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.
This is an astonishing book: an evocative re-imagination of Jane Eyre that concerns itself with beauty, love and social upheaval. Jane Eliot is an unforgettable protagonist, and the setting is strange and familiar at the same time. Connolly's fey creatures manage to be both ethereal and menacing. This lyrical and utterly marvelous debut is one of the standout books of the year.
-- Natalie A. Luhrs of RT Book Reviews, 4 & 1/2 Stars, Top Pick
AT A GLANCE
IRONSKIN by Tina Connolly, Tor Books
Hardcover: October 2, 2012 - 9780765330598 / 076533059
Trade Paper: August 13, 2013 - 9780765330611 / 076533061X
The audio book is at Audible, read by the amazing Rosalyn Landor.
UK readers? Find it here.
Jane is ferocious and splendid; the hero is tormented and tragic. Tina Connolly has crafted a steampunk Beauty and the Beast tale, beautifully and cleverly reversed. Don't miss this debut.
-- Ann Aguirre, national bestselling author of Enclave
A lyrical, beautifully crafted debut. I was particularly taken with the beautifully conceived strangeness of Connolly's fey-touched, just-a-shade-away alternate magical England. A haunting exploration of the true price one must pay for magic, beauty, and love, Ironskin will stay with me for a long time to come.
-- M. K. Hobson, author of The Native Star
A gothic, eerie, and pitch-perfect retelling of Jane Eyre, in which the moors are haunted by menacing fae and the hero's secrets are steeped in magic. Ironskin kept me up past my bedtime and stayed with me long after the last page has been turned.
-- Leah Cypess, author of Mistwood
It's clever and romantic at the same time - no mean feat. A magical and entertaining waltz across the fairy forests and dark moors a just sideways step or two from Haworth Parsonage.
-- Ian R. MacLeod, World Fantasy Award winner and author of The Light Ages
Read the first chapter of IRONSKIN on Tor.com.
See the book trailer!
The Books in the Book in the Tor newsletter, including falling for The Princess Bride
The origins of IRONSKIN, on the Romantic Times blog
Top Ten Reasons to Get Your Fantasy in Your Romance, on the Heroes & Heartbreakers blog
My Favorite Bit on Mary Robinette Kowal's blog
The Hardest Part, on the Bull Spec blog
Podcast Interview with Brent Bowen at Adventures in Sci-Fi Publishing
Podcast Spotlight with Dave Thompson and Anna Schwind of Podcastle
Interview on Unabridged Chick, including the original title to the short story that became IRONSKIN
Interview on Addicted To Heroines, including info about the sequel
Guest Post on Worldbuilding at the Daydreaming Bookworm
In this historical fantasy debut, a tribute to Jane Eyre, Connolly evokes that classic's literary feel but adds her own creative twist. . . . While Connolly echoes Charlotte Bronte's novel in some plot points and names, this is not strictly a literary mashup but rather an unusual blend of alternate history, fantasy, and gothic romance.
-- Library Journal Review
Connolly has created a complex and well-drawn world here, and the story is indeed an original and imaginative take on the gothic-fiction tradition. . . . An intriguing and ambitious fantasy tale.
-- Kirkus Reviews
[An] entertaining and thought-provoking debut novel. . . . Connolly's novel masterfully illuminates our fascination with these bygone times, setting the story in a time and place reminiscent of early 20th-century Britain -- a time of great technological and social change.
-- Portland Monthly
An unusual world, where humans had come to depend on fey magics for power and technology and now must return to science for answers. An intriguing, often involving combination. . . . A very promising first novel.
Connolly has created a fascinating and highly entertaining mashup of sorts between the Bronte sisters' classics and modern urban fantasy. . . . The setting is wonderful, creating a sister city to Regency London and its surrounding countryside, although this one is dark and unsettled in the aftermath of a devastating war. . . . Highly Recommended.
-- SF Revu
AWARDS & HONORS
Nebula Award Nominee for Best Novel (2012)
Romantic Times Award Nominee for Best Fantasy Novel (2012)