Book Review – Iron Heart by Nina Varela

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Title: Iron Heart (Crier’s War #2)

Author: Nina Varela

Publisher: HarperTeen

Publication date: September 8th, 2020

400 pages

4/5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis

Critically acclaimed author Nina Varela delivers a stunning sequel to the richly imagined queer epic fantasy Crier’s War, which SLJ called “perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas’s Throne of Glass.”

For too long, Automae have lorded over the kingdom of Rabu, oppressing its human citizens. But the human revolution has risen, and at its heart is Ayla. Once a handmaiden, now a fugitive, Ayla narrowly escaped the palace of Lady Crier, the girl she would’ve killed if she hadn’t fallen in love first. 

Now Ayla has pledged her allegiance to Queen Junn, who can help accomplish the human rebellion’s ultimate goal: destroy the Iron Heart. Without its power, the Automae will be weakened to the point of extinction. Ayla wants to succeed, but can’t shake the strong feelings she’s developed for Crier. And unbeknownst to her, Crier has also fled the palace, taking up among traveling rebels, determined to find and protect Ayla.

Even as their paths collide, nothing can prepare them for the dark secret underlying the Iron Heart.

Review

“If the universe were static, I could stand anywhere in this world and I swear my line of sight would end on you. I swear I’d find you in the dark.”

Nina Varela, Iron Heart

Iron Heart is the sequel to Crier’s War, a sapphic science fiction/fantasy with humans and Automae. Crier and Ayla find themselves on opposite sides of the kingdom, but secretly on the same side of the war. Iron Heart is a dramatic conclusion with action, politics, and a great love story.

I loved how this book wrapped everything up from Crier’s War. Iron Heart starts shortly after Crier’s War ends and is told in the dual POV’s of Ayla and Crier. This book is fast paced with a lot of adventure, magic, and searching for answers. Personally, I think some of the “conflicts” were too easily solved just to keep the plot moving, but that’s just me. I read through this book quickly and it held my attention from start to finish.

For Pride Month, I’m trying to read some of my backlist queer books, and this was an obvious choice with the sapphic romance. I also love that it was an Automae/human relationship – because a star crossed love story is always fun!

If you love sci-fi/fantasy, definitely check this duology out!

Happy reading, folks!

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