Blog Tour: Iron Heart

Since reading Crier’s War, I have been craving the sequel and conclusion to this fantastic duology. Fortunately, the amazing Shealea at Caffeine Book Tours allowed me to be a part of the tour and sent me an eARC, also thanks to Harper Teen.

Check out the full blog tour schedule in order to discover the other amazing posts here.


For too long the cruel, beautiful Automae have lorded over the kingdom of Rabu, oppressing the humans who live there. But the human revolution is on the rise, and at its heart is Ayla. Once handmaiden, now fugitive, Ayla escaped the palace of Lady Crier, the girl Ayla had planned to kill . . . but instead fell in love with. Now Ayla has pledged her allegiance to Queen Junn, whom she believes can accomplish the ultimate goal of the human rebellion: destroy the Iron Heart. Without it, the Automae will be weakened to the point of extinction.

But playing at Ayla’s memory are the powerful feelings she developed for Crier. And unbeknownst to her, Crier has also fled the palace, taking up among travelling rebels, determined to find and protect Ayla.

As their paths collide, neither are prepared for the dark secret underlying the Iron Heart.


Publication Date: 8th September (US) and 14th October (UK)

TW: death, murder, torture, kidnapping, body horror, drug use, panic attacks (Full list can be found here)


My Thoughts:

Iron Heart provides a fantastic conclusion to one of the best duologies I’ve ever read. Everything is just exquisitely executed, from the character growth to the thrilling plot. Of course, to top it all off, the gorgeous romance that lies at the heart of the duology gets a chance to blossom and grow into something truly beautiful. 

Valera has such a gift, adding this magical touch to every scene through her stunning writing. Every word feels infused with power. Her gorgeously descriptive writing serves to create an extremely evocative reading experience, completely immersing you in the wonderful, rich world she’s created. From the brilliant opening line, you’re hooked and drawn straight back into this dark and dangerous world. Valera plays with all of your senses until you can vividly picture every sight, smell and sound around you as you become a part of this intricate tapestry. 

Both Crier and Ayla prove once more why they’re protagonists that you’ll remember for a long time. Their growth and characters arcs are flawlessly executed, showing their imperfections and spirit as they fight to protect the world and people they love. Their relationship only grows, with plenty of sapphic yearning and conflicted feelings that will draw any reader in and ensure that they’re fully rooting for them to succeed. I appreciate how slow-burn the relationship was over the course of the duology, giving it this under-stated feeling but also providing us with a mix satisfaction at certain scenes. It felt like a quieter but still explosively romantic pairing that will surely become an inconic touchstone of sapphic YA. 

I loved how we got to explore more of this rich world in Iron Heart, expanding beyond the confines of Rabu. Varn is such a complex and interesting world, so I really loved seeing all the different cultures and how Automae-human relationships differed depending on region. Valera’s world-building is just brilliant, with the more expansive focus, as well as the abundant mythology that we got to delve even deeper into. The titular Iron Heart finally reveals its dark secrets and I loved how Valera uses double meanings to reveal the deviously complex nature of her true plot. 

Iron Heart was just the perfect conclusion to a flawless duology that deserves every ounce of hype and will become your newest obsession. Valera has such an ethereal, magical quality to her writing and I know for a fact that I’ll be desperate to read whatever she creates next. 


About the Author

Nina Varela is a nationally awarded writer of screenplays, short fiction, poetry, and novels. In May 2017, she graduated magna cum laude from USC’s School of Cinematic Arts with a BFA in Writing for Screen & Television. Crier’s War was her debut, and this is the sequel. She is originally from Durham, North Carolina, where she grew up on a hippie commune in the middle of the woods. She now lives in Los Angeles.


Thank you again to Shealea, Caffeine Book Tours and Harper Teen for including me and please make sure that you check out the rest of the incredible blog tour posts.


I will continue to speak up about current events now and forever and to help, here are links to Carrds talking about many of the world’s current events and how you can help. Also, I’ve linked here the Black Lives Matter Carrd to support, but also here is a list of resources to aid Anti-Racism work in the UK, as well as UK specific places to donate to. I will be doing this on every post. If you have the funds to donate, please do but if not, please support and uplift Black voices and sign the petitions, including 10 UK specific petitions here.  

4 thoughts on “Blog Tour: Iron Heart

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