Upon completion of Crier's War by Nina Varela, you find yourself in a great crux as a reader where you simultaneously yearn for the immediate publication of the book's sequel and the wish for the author to take their time to craft a following installment that is on par with its predecessor. For me, Varela's storytelling - like Katherine Arden's - held a raw nature that enables an unforgettable visual narrative.
The protagonists, Ayla and Crierm will absolutely lodge themselves in reader's hearts in the same manner as Alec and Magnus from Shadowhunters. Ayla's spirit burns brightly and threatens to set the world around her ablaze while Crier's character resembles an ocean with patience and deep wisdom. While these two rival in their natures as Automae and human readers will delight in seeing how the momentum of romance builds between them.
Overall, I'd say Crier's War is an outstanding beginning in Nina Varela's writing career. She manages to elegantly tackle the themes of humanity and existentialism whilst weaving together an #ownvoices work that many will be able to identify with.
Crier's War (Crier's War #1)
by Nina Varela Publisher: HarperTeen Release Date: October 1st 2019
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, LGBT
After the War of Kinds ravaged the kingdom of Rabu, the Automae, designed to be the playthings of royals, usurped their owners’ estates and bent the human race to their will.
Now Ayla, a human servant rising in the ranks at the House of the Sovereign, dreams of avenging her family’s death…by killing the sovereign’s daughter, Lady Crier.
Crier was Made to be beautiful, flawless, and to carry on her father’s legacy. But that was before her betrothal to the enigmatic Scyre Kinok, before she discovered her father isn’t the benevolent king she once admired, and most importantly, before she met Ayla.
Now, with growing human unrest across the land, pressures from a foreign queen, and an evil new leader on the rise, Crier and Ayla find there may be only one path to love: war.
Nina Varela is a nationally awarded writer of screenplays and short fiction. She was born in New Orleans and raised on a hippie commune in Durham, North Carolina, where she spent most of her childhood playing in the Eno River, building faerie houses from moss and bark, and running barefoot through the woods. These days, Nina lives in Los Angeles with her writing partner and their tiny, ill-behaved dog. She tends to write stories about hard-won love and young people toppling the monarchy/patriarchy/whatever-archy. On a related note, she’s queer. On a less related note, she has strong feelings about hushpuppies and loves a good jambalaya. Crier's War is her first novel.
You can find Nina at any given coffee shop in the greater Los Angeles area, or at www.ninavarela.com.