Iron Widow

Book review by Andrea Beach, Common Sense Media
Iron Widow Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 15+

Compelling, violent blend of fantasy, sci-fi, empowerment.

Parents say

age 15+

Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 14+

Based on 2 reviews

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

A Lot or a Little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Community Reviews

age 15+

Most Ferocious Heroine I Have Ever Read

Iron Widow shatters the patriarchal system in which this story is set. Through a violent past and present the main character fearlessly fights what is expected of her every step of the way. Sometimes shocking and sometimes with unintended consequences she does everything in her power to buck the system. There is a love triangle with all three parties equally loved and loving toward one another. The violence can be dark with descriptions of foot binding and water boarding being two examples. Alcohol addiction is part of a storyline but in a non-traditional way. There is a handful of swears (f***). Overall, this is a primal empowerment story in a sci-fi situation with some fantasy mixed in. It is the first book in a duology with the second, Heavenly Tyrant, due for release in late August.

This title has:

Too much violence
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

Book Details

  • Author: Xiran Jay Zhao
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Robots
  • Book type: Fiction
  • Publisher: Penguin Teen
  • Publication date: September 21, 2021
  • Publisher's recommended age(s): 14 - 17
  • Number of pages: 400
  • Available on: Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
  • Last updated: February 1, 2022

Our Editors Recommend

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

  • Cartoon magic wand on orange background
    Magic and Fantasy
    See all
  • Cartoon picture of a robot
    See all

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate