By Caitlin Kittredge
Delecorte Press, $17.99, 493 pages

Aoife Grayson has spent her life in fear – madness created by a necrovirus has cursed her family. Approaching her sixteenth birthday, Aoife becomes increasingly worried that she, too, will succumb to the virus and spend her life in a madhouse like her mother. When she receives a request for help from her brother, who nearly killed Aoife years ago, she decides to throw caution to the wind and find her brother, no matter how much it affects her life. With her best friend Cal and guide Dean, Aoife runs from the city and its guards, the Proctors, to her absent father’s home in Arkham. There, she discovers secrets about her family and the world that will change things forever.

The Iron Thorn by Caitlin Kittredge is the first book in a fascinating new series. The author creates a world starkly vivid and bleak and envelopes the reader from the first page. The characters are complex and well-written. Aoife is a great heroine – she is brave, smart, and caring. The choices she makes feel natural and logical for her. The supporting characters are also well-written and intriguing. Fans of young adult fantasy should absolutely read this book – they won’t be disappointed.

Barbara Cothern