Helen Huntingdon is beautiful -- so beautiful she has to wear an iron mask.
Six months ago her sister Jane uncovered a fey plot to take over the city. Too late for Helen, who opted for fey beauty in her face -- and now has to cover her face with iron so she won't be taken over, her personality erased by the bodiless fey.
Not that Helen would mind that some days. Stuck in a marriage with the wealthy and controlling Alistair, she lives at the edges of her life, secretly helping Jane remove the dangerous fey beauty from the wealthy society women who paid for it. But when the chancy procedure turns deadly, Jane goes missing -- and is implicated in the murder.
Meanwhile, Alistair's influential clique Copperhead -- whose emblem is the poisonous copperhead hydra -- is out to restore humans to their "rightful" place, even to the point of destroying the dwarvven who have always been allies.
Helen is determined to find her missing sister, as well as continue the good fight against the fey. But when that pits her against her own husband -- and when she meets an enigmatic young revolutionary -- she's pushed to discover how far she'll bend society's rules to do what's right. It may be more than her beauty at stake. It may be her honor . . . and her heart.
"Picking up after the events of Ironskin, Connolly's Jane Eyre reimagining, this is an outstanding exploration of the interplay between beauty, power, and female freedom. Connolly's a master at engaging with the theme that any power gained by physical beauty is neutralized by how easily it can be exploited. Jane's sister, Helen, is an unlikely yet deeply likable heroine whose struggle to overcome feelings of self-doubt and weakness will endear her to readers. No longer bound by the constraints of reformulating the gothic classic, Connolly expands her world of fae, dwarvven and (sometimes monstrous) humans in a truly rich and satisfying way." -- RT Book Reviews, 4 & 1/2 Stars
AT A GLANCE
COPPERHEAD by Tina Connolly, Tor Books
Hardcover : October 15, 2013 - 9780765330604 / 076533060
Trade Paper September 23, 2014 - 9780765330628 / 0765330628
The audio book is available at Audible, read by the amazing Rosalyn Landor.
"A gothic mystery that weaves fae menace into the glittering facade of high society. The alternate world Tina Connolly has created grows even more haunting and fascinating with this second installment. I can't wait to read more." -- Leah Cypess, author of Mistwood
"With plenty of derring-do and magic in the mix, this book is sure to please fans of alternate historical fantasy. Recommended." -- SF Revu
"It's a great work of historical fantasy with some steampunk elements and a strong feminist theme. . . . [The world is] unbelievably lovely, unbelievably creepy, complicated and elegant and sordid (in spots) at the same time. . . .an amazing, exciting, imaginative, and empowering story." -- Smart Bitches, Trashy Books
My Favorite Bit on Mary Robinette Kowal's blog
Interview on My Bookish Ways, including sisterly relationships and ales named Copperhead
The Story Behind the Story on Upcoming4Me, including dealing with old choices