REVIEW by Jena: Ironskin (Ironskin #1) & Copperhead (Ironskin #2) by Tina Connolly (@TinaConnolly)

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 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 are true? Step by step Jane unlocks the secrets of a new life—and discovers just how far she will go to become whole again.
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 a 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.

I received a request from one of my favorite publishers, Tor, to review the third book in this series, Silverblind.  Not having read the series prior, I initially declined the review but offered up a spotlight post instead for release day.  The publisher generously offered to send me review copies of the first two books, and instead, I went out and bought the audio books on Audible.
As a quick note regarding the audio books, they are good.  The narrator, Rosalyn Landor has a fantastic voice for narrating.  These books were my first time listening to anything voiced by her and I will definitely be looking into other projects she’s done.  She’s good with pacing and cadence.  A good find, for sure!
Back to the books…
As a whole, I loved these books.  The story line is much different from what I normally read for fantasy, but I was immediately sucked in.  The main character, Jane, is a female lead who is easy to get into.  The story arc is quickly engaging.  The first book, as with most first books in a series, is a lot of world-building and getting to know you with the characters, but once you as the reader are all caught up, it quickly takes off and doesn’t slow down.
I am one of those nerdy people who actually enjoys retellings of classics.  This book is a steampunky retake on the Jane Eyre story and I thought it was brilliant.  You cant go into it expecting the exact same story though.  Trust this – you are in for a much different ride.  If you didn’t like the Jane Eyre story, don’t let that deter you from reading the Ironskin series because the parallels are not so in-your-face that you feel like you’re rereading the same book.
Overall, excellent series so far.  This was a series that I probably wouldn’t have jumped into without the review request because I don’t read a lot of steampunk, but I am glad I was asked.  This is one I will certainly be following!

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