Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao

From Book Trigger Warnings
This article is about the novel. For the series, see Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao (series).

Iron Widow
Cover of Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao
Author(s) Xiran Jay Zhao
Published September 21, 2021
Publisher Penguin Teen
Genre(s) Fantasy
Age group Young Adult

Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao is a young adult fantasy novel, originally published on September 21, 2021. It is the first book in the Iron Widow series.

Trigger Warnings

Author-Provided Warnings

The following warning is given at the beginning of the book:

Please be aware that this book contains scenes of violence and abuse, suicide ideation, discussion and references to sexual assault (though no on-page depictions), alcohol addition, and torture.

Additional Trigger Warnings

  • Ableism (some internalized)
  • Addiction
  • Alcoholism
  • Blood
  • Body horror
  • Body shaming
  • Bullying
  • Child abuse
  • Child death
  • Classism
  • Colonisation
  • Corporal punishment of a child
  • Death
  • Death of parent
  • Domestic abuse
  • Drowning (mentioned)
  • Drug abuse
  • Drug use
  • Emesis
  • Emotional abuse
  • Fatphobia/fat-shaming
  • Foot binding
  • Forced institutionalization
  • Gaslighting
  • Genocide
  • Grief
  • Gun violence
  • Hate crime
  • Infection
  • Injury/injury detail
  • Medical content
  • Medical trauma
  • Misogyny (some internalized, most systemic)
  • Murder
  • Panic attacks/disorders
  • Physical abuse
  • Poverty
  • Self harm
  • Sexism
  • Sexual content (fade to black)
  • Sexual harassment
  • Sexual violence
  • Slavery
  • Toxic relationship
  • Trafficking
  • Violence
  • War
  • Xenophobia


An asterisk (*) indicates that the author openly identifies with that identity.

  • Asian main character*
  • Disabled main character (uses cane and wheelchair)
  • Hard of sight/vision side character
  • Bisexual main characters and side characters/love interests*
  • Polyamorous main characters and side characters/love interests
  • Intersex characters (mentioned, off-page)
  • POC characters
  • Asian cast
  • Polyamorous relationship