Before I get into this review, I want to talk about the giveaway! I’ll be giving away a copy of Crier’s War to one person. The giveaway ends on October 8th, so enter now for a chance to win!!! All details on how to enter are down below, after the review!
*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own! *
Overall: 5/5 Stars
Plot and Themes: 4.5/5
Awesomeness Factor: 4.5/5
Review in a Nutshell: The second I heard this book was LGBTQ+, I put it on my TBR, but I never expected to love with the writing, world, and characters as much as I did.
“Justice was a god, and Ayla didn’t believe in such childish things.
She believed in blood.”
[ Related: Book Release Round Up – 16 LGBTQ+ 2019 Releases ]
// Content Warning: Violence, Death, War Themes, Murder, Mental Illness //
Release Date: 10/1/2019
Page Count: 448
The Automae, once created to be the playthings of humans, now rule Rabu, with humans as their servants. Ayla’s family was killed by the Automae when she was a child, and now she serves the House of the Sovereign waiting for her chance to get her revenge and take away his family. Crier is the Sovereign’s daughter, Made to be his heir, but after her betrothal to Scyre Kinok, she realizes that there is much about her kingdom, their history, and herself, that she doesn’t know.
“‘Humanity is how you act, my lady,’ said Jezen. ‘Not how you were Made.’”
Read more for all of my thoughts on Crier’s War, plus all of the info on the giveaway!!
Writing & Setting
This book does not feel like a debut novel. The writing style is lyrical, but not overly so. It has a distinct voice, with each perspective differing slightly, making it clear who you’re reading. The writing is easy to read and get absorbed into, while also having a beautiful, almost atmospheric feeling to it. But the world is really where Nina Varela’s effort shows. This is a fantasy world, with a mix of sci-fi, historical, and dystopian elements thrown in. The politics and the history of this world is very intricately crafted, and is crucial to the plot. And while the Automae are very similar to androids and robots from sci-fi, they have unique aspects that make them feel purely original and allows them to fit into this fantasy world beautifully.
“‘Fever and fervor,’ said Junn. ‘There is very little difference, in the end.’”
This book deals heavily with unraveling the truth behind this kingdom’s history and traversing the dangerous political world that history has led to. Because of that, there’s a lot to learn in the beginning. Thankfully, there is a rough timeline of events as everyone believes them to have happened, which helps a lot to understand how this kingdom became the way it is, as well as how it ties into our main characters. However, the first 50-100 pages is a little slow because of everything you have to learn. After that, the book picks up drastically as more is revealed and surprising twists are thrown our way.
“If longing is madness, then none of us are sane.”
(me looking @ stan twitter)
Okay, let’s talk about our two main characters, Crier and Ayla. Ayla is strong and determined, she’s lived through a lot and is desperate to have her revenge. I really enjoyed her character because she is clearly flawed, but you still find yourself rooting for her, even when she makes decisions you might disagree with. Then there’s Crier. Let’s make one thing clear: I would die for Crier. She is such a great character. She’s slightly naive, but ultimately an optimistic and caring person despite all of the awfulness surrounding her. I just adored her perspective, and her as a character. I also loved her relationship with Ayla. They were just so perfect together!! And this is true enemies to lovers (especially from Ayla’s perspective), so expect all of that fun angst!
Ayla and Crier aren’t the only characters in this book. There’s Benjy, Ayla’s best friend, and a good character despite how the fact that he occasionally gets brushed aside. Then there’s Kinok. Kinok is such a fascinating character. I don’t know- I love reading about smart political characters and he is definitely one of them.
“It was never really a choice, was it? Wanting her. Killing her.”
this angst is killing me and i love it so much
Pros- Two amazing protagonists, LGBTQ+ rep, fascinating world and history, good writing
Cons- Some points can be a little slow
Overall- 5/5 stars.
Crier’s War is a compelling LGBTQ+ fantasy, with a rich world and beautiful writing. If you’re looking for good representation, an intricately built world, and an amazing enemies-to-lovers relationship, you have to pick up this book.
If You Liked Crier’s War, I’d Recommend:
- Heart of Iron (Heart of Iron #1) by Ashley Poston – [ Review ]
- Of Fire and Stars (Of Fire and Stars #1) by Audrey Coulthurst
One (1) Winner will receive a copy of Crier’s War by Nina Varela!! The giveaway ends October 9th, so enter now!!a Rafflecopter giveaway https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js
Due to shipping reasons, this giveaway is limited to U.S. only. We are not responsible for any lost or damaged packages.
Are you excited for Crier’s War?
What’s your favorite LGBTQ+ fantasy novel? I’m always looking for more to add to my TBR!!
(I almost typed LGBTBR and honestly? that’s basically what it is now anyway)