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The Wood Queen (Iron Witch Series #2)

The Wood Queen (Iron Witch Series #2)

4.6 6
by Karen Mahoney

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"The wood monster is dead. I know this is true because I killed it. And yet my dreams are still full of fear and pain . . ." To keep her best friend, Navin, from being killed at the hands of vicious wood elves, Donna Underwood stole the elixir of life. Now she’s facing an alchemist tribunal while her mother lies dying, succumbing to the elven curse that


"The wood monster is dead. I know this is true because I killed it. And yet my dreams are still full of fear and pain . . ." To keep her best friend, Navin, from being killed at the hands of vicious wood elves, Donna Underwood stole the elixir of life. Now she’s facing an alchemist tribunal while her mother lies dying, succumbing to the elven curse that shattered her mind. In desperation, Donna seeks an audience with Aliette, the fierce and manipulative Wood Queen, who offers a deal: if Donna can use her strange and burgeoning powers to help the wood elves, Aliette will free her mother from the curse. Along with Navin and Xan, the half-fey guy she’s falling for, Donna struggles to unlock the secrets of her iron tattoos in time to save her mother’s life. But some secrets are better left untold. Book 2 in the explosive Iron Witch series

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“If you like Fae, magic, alchemy and the young adult genre, this series will hold your attention and not let go.” —USA Today’s “Happily Ever After” blog

“An exciting installment in this fantasy series.” —Kirkus Reviews

VOYA - Lucy Schall
As Donna Underwood faces an alchemist tribunal for the Elixer theft she committed in The Iron Witch (Flux/Llewellyn, 2011/VOYA February 2011), she learns from a reluctant fey messenger that the Wood Queen will free Donna's mother from a fatal curse if Donna opens the door to Faerie so the wood elves can return home. With the combined support and distractions of Xan, Navin, and Robert Lee, she completes the task and saves her mother but does not consider what will enter as well as leave her world. Her journey and the explosive ending reveal new information about the alchemists' efforts to control—rather than enhance—her extraordinary powers. The next episode will center on Donna's exile to London, her punishment, to study under the prominent alchemist Miranda Blackhouse. Donna's tumultuous self-discovery, which includes magic, family, and romance, often makes the reader wonder if Donna even remembers her task. Pondering her feelings for Xan and Navin, she accidentally discovers her strength, which the adults fear, and eventually concludes that pure good and evil, as well as clear choices, do not exist. She grows to distrust all but Navin and her mother. Her mother's journals change her view of family history, but Donna's powers reach far beyond her wisdom and produce a cataclysmic conclusion. The steamier romance scenes and dialogue lightly sprinkled with swearing make this series more appropriate for junior and senior high girls who thrive on escapist, slightly edgy fantasy. Reviewer: Lucy Schall
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—Seventeen-year-old Donna Underwood is being tried for her theft of the Elixir of Life and related events from Iron Witch (Flux, 2011). The hearing is being conducted by Quentin Frost, archmaster of the Order of the Dragon with members of all four alchemical Orders present. Donna's mother, Rachel, is already in residential care and has taken a turn for the worse so that she is now under sedation for seizures of unknown origin. Donna asks her half-fey pal and potential love interest, Xan, to examine her mother, and he detects that Rachel is elf cursed. Donna must make a deal with her nemesis, Aliette the Wood Queen of the dark elves, in order to save her mom. Mahoney establishes up several plot threads that don't play out satisfactorily. Although the hearing is set up as a major event, the result isn't proportional to the narrative tension created. On another front, Donna agrees to do Aliette's bidding to save her mother without considering potential traps or consulting her friends. She goes to a fair amount of trouble to get her mother's journal but readers don't see her learning about her power to open gates between worlds, which the queen wants her to use. Although fans of Iron Witch will certainly be interested in this volume, it doesn't stand on its own, and Donna doesn't come across as a very smart or resourceful heroine.—Eric Norton, McMillan Memorial Library, Wisconsin Rapids, WI
Kirkus Reviews
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)

Product Details

North Star Editions
Publication date:
Iron Witch Series , #2
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

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Meet the Author

Karen Mahoney (United Kingdom) has been published in the anthologies The Eternal Kiss and Kiss Me Deadly (both by Running Press). She has a highly trafficked blog and is also part of a group blog that includes New York Timesbestselling authors. Visit her online at KazMahoney.com.

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The Wood Queen: An Iron Witch Novel 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Icecream18JA More than 1 year ago
All readers excited for this sequel should run to get their hands on a copy. Author Karen Mahoney captures readers and thrusts them into her world of elves, alchemists, and power. Donna is in deep trouble with the alchemists over the elixir debacle from the first book, The Iron Witch, and worries constantly about her dying mother. Worry over her mother consumes her and she faces her deadliest enemy, the Wood Queen, in an attempt to save her mother. The Wood Queen is notorious for twisting her truths and dishonesty, will Donna's dealings go well? The reader will get to know the other characters much better. Donna grows in this book, she matures. The reader will enjoy watching Donna and Xan's relationship grow as well. Though the romance is not the focus of the novel, Mahoney will make the reader believe that a cold-hearted, half-blood could love mortal Donna. It will be interesting for the reader to learn more about Xan and make his/her own decision as Xan is still a little hard to trust, loving Donna or not. The other characters, especially Navin, are very fun to read about. They play a very important part in pushing the plot along at a rapid rate. The plot begins with no hesitation, the reader will be taken straight into action. Following Donna's quick actions and rapid thoughts will keep the reader occupied throughout the novel. The book contains quite a few twists and surprises, enough to make the plot fast-paced and the reader guessing. The reader will receive glimpses into both Donna and her mothers' minds as well as learn some pertinent background information. This book is highly recommended to young adult/teen readers-if you haven't picked up the first book, check it out on Goodreads (The Iron Witch).
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BooksWithBite More than 1 year ago
After reading the first book and really liking it, I knew I wanted to read the second book. This book pick up right from where it left off. Donna is still facing the consequences of her past actions and much need work is needed to be done. What I liked most about this book, is that Donna is stronger. She is exposing secrets left and right. I like that Donna is being head on about things. She is tired of lies and demands the truth. I totally agree with her. Enough lies! The love interest didn't grow as much as I wanted it to, but it did bring some revelation about their relationship. Let's just say the guy wasn't totally honest either. There love suffered a bit and I am anxious to see, with all the new revelations how its going to go now. Despite the occasional predictability, it ends up being a satisfyingly read. The Wood Queen, had lots of action that kept you at the edge of your seat.