Here is the summary of the book:
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.
Literally Jane Eyre, steampunk style. While yes I have yet to read Bronte's masterpiece but I know enough about it to know where Ms. Connolly draws her inspiration from. So I can't as of yet compare but one thing is certain Ironskin is one book you don't want to miss. A marvelous edition to the fey-centric genre.
In a post WWII style world - a war torn world. The Great War with the fey has been over for 5 years as of now. Jane Eliot is a war victim. Half of her face destroyed. Struck by a fey shrapnel, the curse of rage and must wear an iron mask to contain it within herself, preventing it from leaking it out onto others. Such is the way of life post war. be it a mask, gloves, body armour and the else.....Ironskin is a way of life for these war torn victim.
This is where our story begins. Jane answering to the governess position for another damaged (somewhat) victim, a little girl, Dorie. With no clear bearing being fey cursed but doing everything a fey can do. Jane knows what its like to be a broken soul. She feels she can do something good for the child, But things are much more sensitive and dangerous at her new employment than she had anticipated....a little too close to the enemy than is comfortable. Shrouded in mystery and suspense. Mr. Rochart, Dorie;s father is another mystery. Missing for hours, sometimes days in his studio, when Jane falls for her absentee employer. The danger is far closer than they though.
As far as Jane and Edward Rochart are considered. While they might not seem the conceptional couple but they had a very intense but at the same time very light chemistry. Enough to make Jane question her reality and maybe want to live iron free and not contain herself in it. To be whole again. The prose on the other hand was very much Victorian and a certain magnificence to it that every book in that dialect had. A one of a kind debut and an entertaining read. While it is still very light on the steampunk or the fantasy elements but the way Ms. Connolly portrays Jane's struggles to come to terms with her ailments and curses is a marvel to read about. I'm definitely excited for the next book.
"An amazingly crafted Jane Eyre, Steampunk way"