Reading Level: Young Adult
Length: 336 pages
Release Date: February 8, 2012
Stand Alone or Series: 2nd book in the Iron Witch series
Rating: 2/5 stars
This is the second book in The Iron Witch trilogy. I really enjoyed the first one and was excited to read the second book after some of the interesting hints and glimpses we got in the first book. This book ended up being fairly disappointing.
In this book Donna is under trial by the Order of the Dragon and awaiting her punishment for stealing the Elixir of Life. Donna is also dealing with her ailing mother and ends up striking a deal with the Wood Queen; if Donna opens a door to Faerie and lets the Wood Queen and her Wood Elves back home then the Wood Queen will release Donna’s mother from the elven curse that has taken away her sanity and consciousness.
Mostly this story was just plain boring; all the parts about the trial and the Order of the Dragon were just boring boring boring. The portions of the story dealing with Donna’s failing mother are more interesting. I was disappointed that we don’t really get to visit the other realms and that none of that was really expanded on until right at the end of the book.
I didn’t like the characters nearly as much as in the first book; they are all so jealous and secretive. Donna is kept in the dark about a number of things and this makes her easy to manipulate and trick. I also didn’t like how snotty and combative Donna was all the time, even with characters that were trying to help her. I don’t remember her being quite this bad in the first book and am not sure what happened here. Navin is also very jealous throughout and Xan is just plain absent most of the story (both literally and emotionally).
In the first book I really enjoyed how elements of alchemy were combined with the fey; this book doesn’t expand on any of that really. Donna is acquiring new powers, but aside from the fact that she is getting them we don’t really learn how that ties into alchemy.
Overall this was a quick read, but boring and kind of a drag. I won’t be reading the final book because by the time I got to the end of this book I just didn’t care anymore…about any of it. It was very disappointing, I thought the first book showed a lot of promise but everything was pretty much taken in the wrong direction in the second book. There are so many other excellent YA fey books out there that would recommend skipping this one.