Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Iron Butterfly (Iron Butterfly, #1)” as Want to Read:
The Iron Butterfly (Iron Butterfly, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Iron Butterfly

(Iron Butterfly #1)

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  9,854 ratings  ·  826 reviews
Imprisoned, starved and left with no memories, Thalia awakens to find herself at the mercy of an evil cult known as the Septori. Their leader has chosen Thalia as the test subject for a torture device of untold power, designed to change and twist her into something that is neither human nor Denai.

Escaping, Thalia finds an unwilling warrior to protect her and an unlikely
Kindle Edition, 265 pages
Published February 20th 2012 by Word Circus
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Iron Butterfly, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
McKenna I'm not going to give any spoilers, but Thalia's love life is extremely complicated, However, I find that she has other good qualities that way out…moreI'm not going to give any spoilers, but Thalia's love life is extremely complicated, However, I find that she has other good qualities that way out the bad.(less)
McKenna Yes, the Denai are a race. However, someone can have Denai parents and not have any powers.…moreYes, the Denai are a race. However, someone can have Denai parents and not have any powers. (less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.20  · 
Rating details
 ·  9,854 ratings  ·  826 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Iron Butterfly (Iron Butterfly, #1)
Jan 16, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: romance, fantasy
My first impression of the book was a feeling that I was accidentally reading the second book of a series. I felt like everything in the book's world was unexplained, especially the Denai. Although they were mentioned quite frequently, it wasn't until about halfway through the book where it was explained "they're magic users"--and this wasn't some secret; it was something everyone (but the reader) knew. Even after finishing the book, I'm still confused about their exact nature. I'm sure the ...more
Apr 24, 2013 rated it did not like it
I have to disagree with the high goodreads ratings here - I put this book down after the first few chapters.

Orgy of self-indulgent "told-not-shown" I-want-to-be-this-character-ness? This. This isn't to say the angsty statistically-defying rate of co-incidence (Mercedes Lackey, I'm looking at you!) isn't new to the Young Adult genre but the difference is in the way the story is unfolded. What ML does very well is build empathy and flesh out her characters/surroundings very quickly, and simply.
Gabs {My Full Bookshelf Reviews}
Read more of my reviews at My Full Bookshelf

I love, love, love, loved this book. Plus one more love for emphasis. Chanda Hahn is such an amazing author! I purposely refused to read any of the reviews so that they wouldn't bias me while I was reading, and I think this helped me enjoy it even more than usual.

I have been wanting a book that I can fangirl about for a while now. This one fits the bill. So...just let me gush about Kael for a sec. And I am sorry that this isn't a proper review. I
Selena Yukino (The Lioness: hear me roar)
The only reason I'm continuing this trilogy is because of Faraway, and Kael. That's all. I hate everybody else.

Jan 14, 2013 rated it it was ok
Interesting premise, but the book didn't feel like a complete book, more like an introduction to the main characters and the world. There is no lead up to any kind of climax, just the Thalia and everyone else living out their lives out with some splashes of excitement thrown in once in a while.

Also, the writing wasn't the greatest...especially in the beginning and middle of the book. I often mentally cringed at some of the author's descriptions and her portrayal of the characters, especially
Aug 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Do you like your damsels distressed? Swooning? Fainting? Love triangles?

Thalia is a prisoner, undergoing torture treatments in a machine she thinks of as the Iron Butterfly. She has no memories of her life before prison.

A prison break is made by fellow prisoner Kael, and Thalia is found adrift in the river by Joss and his friend. She has no where to go, so she tags along with Joss to the capital city.

There are humans, and then there are the Denai, who are beings who resemble humans but have
Aug 15, 2015 rated it did not like it
1.5 Stars (Only tacking on the .5 because I really liked Kael, for those 40 pages he was actually in the book)
Definitely underwhelmed! For this having a 4.2 rating, I went in with pretty high expectations, but this book was a disaster. The world building is horrible, the author doesn't explain anything, I still don't even really understand what a denai is after finishing this book. The MC is absolutely pathetic. I recall that she stomps her foot a few times when she doesn't get her way, and
May 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
I don't know why I thought this was a steam punk book/ title maybe? But I'm so not that into steam punk, so I put off reading it, even though I loved her unenchanted series. So cute, so funny, totally tween friendly. The kind of books your face hurts after reading for a long stretch because u have been grinning like a fool the whole time u read it. This book was exactly the same. Why did I not read it sooner?? The protagonist is a mess. She smarts off, then freaks out, clams up, is scared ...more
May 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
After stumbling upon and adoring Chanda Hahn’s UnEnchanted in January, I have been waiting to read more of her work. I didn’t think I could like anything as much UnEnchanted but let me tell you…The Iron Butterfly is a book that will quickly become one of your favorites!

Thalia is a strong and wonderful heroine. There are times where she seems weak and defeated, but her strength lies in her ability to overcome. Even when she’s her weakest…she’s strong. Thalia is a survivor. She may not see it or
Heidi Garrett
Dec 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is the second book that I have read by Chanda Hahn, the first being UnEnchanted. Hahn is a gifted storyteller with a complete lack of pretense in her writing. And it's that same straightforward style that has kept me on the fence as I read each of her books--everything seems so simple--but her wit, neat plots, and endings win me over.

