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Iron Heart

(Crier's War #2)

4.34  ·  Rating details ·  4,616 ratings  ·  776 reviews
Critically acclaimed author Nina Varela delivers a stunning sequel to the richly imagined queer epic fantasy Crier’s War, which SLJ called “perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas’s Throne of Glass.”

For too long, Automae have lorded over the kingdom of Rabu, oppressing its human citizens. But the human revolution has risen, and at its heart is Ayla. Once a handmaiden, now a fugi
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published September 8th 2020 by HarperTeen
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Average rating 4.34  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,616 ratings  ·  776 reviews

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may ➹
3.5 stars

Following the thrilling events of Crier’s War, the sequel Iron Heart dives back into the story of Crier and Ayla, Automa and human enemies turned… something else. A war is brewing as rebellions and revolutions rise, and Crier and Ayla, along with other allies, must fight for a world where Automae and humans can coexist without one causing the pain of the other, or risk losing more than each other.

Crier’s War saw beautiful writing, a slowburn romance, and riveting character arcs, and the
Ellie (faerieontheshelf)
*mutters sapphic summoning spells furiously under her breath*


also does the title refer to Ayla's stubborn iron heart JUST LOVE CRIER DAMN YOU


the fact this is coming out a month later in the uk is some kind of personal attack on my person istg
Oct 09, 2019 rated it really liked it

Update: I finished it! I love Crier and Ayla so much
Nina Varela
Aug 23, 2020 added it  ·  (Review from the author)

i hope y'all enjoy the second half of crier and ayla's story. thank you so much for reading and caring and for loving them; thank you for sharing your excitement about this book. it's all for you.

content warnings can be found here:


Elle (ellexamines)
I just think that sapphic fantasy is the best genre right now and you can't change my mind
“Because you surprise me. Because I’m not done being surprised by you.”

Iron Heart is the sequel and conclusion to Crier’s War , an opener of a duology that changed me deeply. With Ayla on the run and Scyre Kinok gaining increasing power, Crier is left needing to decide where her loyalties lie.

Ayla’s journey in this sequel is primarily about power: her new desire to gain, and her newfound age
anna (½ of readsrainbow)
rep: lesbian poc mc, bi poc mc, poc cast, side m/nb couple, side mlm & wlw couples
tw: body horror (chapter 6 & 14), panic attack, torture, murder

Review is also on Reads Rainbow. ARC provided by the publisher.

Five Reasons to Read This Book

Number One: It’s a sequel to an absolutely amazing Crier’s War and that, in all honesty, is a good reason on its own. If you loved the first book, you definitely want to see what the girls are up to now, how Automae are fairing, how the humans are fairing, if t
kayla ♡
i finished the book like five minutes ago and i already miss crier and ayla :/ an enemies to lovers sapphic fantasy...nina varela knows how to feed us well
Sep 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Second book syndrome? Nina doesn't know her.

Yes, Nina Varela made me cry several times. Yes, I highly recommend Iron Heart. And yes, this perfectly written sequel gave me the comfort and delicious yearning I needed.
Sep 25, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: wlw, lgbtqiap-rep
CWs: brief scenes with body horror, panic attack

Rep: lesbian MC, bisexual MC, nonbinary side character, minor m/nb couple


This was definitely better than the first book. I admit I wasn't the biggest fan of Crier's War and some of the same issues I had still carried over in this sequel, like:

- the side characters - nowhere near as memorable as the main characters. Benjy is as bland, mildly annoying and useless as ever. We get to know more about Storme and his backstory but...I still didn't l
Jul 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020-reads
This took me forever to read but I did it!!!

Hopefully this will get me out of my reading slump. Can't wait to read this for the sapphics. :)


Reading_ Tam_ Ishly
Yay! Finally got the book!!! But K don't know why I am this excited 🤦I am still obsessed with the villains 🖤🖤🖤
Make Crier the character she's supposed to be in the sequel 🖤🖤🖤 fingers crossed 🤞
kav (xreadingsolacex)
Disclaimer: I received an ARC of this book as part of my participation in Caffeine Book Tours book tour to promote this novel. This in no way impacted my opinion."

"Strength isn't measured by the ability to cause harm."

