The Iron Witch is the debut novel from UK author Karen Mahoney. And you know what? It's not half bad, as far as debuts go. The story centres around Donna Underwood, a seventeen-year-old girl who is forced to cover her hands and arms due to the iron tattoos that cover them. Ten years previous, Donna was attacked and had her arms burnt off by the Skriker, and was defenceless as her father was murdered by the fey in the forest. The alchemists were able to save her arms, at the expense of her having those tattoos woven onto her arms. I was excited to read this novel. I mean, with a premise like that, who wouldn't be? We are quickly introduced to Donna and Navin, her best friend. Donna has had to keep her background a secret, she's not allowed to show Navin what's under her gloves, or what her true identity is. She also has to keep her strength in check - the iron in those tattoos on her arms have given her incredible strength, something she tries desperately to hide. I liked Navin, although he did annoy me at times, although I think that this was because he didn't know what was going on with Donna, whereas I did. And then we were introduced to Alexander Grayson. I loved him. Xan was probably my favourite character out of the book. He had his own 'tortured soul' thing going on, and that seriously made him all the more, without being crass, hot. (I have a total book crush on Xan. No lie.)The book picked up pace in the last few chapters, and set itself up wonderfully for its sequel, 'The Wood Queen', which I CANNOT wait to get my hands on!