1)
by Tina Connolly
What is it about:
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.
What did I think of it:
What surprises me is that apparently you do not have to credit the story or author you used when you write a retelling. I noticed this when I read Ten by Gretchen McNeil, a clear retelling of Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None, and noticed it again with this book, which is a retelling of Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte.
That wonderment aside: I really liked this book.
You may know I have a soft spot for retellings, if they manage to bring a cool new twist to the original, and Ironskin certainly succeeds in that.
I was immediately drawn into to the story, both because of the familiarity of the original story and the fey elements Connolly added to the tale. I really liked how Connolly took bits and pieces from the original story,enough for fans of Jane Eyre to recognize them, but wasn't afraid to throw out or change the things she didn't need for her story. It made this book stronger than it would have been if she stuck too close to the original.
I was intrigued by the idea of fey curses being put on people, and ironskin being used to contain these curses. This element plays a large role in the story and I was impressed by how well Connolly had thought her world building through, making it fit seamlessly into the story.
All in all this is one of the better Jane Eyre retellings I've come across, and seeing how it ends I'm glad I've got the sequel Copperhead in my tbr-pile already. I'm interested to see if Connolly used another classic, or if she struck out on her own. From what I've seen of her storytelling skills so far, I'm pretty sure she can easily pull off the latter.
Why should you read it:
It's a very cool Retelling of Jane Eyre