Iron Heart by Nina Varela is the stunning sequel to Crier's War. This duology takes place in a world where two different species exist - humans and Automae. The Automae rule the land, resigning humans to a life of servitude and violence. The reader follows the j

I will say this was a tiny bit anticlimactic at the end, but DAMN IT WAS SO GOOD I LOVE CRIER AND AYLA SO MUCH AHHH
Sep 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

I shrieked when I was accepted for the Caffeine Book Tours for this sequel. I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to read this sequel early. But my wishes were granted. Basically right after Crier's War ended I knew I needed Iron Heart! If you saw my interview with Nina, you'll know how much I fell in love with the world building of Crier's War. While there's surprises that lef
Zitong Ren
Ok, so this was solid, but I didn’t love it as much as I loved book 1 unfortunately. There are still so many fantastic elements in this sapphic YA fantasy, but a couple of small things made this a four instead of a five star for me. It takes off basically right after the end of Crier’s War and it told from two POVs, Ayla and Crier’s, who I think are two fantastic characters. The plot I felt dragged at the start of the novel, but then was sort of rushed towards the ending, where everything wrapp ...more
Dec 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lgbtq
Where to begin? First of all, I've been waiting for this book for almost a year. When I finally had this in my hands,which was yesterday, I was so happy that I even danced around the house for a bit. My grandpa saw me. He shook his head in a disappointed way but I could see his laughter. I haven't felt excited for a book like this for the longest time, so even just for that I'm thankful.

Was this as epic as I hoped it would be? No, it wasn't. But that's not a bad thing. The reason I'm not rating
I'm going to cry. I'm going to FUCKING CRY.

Review to follow.

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sapphic birthday blessings 🥰🥰

Sep 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars. This book delivered what I was hoping for when I read the first book “Crier’s War”. The story of the beginning war between the Automae and humans continues, as well as the romance between Crier and Ayla. The worldbuilding is excellent, the revolution gives plenty of action and adventure, and the romance is cute (very PG, but with surprisingly powerful chemistry).

The pace in this second book is higher than in the first book as the necessary information about the history between Automae
Mar 29, 2021 rated it liked it
Hmmm...3.75 stars

A satisfying ending to the duology.I really loved the world and the concept of Automa and Humans....
There were a lot of plot twists that I loved and did not see coming!!!
The romance between Ayla and Crier is everything!!!
Crier is my favourite.I love how brave she was. I loved the chapters from her POV.
We see her making many friends in this! I see a lot of character development in her.
Ayla is nice. She cares for the people she loves and would do anything for them<3

Average rating
A perfect ending to a perfect duology. I love Crier and Ayla so much 🥰
Adah Udechukwu
Sep 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Iron Heart is a great end to the series.
Nia •ShadesOfPaper•
Jan 31, 2020 marked it as tbr-unreleased
I’m not saying that you should read these books because of the covers but gays win yet again.

Blog | Twitter | Instagram | BlogLovin’
Oct 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
maybe 4, maybe 5?
Sep 12, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: f-f, sci-fi, fantasy, ya
The world and characters of this duology have so much potential but sadly this book is very disappointing.

The plot is all over the place, way too convenient or random events happen to make things move and a lot of them aren't addressed later or don't have any impact on anything else. I wouldn't care for a weak plot if the romance made up for it, but sadly it didn't happen in a way I could believe in.

From Crier's POV, it makes sense she'd fall for Ayla in book 1, but I expected more resistance o
Feb 01, 2020 marked it as to-read
Of course I need this, especially after all that I felt about Crier's War. ...more
Jan 08, 2021 rated it it was amazing
this book was even more amazing then i could have hoped for. my expectations were high but were definitely met!

content warnings (all onpage): discussions of war, body horror, blood, death, ptsd, panic attack (chapter 17), weapons

the character development from book one to this book was phenomenal. i love crier and ayla so much. they’ve grown so much and are such good protagonists. i liked how in the beginning we were able to read about their separate journeys and stories, but then still being abl
Sep 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sapphics
i have some considerations about this book that's why i didn't give five stars but even so i loved it so much i would die for crierayla they are everything to me thanks nina valera for this 💖 ...more
Strangely Laura
Aaaaaah this was the perfect sequel!!!!! Perfect I tell you!!!!

I love Ayla and Crier, they're my favourite gays now.

The prose was beautiful, the story telling amazing, the world building extraordinary.

Everyone should go and read this duology!!! If you want gay panic/yearning, political intrigue, a fantasy (slightly dystopian) novel then pick it up!!!!!!
Sep 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ordered
The second (and final) book to follow from Crier’s War. The 5 stars is based on not being able to put this down rather than it being flawless.

We catch up with human Ayla and automae Crier after the dramatic events at the end of Crier’s War. If you haven’t read that one that you a) should because it’s bloody good and b) none of this book will make sense without it.

The world of this story is pre-industrial and, I guess, pre-science, but through some magic and craftsmanship artificial life was cr
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hi! thank y'all so much for reading my books!

i'm not active on here, but you can find me on twitter @ninavarelas or at!

Other books in the series

Crier's War (2 books)
  • Crier's War (Crier's War, #1)

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