“We fight and we bleed for this hidden world, and the world eats us alive.”

“I fear, in my dark hours, that it hungers for me and that it is only a matter of time before it eats its full of my sanity.”
In the Iron Thorn, by Caitlin Kitteredge, Aoife Grayson is supposed to go mad on her sixteenth birthday. Her mother's insane, and has been for a while. Her brother tried to kill her "because the voices told him to" on the day he turned sixteen. Aoife only has a little time before the madness strikes, but she's doing everything she can to steer clear of the necrovirus that causes the insanity. That is, until she receives a letter from her brother--the same one who tried to cut her throat--pleading for help.

Aoife refuses to let society convince her that her brother is truly insane. She's watched her mother for years, and the madness in Conrad is different...there were no proceeding signs of insanity, unlike her mother. Just a violent turn for the worse. She still loves her brother, and if he is in trouble...it would be on her own head if she didn't come help. So Aoife leaves her school, along with her best friend Cal, and goes back to her roots to try and find Conrad.

What should I say about this book?
 My little blurby effort to sum this book up doesn't sum it up. I love so many things about this book...
Aoife and her wonderful balance between spunkiness and Victorian propriety.

Cal and his amazing plot twist that I totally didn't see coming at all.  And the fact that I still love him after what happened.

The steampunk elements, the magical fantasy elements (seriously, combining my two favourite book genres is like a gift sent from above).

The almost complete lack of swearing.

The lack of a real love triangle (I'm holding out for the next two books...please let there be no third love interest)
please no.
Aoife's and Dean's relationship--it was sweet and cute and sarcastic and hardly no sappiness or angst. 

 If you have an affinity for bad boys...beware Dean. Seriously. He chiseled his way into my heart even though I at first was SURE he was going to betray people.

Also--I wish I had a super power with as cool as a name as a Weird. That's just genius.

Another thing I loved about this book is how the fairy-tale and fantasy elements were skewed just enough to keep them interesting. The ghouls and nightjars fascinated me; I wanted to learn more about them. Instead of giving the "fairy" world of magic some mystical name like every other author under the sun, this author called it the Land of Thorn, in contrast to the land of Iron. Instead of a whimsical feel, it gave the magic a deadly and dangerous element, and I love that.

I was very impressed by this book. I have no major issues with anything in it, and I definitely recommend it. In fact, the moment I finished it, I handed it to my sister and said "Read this. Now."

So yeah. If you want to give steampunk/fantasy a shot, want to fall for a sarcastic anti-hero, want to find out what exactly causes Aoife's family's madness (I still don't know!!)--I definitely think this book is for you. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!


  1. okay this looks so good......
    I need to put this on hold at my library ASAP.

  2. This sounds really interesting. Honestly, when I saw the cover, I wasn't so sure. But the way you describe it, it sounds really good. Especially when there are unexpected plot twists. :)


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