Iron Cast Review
Iron Cast that takes place in an alternate 1919 Boston, where certain creative types (poets, musicians, artists, etc.) are seized by an affliction called hemopathy. Hemopaths are adored and feared. From creating realistic illusions by tricking minds with charged poetic language or even plucking objects out of paintings, the gifts are easily exploited for crime.
Ada and Corrine are close friends and powerful hemopaths who use their double-edged gift working cons on unsuspecting civilians. They raise funds for the Cast Iron nightclub, a sanctuary for them in an era where their talent has been outlawed. Iron Cast anchors its magic against the majesty and social conflict of its pre-American Prohibition historical backdrop. This strikes especially for Ada, as a young black girl who isn’t afforded the same privileges outside the Cast Iron that Corinne is, hailing from an affluent family.
I absolutely loved the beautifully indulgent language Soria uses. She make us feel like we’re alongside the characters, feeling their unique talents come to life from the softest poem, to the subtlest shift in appearance, from the loudest performances, to the monstrous illusions (especially in the desperate, dark moments of the story). I found myself buried into the book, captivated by just how much an underground society of artists are willing to risk to to continue their craft even when all odds have been stacked against them.
While the novel starts slow, the build-up is worth it when the pieces come together. Soria is a fantastic writer and the twists tugged at my heart. The ending was also more satisfying than I anticipated. If you want to dive into a world where artists are infected by magic, working among gangsters and fleeing from a deadly police force, Iron Cast is your read. It weaves a wonderful world of suspense, magic, gorgeous writing, well-rounded female characters, and a few sucker punches along the way.