Review of Ironskin, by Tina Connolly

IronskinI borrowed Ironskin, by Tina Connolly, from the library.

Description from Goodreads:
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.


So much potential in this plot, all reduced to, “Wah, wah poor me. I’m not pretty.” And “Oh, woe is me, I’ve been cursed with rage…or, well, at least mild irritation.” (I certainly never sensed any more than that.) With a romance that boiled down to “Mr. Rochart is never here. I wish he was here because it makes his daughter happy when he is. Oh, I love Mr. Rochart.” It came out of nowhere! Not least because Mr. Rochart was completely flat as a character. Jane was a bit better, but not by much.

Sure the book has a creepy atmosphere. And it really is an interesting premise. Unfortunately, I think all that potential was just smothered under all the self-absorbed angst. I’m afraid being a retelling of Jane Eyre was enough to salvage this. I’ll not be bothering with the sequels.

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