Author: Nina Varela
Series: Crier’s War, #1
Published: October 1, 2019
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Impossible love between two girls —one human, one Made.
A love that could birth a revolution.
After the War of Kinds ravaged the kingdom of Rabu, the Automae, Designed to be the playthings of royals, took over the estates of their owners and bent the human race to their will.
Now, Ayla, a human servant rising the ranks at the House of the Sovereign, dreams of avenging the death of her family… by killing the Sovereign’s daughter, Lady Crier. Crier, who was Made to be beautiful, to be flawless. And to take over the work of her father.
Crier had been preparing to do just that—to inherit her father’s rule over the land. But that was before she was betrothed to Scyre Kinok, who seems to have a thousand secrets. That was before she discovered her father isn’t as benevolent as she thought. That was before she met Ayla.
Set in a richly-imagined fantasy world, Nina Varela’s debut novel is a sweepingly romantic tale of love, loss and revenge, that challenges what it really means to be human.
For fans of: An Ember in the Ashes, Lifelike, and Ash Princess
If longing is madness, then none of us are sane.”
This book was included inside one of my book subscription boxes back when it was first published, and it has been sitting there on my shelf ever since. I thought it would be a good idea to read it since it’s LGBTQ+ month, and this covers the romance in between two girls; one made and one human. The romance did not take center stage, which was okay with me. These two girls had to deal with a whole different set of prejudices and stereotypes; centered around the fact that they were a human and an automa in love, while also being in the middle of a rebellion between their two peoples.
The first half of the story was a bit slow. I’m also not a fan of court scheming and boring council meetings and there was a lot of that. The action does pick up a bit on the second half of the story, but I felt like not a whole lot happened. I realize this is the first book in a series, and there was a lot of scene setting, character development, and history that needed to be explained, but that was all the book really was. It just set the stage for the next book in the series. Usually I would expect this type of transitional content in the middle book in a series, not the first.
The writing was beautiful, and the scene setting was captivating and descriptive. This book really delved into what it really means to be human. I loved the explanation of human things like hearts, souls, and tears coming from Crier’s point of view, because Crier was not human. I enjoyed the small history lessons in the beginning of the book, and during the story. I could’ve done with a lot more action and a bit more closure at the end of the story, instead of it being so open ended. The ending was a bit of a cliff hanger, but it didn’t leave me wanting to immediately get my hands on the second book like a good cliff hanger usually would. I would recommend this to YA/Sci-Fi fans who don’t mind a fairly slow story, who enjoy stories centered around royalty, and a like a light romance.
Disclaimer: I was not paid for this review, and all opinions are my own. If you are interested in purchasing this book, please consider using my Amazon affiliate link (by clicking on the top or bottom pictures) and helping a fellow book blogger out 🙂