The Iron Witch (2011) ended with the restoration of Donna Underwood’s friends and the death of the monster that haunted her nightmares. However, Donna’s first journal entry in this sequel states that her “dreams are still full of fear and pain, even though it is a different sort of fear and a new kind of pain,” promising an exciting installment in this fantasy series.
Saving her friends has serious consequences among the secret company of alchemists her family belongs to. During the trial for her so-called offenses against the Order of the Dragon, Donna is approached by a messenger of the Wood Queen, who—in a later meeting—promises to restore her mother to health if she opens the door to Faerie. Characters from the previous book are joined by a few (possibly) minor additions. With the exception of her friend Navin and the is-he-or-isn’t-he boyfriend Xan, she never knows whom she can trust. This additional stress doubles the story’s tension and adds to the uncertainty of her success. The shocking climax and many unresolved plot threads predict at least one more novel to come.
Readers of the previous book will welcome this addition and wait impatiently for the next book in the series. (Urban fantasy. 13-16)