The Iron Butterfly is the first book in the Iron Butterfly epic fantasy series. The story moves forward from the first page. With its abundance of traditional
Claudie Muchindu
Jul 30, 2013 rated it it was ok
I have struggled to bond with this book. I love the idea of it but the characters seem too stiff and the decisions don't make logical sense to me within that world, leading me to have too many "huh?" moments.

Perhaps one day I will get back to it as I have gone halfway through but I have stopped enjoying the read. But I haven't given up hope.


I finished this and Thalia is beyond basket case and I cannot really understand her.
**✿❀ Maki ❀✿**
This book starts off incredibly slow. You don't even really get to know the main character, Thalia, until around chapter three or four. After that, the story picks up the pace. If you're one of those people who needs a bit of closure, this probably isn't the book for you. More questions get brought up than they get answered. By the end, you're left trying to figure out what exactly is going on.

You don't really get to know anyone in this book. You're introduced to characters, but very little
Jul 23, 2014 rated it it was ok
I just cannot understand why this book has such a high rating... The main character is extremely frustrating and kind of dense.

She was subjected to torture on some kind if device, for some unknown reason. She doesn't know who she was or where she came from. She manages to just barely escape and yet...she is not traumatized in the least. In fact, the first thought she has after her escape, is that her rescuer is inhumanly handsome. She has no depth whatsoever, she reminds me of a certain sparkly
Oct 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
Interesting and intriguing.
Though there are a handful of grammatical errors throughout, they are nothing heinous and the read is worth it.

Though the Denai are a little harder to relate to, being as perfect as they are, Thalia is perfectly imperfect enough to root for and continue reading in a quest to find the answers she needs.

Recommended by me.
Alicia Huxtable
Dec 13, 2019 rated it really liked it

This is a really well written and engaging story with fantastic characters. I couldn't put it down. This is definitely a must read series for me
Nov 05, 2013 rated it it was ok
Review originally posted on Your Average Bibliophile.

Mini rant because I can't believe how many stars this novel is getting.

Tortured and beaten, Thalia is a test subject to horrendous experiments of the leader of the Septori – the Raven. When she finally escapes with the help of a warrior named Kael, Thalia realizes that the Raven changed more of her than she thought. She is no longer human. Struggling to control this new dark power, Thalia finds herself working as a servant at the Citadel, the
Emmeline (The Book Herald)
Actual Rating- 3.5

Big Thank you to my Goodreads friend Priscila who recommended this to me!

This book for the most part was pretty great, there were some bits where i cringed and thought that could have been done better. However, like i mentioned above, it was pretty great to read.

The plot goes a little something like this:

Thalia doesn't know who she is or where she came from.
One thing she does know,
She's going to die.
Not by illness, though that could happen. Not by a natural disaster.
Gordon Howard
May 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I couldn't stop reading. From the first page, this book grabs you and doesn't let up until the end. The center character is Thalia. When the book starts we find her imprisoned by the evil Raven and his monk-like assistants the Septori. She has been beaten, experimented on and tortured and is nearly dead. She has no memory of anything that has occurred in her life before she was brought to the prison. Follow Thalia as she escapes and slowly realizes her true potential throughout the book. Chanda ...more
Mar 29, 2015 rated it liked it
This started out pretty good, but around the 23% mark it just went downhill for me and wasn’t able to recover.
6 out of 10
Full of grating cliches, inexplicable angst, and unlikable characters, The Iron Butterfly will leave you facepalming like you've never facepalmed before.

The main thing that irked me were the characters themselves. Thalia, the protagonist, was self-centered and irritating beyond belief. She treated anyone who did anything she didn't like horribly, even if there was an understandable reason behind it. She told people to go away and leave her alone and then blamed them when they weren't there to
Brenda A
Jul 19, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I wasn't too impressed with this, which is disappointing for me because the synopsis sounded amazing. I kept waiting for the part when I would actually see some real personality, but it never came. Thalia was essentially whatever the author needed her to be right at that moment. In the beginning, she's desperate and whiny and apparently latches on to whoever has even the most minuscule bit of leadership; she's apparently been trapped for months (years?) and the first person (at least as far as ...more
Kelly Johnston
Aug 16, 2014 rated it did not like it
As soon as I started reading this book I began to get feelings that I had heard this story before. Maybe I read it before and forgot to mark it as read? I couldn't remember so I read on. Chapters later it was more and more familiar, but i started thinking of Yelena instead of Thalia. Then it hit me...Magic Study, by Maria V Snyder! I loved that booked :) So I thought to myself, it could just be a coincidence, some of the general ideas might be the same. It had been a few years since I read the ...more
Jan 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Thalia wakes up in a prisoned in a place where she doesn't know how she got there or anything about her past. When the new guy, Kael, arrives, he manages to escape, freeing those who were locked in there. When Thalia escapes but ends up passing out. Darren and Joss rescue her and bring her to the Citadel, (kind of like the capital for them), to tell the authorities about what happened to her about the Septori, the people who imprisoned her, practicing things on her and others there. When things ...more
Michelle Mcroberts
Aug 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, arr
*6/25/14 - 3rd read - Love it every time...there are places that could be developed more in order to lengthen and flush out the story a bit, but I don't need that to enjoy the story. I can't wait to read the third book finally!

