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To Bear an Iron Key

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  82 ratings  ·  21 reviews
This richly-imagined universe from an acclaimed fixture of YA storytelling introduces a the young witch Bromwyn, a strong heroine who wields great power.

Five years ago, Bromwyn refused a gift from the powerful fairy king. Tonight, on Midsummer, that decision comes back to haunt her. When her best friend Rusty picks the wrong pocket, he and Bromwyn are all that stand betwee
Paperback, 250 pages
Published May 6th 2014 by Month9Books, LLC
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Average rating 3.82  · 
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Jackie Kessler
Bromwyn thinks the worst thing she could ever lose is her magic.

She's about to learn just how wrong she is.


Now available from Month9Books
Jun 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
"Rules are easy to follow," the pixie said with a shrug, "If you are certain of the words."

3.5 stars. This is a quick little read, and I liked it, but it didn't absorb me. Also, there were minor errors in the text and story. That said, the story was surprising and fun. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys reading about the Fey and sorceresses, and who might enjoy a quick read that requires little thought on the reader's part. The story is sprinkled throughout with profound quotes and qu
Abby Connor
May 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
To Bear an Iron Key is as charming, witty, and endearing as Jackie Kessler herself. Rusty and Winnie are so lovely. <3 ...more
Jun 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favourites
This was basically what I needed after the bad luck i had with some books lately. An interesting concept, a plot that doesn't drag and a tad of cute romance wrapped up in beautiful writing. Props to our mc, Winnie as well for being strong and stubborn without coming off as a tryhard or super special snowflake.
Nov 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Lovely story :3
Jun 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Excellent story. Not quite the traditional romance - hard to do with fey involved. Will be reading more by autho.
Apr 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
During a childhood Midsummer's Eve, Bromwyn defies her grandmother's orders and finds herself face to face with the fairy king. He offers her a place within his kingdom, but she refuses. Her refusal is a slight to the fae and it will come back to trouble her in the future. A few years later, Bromwyn is a teenager and has been training with her indomitable grandmother, the town's witch, for most of her life. She is now engaged to marry the blacksmith's apprentice in a betrothal arranged by their ...more
Title: To Bear an Iron Key

Author: Jackie Morse Kessler

Age Group: Teen/Young Adult

Genre: Fantasy

Series: To Bear an Iron Key, book one

Star Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

This book was given to me by the publisher, Month9 Books, in exchange for an honest review.

Fairies are one of my favorite supernatural tropes, whether they be tiny pixies, kappas, or any other sort of magical being. I just love the way that fairies can differ, depending on the author--and Jackie Morse Kessler doesn't disappoint in the sl
S.A. Larsen
Apr 01, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Where stubbornness and responsibility meet self-growth and the Fey!

If you're big on fantasy and stretching the natural realm of things, then this is your book. The author creates a quaint setting of eighteenth century small town hustle and bustle. Her writing has an ancient and proper quality to it, giving the story even more tangibility. It breaths and taunts the reader with things of the past and eventually mingles with make believe. It's enticing.

The voice starts out soft, but hints of under
Keith Willis
Jun 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Bromwyn is a young witch (actually a witch-in-training) from a long line of witches. Her dour Grandmother is the Wise One of the Village of Loren, and the keeper of the World Key which opens and closes the Door which connects the mortal world to the realm of Faerie. It is through this Door that the Fae arrive each Midsummer Eve, and through which the Key Bearer must ensure that they pass back to Faerie.

Bromwyn is rebellious, headstrong, and determined to do things her own way. This leads her int
Nov 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, fairies-fae, teen
Bromwyn is training to be a witch like her grandmother. If she passes her test, she will become the next village Wise One. Bromwyn often resents the restrictions her grandmother places on her in regards to magic. She also resents the fact that her mother has betrothed her to the blacksmith's apprentice. Her mother lost her magic when she failed to pass her test and Bromwyn is sure she doesn't know what she really needs. Bromwyn's one friend in the village of Loren is Rusty, the baker's son. He i ...more
May 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
MY REVIEW: Bromwyn- the Witch Girl - adds humor to this story as one relates to her stubborn, rebellious antics! Many will chronicle many foolish attitudes each of us have in growing up to become a responsible individual, striving to make responsible choices while weaving one's way through life.

Rusty, on the other hand, was a dreamer full of mischief and daring...daring which nearly cost his life. Although unsettled, he was a responsible & honorable friend.

Brend, was hard working, strong, honora
Nicky Peacock
Sep 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book! I’ve read a lot of Fae stories recently, and they seem to still be the poor cousin of vampire and werewolf books, which is so unfair. To Bear an Iron Key had the feel of an old fashion fairytale, it had morales and questions and was written in a way that deserved to be read aloud. It paced well and kept me reading well after I should have gone to sleep!

From a writer’s perspective, the prose was lovely and had just the right amount of description and character to bal
Jessica (Jessabella Reads)
Apr 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
TO BEAR AN IRON KEY was such a fun read! I really got immersed in this fairy tale world of witches, fairies, and magic! The town of Loren, in which the story takes place, is richly imagined. I love when I can perfectly picture every part of a book in my mind, which was definitely the case here.
The characters were well written. I felt like I truly knew Bromwyn. I not only understood, but deeply cared about her struggle between duty and the freedom of choosing her own fate. She is a very relatabl
Jun 21, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
*I received this book through Goodreads First Reads. Thank you Goodreads!*

Where to begin... I had a hard start with this book. Not because the story wasn't interesting but because I was having a hard time liking, or caring for the heroine, or any of the other characters for that matter. All of the characters seemed to be very one dimensional, they all had two defining characteristics about them and that seemed to be it. I took issue with this 'temper' that Bromwyn is supposed to have. I really d
Jul 21, 2014 rated it liked it
I love how super-smart Winnie is and how she's a kick-ass heroine who is trying to figure it all out. She knows she doesn't want to marry the safe, Brend, just because he'll protect her witchy-ness, but it's only after a truly harrowing adventure with Rusty, that she realizes what love is and what it could be with the right person, while along the way better understanding her mother and her grandmother and the tricky ways of the fey. It's a great cross between Wicked Lovely and the new one by Bl ...more
Day Parker
Aug 02, 2014 rated it liked it
I love how Jackie Morse Kessler tells a unique tale. It’s a cross between A midsummer nights Dream and the darker tales of the fey from the last turn of the century, when fairies were not so nice. Creative and cleaver, I would definitely recommend it to any who dare to read about a very different fairy disposition.
5/14: Yet another from Month9Books that I'm dying to read!! Especially since I still haven't read Kessler's other series and really want to check out her writing!
Oooh I want to read this.
Kara Callahan
Jun 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
The story was cute, although a few things didn't seem to make sense. I think the story was for a little younger audience, but I did enjoy it anyway.
Megan Orr
Jul 04, 2014 rated it it was ok
This book was a 2.5 to me. I didn't particularly dislike it, but it was just mediocre. I really don't have much to say about it besides that.
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Dare Laurent
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Aug 11, 2016
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Jul 24, 2016
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Jackie Morse Kessler grew up in Brooklyn, NY, with a cranky cat and overflowing shelves filled with dolls and books. Now she’s in Upstate NY with another cranky cat, a loving husband, two sons, and overflowing shelves filled with dragons and books (except when her sons steal her dragons). She has a bachelor’s degree in English and American Literature, and yet she’s never read any Jane Austen (with ...more

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