This is the second book in The Iron Witch series by Karen Mahoney, it picks up right where we left Donna in the first book, just as she is about to walk into her hearing and find out what will become of her for losing the precious last few drops of the elixir of life.
The hearing itself is brilliantly played out throughout the book and made me not want to put the book down, I wanted to know what was going to happen to Donna. I loved seeing all the alchemists from the different orders come together, it was great to see all the little, subtle differences between them all.
I'm still not sure about Xan, if anything this book made me doubt him even more. He seems to be too up and down all the time. He is a great character and brings the romance element to the series, but I don't think I'd like to see him and Donna ending up together in the end. I'm secretly hoping that Navin has been hiding romantic feelings for Donna and it all comes out in the next book. I think they would made a far cuter couple!
Then of course there is the new boy, Robert who is a member of the order of the crow. I'd like to know a bit more about him as well but he does seems really interesting!
In this book we do find out a bit more about the history of the Alchemists and what they stand for, we also see Donna realise that she has a choice to make. She can either sign up and pledge her life to their cause at 18, or leave forever. Luckily enough she still has a few months to go before her birthday and before she has to make her decision. Personally, I'd like her to stay and do her best to shake things up and get rid of some of the archaic ways of doing things.
And if all that wasn't enough The Wood Queen, Aliette has popped up again! This time she is after Donna's help in exchange to cure her mother. This ends up raising lots of questions in the book and revealing Donna's true nature and her real powers. It also explains a lot about her iron tattoos!
I loved this book. I read it in one sitting and was completely caught up in the crazy fairy tale world that Karen Mahoney has created!
Overall, a brilliant an enchanting read! I am super excited for the last book, The Stone Demon to be released!