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The Iron Flower is the second novel in The Black Witch Chronicles series by Laurie Forest.

Synopsis[]

Elloren Gardner and her friends were only seeking to right a few wrongs, but their actions have propelled them straight into the ranks of the realm-wide Resistance against Gardnerian encroachment. As the Resistance struggles against the harsh rulings of High Priest Marcus Vogel and the Mage Council, Elloren begins to realize that none of the people she cares about will be safe if Gardneria seizes control of the Western Realm.

With tensions heating up in Verpacia, more and more Gardnerian soldiers continue to descend upon the university…led by none other than Lukas Grey, now commander of the newly rebuilt Fourth Division base. Though Elloren tries to keep him at arm’s length, Lukas is determined to wandfast to her, convinced that she has inherited her grandmother’s magic—the prophesied power of the Black Witch. As his very nearness seems to awaken a destructive power inside her, Elloren finds it more and more difficult to believe that she’s truly powerless, as her uncle always claimed.

Caught between her growing feelings for the rebellious Yvan Guriel and the seductive power offered by Lukas Grey, Elloren must find a way to stay true to what she knows is right and protect everyone she loves…even if that means protecting them from herself.

Plot[]

The Iron Flower picks up Elloren Gardner's story right where The Black Witch left off. Elloren remains at the University in Verpax, still sheltering Marina, a rescued Selkie, and rooming with her friends, Diana, a Lupine, and Wynter and Ariel, who are Icarals.

The Mage Council has been making radical changes: girls are now required to be wandfasted by sixteen, to leave the country a person must be iron tested and taking an aggressive stance on the Fae. Aunt Vyvian is trying very hard to get her proposal through the Council to kill all the Selkies. Increased Gardnerian control of the Verpacia Council means that anyone who is not Gardnerian is not going to be safe at the University much longer.

Elloren still resists being wandfasted to Lukas Grey. And she is still drawn to the mysterious Yvan Guriel, who she's beginning to think is hiding more than she previously realized. Her affinity lines continue to strengthen and her feel for power moves beyond just earth and fire. Elloren and Yvan decide to ignore each other. There is too much enmity between their races, and it is not worth being together.

Elloren learns Tierney’s full story. Tierney is an Asrai Fae who has been glamoured to look Gardnerian. Tierney’s parents gave up their glamours to give them to Tierney and her brother. The siblings were given to their parents’ close Gardnerian friends who took the children in as their own.

While Elloren ponders how to help her friend Tierney escape Council-mandated wandfasting and iron-testing, the unthinkable happens. Overnight, Marcus Vogel becomes High Mage on the Gardnerian Council, and events are set into motion that will change Erthia forever. Pogroms, genocide, and other atrocities begin to occur, all with the horrifying support of the despicable Aunt Vyvian. Most importantly, the Shadow Wand appears at last. Its bearer comes as no surprise, it is High Mage Marcus Vogel.

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