A New York Times Notable Book: “Examines the industrial revolution, the Vietnam War, racism and sexism, and the escapist dreams of genre fantasy. A truly great anti-fantasy.” —China Miéville
Jane is trapped as a changeling in an industrialized Faerie ruled by aristocratic high elves and populated by ogres, dwarves, night-gaunts, and hags. She is the only human in a factory where underage forced labor builds cybernetic, magical dragons that are weaponized and sent off to war. When the damaged dragon Melanchthon tempts Jane with promises of freedom, the stage is set for a daring escape that will shake the foundations of existence.
Combining alchemy and technology, a coming-of-age story like no other, The Iron Dragon’s Daughter takes place against a dystopic mindscape of dark challenges and class struggles that force Jane to make costly decisions at every turn.
A finalist for the Arthur C. Clarke Award, the World Fantasy Award for Best Novel, and the 1994 Locus Award, The Iron Dragon’s Daughter a is one-of-a-kind melding of grimdark fantasy and cyberpunk grit from the Nebula Award–winning author of Stations of the Tide. It engages the reader in a nihilistic world in which nothing is as it seems and everything comes at a steep and often horrific price.
Swanwick's nihilistic tale features a human changeling who tries to make her way in a cutthroat society that mirrors contemporary life. While the players are elves, dwarves, lamies and other ``magickal'' creatures, they could be 20th-century juvenile delinquents and power politicians in a society ruled by caste snobbery, drugs, a mall culture and child labor. Determined to end her slavery in a steam dragon plant, the young human Jane escapes with the help of a rusted old dragon hulk named Melancthon. Thereafter, she goes to school disguised as a fey in order to learn the magic necessary to repair the ravages inflicted on the dragon by time and battle. But the misfit Jane finds school horrifying, and she turns to shoplifting to gain friends. She falls in love with a young man destined to be the annual sacrifice; when she loses her virginity, her usefulness to Melancthon as a magic-maker is ended. After her lover's tragic death, Jane is taken under the wing of a power-hungry elven lord, Galiagante. Eventually she joins Melancthon once again as he sets out to destroy the Universe. Nebula Award-winner Swanwick ( Stations of the Tide ) develops a powerful, yet dark and hopeless fantasy that should forever shatter charming illusions of Faerie and its folk.
Customer ReviewsSee All
If I wanted to read a soft core porn romance novel I would have bought one, not fallen into false advertising.
A thoroughly in likable Whitney, entitled, spoiled kleptomaniac main character who is a human stuck in a parallel magic world where she can only tap into her powers as she approaches sexual climax...
There is no plot to speak of, finally tapped out 2/3 of the way through.