Review of 'The Iron Flower'
The Iron Flower is a masterful sequel ripe with great tension, unforgettable characters, and thoughtful and relevant storytelling.
Elloren Gardner and her friends were only seeking to right a few wrongs when they rescued a Selkie and freed a military dragon. The last thing they expected was to be thrust into a realm-wide underground resistance against Gardnerian conquest.
While the Resistance fights the harsh rulings of the Mage Council, Gardnerian soldiers descend upon the University…led by none other than Lukas Grey, now commander of the nearby military base. Though Elloren tries to keep him at arm’s length, Lukas is determined to tie himself to her, convinced that she’s the heir to the power of the Black Witch, a legacy that will decide the future of Erthia. As his magic calls to her, Elloren finds it more and more difficult to believe she’s truly powerless, as her uncle always claimed.
The second novel in the Black Witch Chronicles, The Iron Flower, continues Elloren’s pursuit for justice with her rebellious nature and powerful and diverse friends.
Much like The Black Witch, The Iron Flower delves into complex themes of racism and cultural prejudices that separate a world and leave it divided. The Gardnerian’s racism continues to grow as the mage council continues to enact even more restrictive laws that diminish the role of women and that of other cultures. They seek to take land that belongs to others and kill any who would stand in their way, regardless of their age.
The build-up to some of these moments is incredibly powerful and fast-paced. Forest did a fantastic job with the pacing and the rising tension. The reader gets sucked into the storytelling and enthralled by the political intrigue and laws that continue to filter throughout the story.
The Gardnerians are a cruel race, but Lukas makes a great point, those with power become corrupted by it. There was a time the Gardnerians were the minority, abused by the Kelts and other races. However, that still does not excuse their hatred and cruel behavior that continues to grow. And it is Elloren who seeks a way for peace.
Other cultures are binding themselves together in their differences, to a degree. Of course, no one wants the Gardnerians to win this coming war, but even they cannot give up the cultural prejudices that define their cultures.
It is a compelling and thoughtful exploration of how cultural backgrounds often have the effect of both bringing people together and pushing others away. It is about a give and take, showcasing the power of compromise and respect. Forest does an exemplary job of highlighting how different cultures and backgrounds do not have to accept each other’s beliefs but can find unity as long as they respect one another.
The Iron Flower is a fantastic novel with thoughtful storytelling that is incredibly relevant. It has the power to move the reader, to make the reader think about others. And when powerful characters such as Elloren and her band of friends drive the story with their revolutionary ideas and rebellious nature, the story is made even more compelling. Their emotions, growth, reaction, and feelings bleed off the characters and into the reader. We are invested in who they are and where their journey takes them.
The Iron Flower is simply another standout In what is proving to be a standout series.
- Writing Quality : 10/10
- Character Development : 10/10
- "Couldn't Put It Down"-ness : 10/10
- Intellectual Depth: 10/10
- Originality: 10/10
- Overall Rating: 5 out of 5.
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About the Author
Cynthia Bujnicki graduated from Emerson College with a BA in Writing, Literature and Publishing. She has always loved to read since she was a child. A contributing writer for YA Fantasy Addicts, she is also the Editor-in-Chief for Cyn's Workshop. She lives in sunny South Florida with her husband, son and daughter and their two cats, Mr. J the Kitten and Nyx.