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We all wear battle scars. Some run deeper than others. Jane's are impossible to hide. 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 post is advertised for a governess to assist with a fey-cursed child, Jane grabs the opportunity and leaves for a new life at Silver Birch Hall. Teaching the unruly Dorie to suppress her curse is a challenge in itself. But Jane's also battling with burgeoning feelings for the little girl's father - the enigmatic artist Edward Rochart. Deep down 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? As Jane unlocks the secrets of a new life - she discovers just how far she's prepared to go to become whole again.
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. 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.