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The Iron Witch
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A teenage girl branded with iron tattoos in a fey attack that killed her father must accept the supernatural powers that the attack also left her with, and use them in the fight to save her best friend.

About the Author

Karen Mahoney gave up on her dreams of being Wonder Woman a long time ago, but has instead settled for being a writer of urban fantasy. She has been published alongside some of her favourite authors, in anthologies like THE ETERNAL KISS and KISS ME DEADLY. She is still in complete shock about this. Karen's debut YA novel, THE IRON WITCH, will be published by Corgi in 2011. She lives in London, though she dreams of one day living in Boston.

Reviews

Gr 8 Up-Donna Underwood is not your typical high school senior. At a party, she meets Alexander (Xan), who is also anything but typical, and in fact bears the scars on his back from where his wings were removed. Donna wears elbow-length gloves to cover up her iron hands, made for her when she was seven and her father was killed, her mother driven insane, and Donna burned by a terrifying creature called Skriker. These teens are trying to act normal in the world of the "commoners," but Donna is forced to use her atypical strength and knowledge about the fey world to save her friend Navin, with Xan's help. Teen girls will love the descriptions of Donna's feelings about her new love interest, Xan, and the details about clothing, friendship, and her attempts to fit in. Fantasy lovers will enjoy reading about a different world trying to hide in ours. There are subtle references to sex and underage drinking and drug use. At the end, readers are aware of more to come, and this book should prove to be the beginning of a popular series.-Kathy Kirchoefer, Prince Georges County Memorial Library System, New Carrollton, MD (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Mahoney's debut novel mines the familiar turf of the adolescent with magical abilities who just wants to be "normal." Donna Underwood, survivor of a faerie attack in the Ironwood years earlier, lives in Ironbridge, Mass., where she's been kicked out of high school and receives "homeschooling" from an alchemical society that saved her life by tattooing and reinforcing her arms with iron, giving her superhuman strength. Donna's best friend, Navin, tries to keep her in the flow of ordinary teenage life, taking her to parties like the one thrown by the mysterious Xan Grayson. It quickly becomes apparent that Xan's secrets are akin to Donna's. It's also clear that malignant elves from the Ironwood are starting to infiltrate the town, but why? Questions become crises when Navin disappears, and Donna must choose between keeping her secrets and saving her friend. Back-story takes precedence over present action in this installment, with info dumps taking the form of Donna's diary and conversations with out-of-the-loop characters. But although Mahoney's story takes a while to get going, she lays intriguing groundwork for later books. Ages 12-up. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

"Karen Mahoney is a brilliant storyteller, blending magic and alchemy with bold, captivating characters who step right off the page and draw you into their world. You'll fall under this book's spell" -- Richelle Mead, New York Times #1 bestselling author of the "Vampire Academy" series
"Mahoney's debut sizzles with romance and alchemical swashbuckling, but it's the steadfast character of Donna Underwood that kept me hooked. Her choices, her loyalty, her determination - all make for a refreshing and captivating read" -- Tiffany Trent, author of the "Hallowmere" series and "The Unnaturalists"
"This story has it all for fans of (sub)urban fantasy: vicious adversaries, devoted friendship and first romance" * Kirkus *
"The Iron Witch has managed to present original ideas in what is a crowded genre, and that's something worth noting. It's perfect for fans of all things magic, fey and urban, or just readers looking for a good story to escape into" * Wondrous Reads *
"The Iron Witch is an interesting combination of fairy magic and alchemy, which makes it very different to a lot of the other fairy-centric novels around at the moment. I like fairies, and I like alchemy, so I felt this was likely to be a winning combination for me and I wasn't disappointed" * The Bookbag *

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