Waking up in a dark, dank prison cell is disturbing enough. But to do it for months on end while being tortured on a daily basis is more than most people can stand. But Thalia is different than most. She has a strong will to live, and a dark hidden power she knows nothing about. But even after she escapes the dark prison of a group called the Septori, her months in captivity follow her. Her providential escape came about by a man named Kael, a dark and mysterious warrior who has no choice but to follow her wherever she might be headed, which happens to be a place called Calandry, where many Denai with different gifts live. Because of the drugs she was given she no longer remembers who she is or where she is from. Along the way she meets a handsome young Denai with the power to heal, named Joss, who also saves her life. He and Kael seem to spend a lot of time saving her life while she tries to find answers about her past. And to make matters worse, she develops feelings for them both. One she is more willing to have feelings for than the other, who seems to hate her more than like her. As the book progresses she finds out about the power she has rather unwillingly came into all of the sudden. It is when Joss tries to help heal her that she almost kills him by accident and finds out some of the power she has is very dangerous. Although she needs someone to guard her constantly from the feared Septori who are after her, more than anything she needs to be saved from herself.
The title The Iron Butterfly comes from the machine Thalia was strapped to while being experimented on and tortured, which was in the shape of a butterfly. While the character of Joss was rather carefree and not very deep, Kael was just the opposite. There is a lot going on with that guy that slowly reveals itself. He is dark and scary, so it seems. But there is more there. The idea that someone had found a way to bring about unnatural powers through experimentation and torture may seem shocking and barbaric, but it serves its purpose well in this story. There is also many things suggested in the first book that are not carried out in this first book. Like how it is suggested that someone close to Thalia was the one to kidnap her because she went missing so easily. It helps to round out the story, but it can also leave the reader frustrated to a degree. But that is probably because I am one of those readers that like all the ends tied up neat and tidy. This is not one of those books. The ending was quite a surprise to me. You do find out where she belongs and who her family is! But it's a shocker! And the book seems to end rather abruptly, making way for another in the series. For those that love to read fantasy, this book is a pretty good read!
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*image via Chanda Hahn
*image via Chanda Hahn