Crier’s war is a dual perspective narration sprinkled with historical accounts of this fantasy world. It centers on Ayla, a human servant in the House of the Sovereign, and Lady Crier, the AI daughter of the (also AI) Sovereign. Ayla works for the resistance, after her family was brutally murdered by soldiers of the Sovereign, fueled by revenge her one goal is to hurt the Sovereign like he hurt her and murder his daughter, Crier. Lady Crier has worked diligently under her father, desperately seeking his approval, but her own politics lean more human-sympathizer so her father deems her too immature.
When their two paths cross and Ayla saves Crier’s life, their stories become permanently intertwined as Crier makes Ayla her personal handmaiden. But instead of killing right from the jump, Ayla navigates complicated feelings and a need to get more information on the Sovereign and Crier’s betrothed, Scyre Kinok (again, AI). Ayla isn’t the only one dealing with confusing emotions though, Crier is finding it more and more difficult to remain neutral and while she struggles to find a place amongst the people of power, she finds herself drawn to Ayla.
Three cheers for sapphic romance in a fantasy novel!! Seriously, this is why I even picked up this book. Not only is the main romance of this book same sex, there are several mentions of same sex couples and it’s done in such a casual way, indicating that it is a normal, commonplace part of society and not something that is deemed unnatural or wrong. I mean!!! Come on! That’s amazing and precisely the way it should be done. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, you’re telling me your world has dragons, magic, fae, and all sorts of other fantastical things, but two girls kissing has never happened? Yeah, right, ok. Well not here folks! Nina Varela knows what’s up.
This story missed the mark for me a little bit, I think it primarily has to do with my deep seated fear of AI taking over the world. In this world, the AI are the ruling class and the humans, the ones impoverished and beaten down. Which is, like, one of my biggest fears lol. Thankfully it wasn’t too difficult to forget about while reading, and I was able to enjoy the love story between Crier and Ayla. That being said, the political intrigue wasn’t that interesting and I felt like Crier was a bit too naive. I may continue on with the second book because of some revelations made at the end that may trigger character development that I want, but I’m not sure.
I am in the MINORITY of my feelings and I just liked this book. Most people LOVE it. So honestly, if this sounds the least bit interesting to you, read it, buy it, rent it, support this book and its story.