*1/7/13 - Feeling the need to re-read this!! Love the story and cannot wait for the next one!* 2nd read (one day)

8/21/12 - I absolutely loved this story. After reading UnEnchanted and Fairest I was looking to read something else in this fun author's style. Her writing is
Coyora Dokusho
Nov 16, 2013 rated it it was ok
I was cruisin' Ilona Andrews blog and reading recommendations that people were giving for her kid. 'Kay I thought, if they like Ilona Andrews, then they must know their stuff. I was wrong, so very, very wrong. I'm not going to waste my time reading the rest of these books. I'm gonna do that thing that I do where I go read all the reviews to get spoilers on how it turns out. Because I need to know how it turns out, because I'm compulsive like that but basically this book consisted completely of a ...more
Jan 13, 2014 rated it did not like it
What book are you positive review folks reading?

The premise sounded pretty good and all the positive reviews sold me on trying it out. However, I felt it devolved into pretty forgettable YA schlock, in fairly short order. Girl torn between two guys, all sorts of teenage awkward - add in stilted, unnatural dialogue, poor editing and horrifically poor, adverb riddled narrative, and I'm just not impressed, sorry. It makes Twilight look like it should earn a Pulitzer.

Also, there is no true ending
I liked this book a lot, though in the beginning I was a little confused as to what was happening. However, even with being confused this was a book I didn't want to put down and so finished it rather quickly.

Thalia was an interesting character. I loved Darren, Joss, and Kael! By the end of the book I started to understand a lot more, but so many things were also left unexplained/unanswered.

One of my complaints with the book was the many errors: wrong words used (such as "too" instead of "to"
Nov 07, 2015 rated it it was ok
I found this book very boring and dragged on. I just kind of wanted it to be over once I began it.

OK, so I didn't like this book because the actual plot building was just like so many. I know this was sells to teens but there just wasn't that much originality.

You have teen girl who becomes strong once she has confidence from a special gift. Then you have a girl who can't decided if she likes a boy oh and you add another boy o the mix. Its just so plaid out in fantasy books. It would be OK if
4.5 stars

Datemi il seguito adesso e nessuno si farà male!

Ok, maybe 4.5 stars are a little bit too much, but I loved it! And I want the second one ASAP! I was hooked up and I enjoyed every page, even if I would have hoped for a different ending. But that's ok. I really enjoy the characters, the story and the writing. The world is really intersting but the author could have developed it more. But it was interesting and well done, too, so I am not complaining. It remind me a bit of the Study's
May 30, 2013 rated it it was ok
"We are like sands on a shore, numerous beyond measure and everywhere. Eventually we will have her and she will die."

This one was just okay. It started pretty rocky with not a lot of information and a lot of confusion. I thought Thalia's insta-love was annoying and unreasonable. But as the story continued and grew, Thalia did as well and I slowly started to like her.

I thought the end was a bit abrupt but I did like the conclusion and how it all unfolded. I loved the night where they hunted her.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • A Diamond In My Pocket (The Unaltered #1)
  • Outling
  • Hidden Gifts (The Witches Of Canyon Road, #1)
  • Zodiac Academy: Shadow Princess (Supernatural Beasts and Bullies, #4)
  • Winterborne (Universe Unbound, #1)
  • When Ash Rains Down (Kingdom Come, #1)
  • Winter of the Crystal Dances (Whinnies on the Wind, Book 1)
  • Spy Girl: Books 1-2
  • Her White Wolf (The Academy of Amazing Beasts, #1)
  • Nameless (Nameless, #1)
  • Fire & Flood (Mount Olympus Academy, #1)
  • Deep Blue Secret (The Water Keepers, #1)
  • BloodGifted (The Dantonville Legacy, #1)
  • Silken Scales (The Chameleon Effect #1)
  • First Term (Dragon Fire Academy #1)
  • Dark Promise (Between Worlds, #1)
  • Ink (Tribe #1)
  • Red Rider (The Sworn Saga #1)
See similar books…
Chanda Hahn is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Reign An Unfortunate Fairy Tale. She was born in Seattle, WA, grew up in Nebraska and currently resides in Portland, Oregon with her husband and their twin children. She attended North Central University in Minneapolis Minnesota for Childrens Ministry. She was also a children's pastor, bookseller and children's librarian.


Other books in the series

Iron Butterfly (3 books)
  • The Steele Wolf (Iron Butterfly, #2)
  • The Silver Siren (Iron Butterfly, #3)
“to take something that was meant for good and use it to do evil is a sin.” 13 likes
“The dark does not like to be ignored, and its call is sweet like honey, but it will devour you whole and spit you out.” 3 likes
More quotes…