Publication Date: October 2, 2012
Short Synopsis (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.
My Review: What first drew me to this book was its amazing cover! A close second would be the fact that it's a Jane Eyre steampunk retelling with faeries...and yes, you heard that right! Have you added this to your TBR yet?
Starting out I loved how atmospheric it all was. It felt shadowed to me, which fit so perfectly with the mood of things and how everyone was just recovering from a war. Not too much to be happy about here! But it wasn't depressing. I guess the only way to describe it is how things feel on a rainy afternoon on a windswept moor...yeah, I got into the imagery.
What I also really liked about this book was the fact that Jane actually does her governess duties in this one. She and the daughter are quite similar in their 'issues' and Jane is determined to help her. How that actually ends up happening, I won't ruin, but it was quite refreshing to see her working with the girl and us actually getting to know the daughter (which is something I don't even remember feeling in the original!) instead of her just being an excuse for Jane to be there.
So, for about the first half of the book, I was quite impressed. This was such a cool re-imagning of a classic favorite I was excited to continue....and then Jane kind of lost her wits. For the first half she's a strong, self-willed girl and then all of a sudden she gets...twitterpated! It was really frusting to watch her obsess over Mr. Rochart on the slightest things, I didn't understand it. I know that it's supposed to happen eventually, but the way it was done didn't feel natural and wasn't as much of a slow burn as I wanted it to be.
Towards the end Jane does exemplify some quick wittedness and intellect, but in my opinion she doesn't recover her sensibility from the beginning and the daughter falls a bit to the way side.
I AM looking forward to reading the sequel, but the latter half of this book was not what I was expecting or thought fit. This is an author to watch out for though!