Crier’s War’ Is Like Sapphic Star Wars: A Book Review

This was a disappointing read 🙁

Name: Crier’s War

Author: Nina Varela

Published: 2019

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.
Synopsis from Goodreads

I had such high hopes for Crier’s War. A sapphic, enemies to lovers fantasy set in a futuristic robot-controlled planet… what’s not to like? But it turned out as one of my most disappointing reads of the year (yes it’s still January. That’s not the point). The problem was it was just a bit generic. From the ‘getting revenge on a murdered family’; to the Resistance and Ayla as the Last Hope of the Rebellion etc. Okay, now it just sounds like Star Wars – I mean, there was enough robots!

Ah, the dedication! It was a very sweet way to open the book, and propped up my expectations pretty high. I loved the casual ‘his boyfriend’ or ‘her wife’ (it’s really not that hard JKR) and there are two named non binary characters, Erren and Wender.

Then, the world itself is intriguing. Crier’s robot race, the ‘Automa’ took control of the human world relatively recently. Normally, fantasy societies have been around for thousands of years and all the prejudices are like hereditary, so it was interesting to see older human generations who remembered life without the automa. I liked how Nina Varela addressed problems with having one species create another more powerful one – like how some automa wanted to live alongside the humans and take from their traditions, whilst others wanted to eradicate humans altogether. But I still have loads of questions about the automa! The basics of how they work is pretty simple, but how do they die? What’s the point of falling in love if you’re a robot? Can you have kids? And most importantly, how much is Crier a robots and how much is she a person?

Fear is a good thing, Lady Crier. Fear means you are alive, and you want to keep it that way.


Ahh, Lady Crier. She was the character I was most interested in, but not a lot of time was spent really building her up as a person. Or a robot (I need my questions answered!). There was so much potential for angsty scenes with the whole mistress/servant, superior robot race thing with Alya that didn’t deliver. I thought that more time was spent building up Alya’s relationship with her best friend than with Crier. Although it will probably be built on in the second book, Iron Heart, because their relationship (and the book really) was cut short pretty abruptly.

Further more, the actual description of the world was a bit lacking – wasn’t that rich or outside the box. Which was disappointing because my favourite thing about fantasy books is the weird and wonderful ways that authors describe the worlds! In my opinion, some of the lines sounded a bit corny and contrived; dramatic one liners that aren’t that powerful when overused.

There are some who call her a monster. Some who call her mad.
If longing is a madness, then none of us are sane.


If I’m doing more grumbling, there was too many plots for a 400 page book. The plot and all its twists could be clever if it wasn’t ruined at the beginning. At the start, there was this big timeline that explained how the automa came to power, which was handy to begin with, BUT IT BASICALLY GAVE THE PLOT AWAY! Skip over the first few pages! Also, I wasn’t a fan of these textbook extracts between chapters – there was too much flicking between different formats and fonts. Yes, I’m that petty haha.

To finish, I want to like Crier’s War so baddd but for me it was a solid 3 star book. Whilst enjoyed it as something to pass time, it was a disappointing read. I guess I had such high expectations from the start, and seeing so many raving reviews, but I won’t be reading the next book. However, I’m really interested in what other people think of it; if you’ve read it or you think you’d not/like it based on the blurb, let me know in the comments! 🙂

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Published by Hundreds&Thousands

I’m a teenager (and a Hufflepuff) from Manchester. I like oversized jumpers, music that isn't on the radio anymore and books. Pretty much any book I can get my hands on but my favourites are Young Adult, fantasy and science fiction. One day, I decided to share some of my opinions on some great - and not so great - books to people around the world. And here it is! I really enjoy it and I hope you do too. The aim is hundreds and thousands of book reviews (see what I did there?) but I’m not quite up to that. Yet.

19 thoughts on “Crier’s War’ Is Like Sapphic Star Wars: A Book Review

  1. Great review! I’d hearing your honest opinions on the book. Crier’s War is one that feels like it’s been on my TBR for SO LONG – I really need to read it!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I think it will stay that way- so far, this year read seven books- six of them were from the Narnia series and the other was the 2nd was Castle in the Air. Today, will be able to add it to 8- think I was finish The Last Battle today.


  2. Hi! Loved reading your review. It’s funny that you mention the extracts bc I really loved them haha. I agree that Ayla’s character was a bit lacking, and Crier was so interesting – hopefully we see them both develop more in book two!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello! That’s so interesting about the extracts – I didn’t mind them (some of them were pretty cool lol) but I felt like there could have been different stuff filling the page space? Yeah I think that the second book will be really good because if all the ground work laid out in this one… but we’ll have to wait and see!! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw thanks! It’s always so annoying when you go into a book thinking it’s going to be amazing… and then it’s not 😢 Although I guess it does happen the other way round – some of my favourite books are ones I thought would be a ‘meh’ read, so I guess you never know 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi! I just finished the books and loved them but found your honest take interesting. I did want to point out though that you mention there’s not any non binary rep and I remember catching several instances of non binary characters mentioned through the series and the majority of couples are not het couples as well. I just wanted to comment to clarify that this was included and I appreciated seeing queer inclusion in a fantasy novel 💕


    1. Thank you so much for your feedback. I’ve gone back, done some research and changed it – you’re right, it’s a big part of the book, a really cool thing to see in the fantasy genre and something I definitely need to get right! Thanks again 🙂


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