HEART OF IRON by Ashley Poston


Age Range: 12 - 15
Email this review


The story of Anastasia, lost princess of Imperial Russia, retold as space opera.

In 1918, the 17-year-old daughter of Russia’s last czar was murdered with her family, but rumors persisted for decades that she might have survived in secret. In this version, the family of the Emperor of the Iron Kingdom, including his daughter Ananke Armorov, is known to have been murdered seven years ago in the android rebellion. Meanwhile, a ragtag crew of space pirates is community to brown-skinned and burn-scarred Ana. Ana’s best friend—about whom she has secret, more-than-friend feelings—is Di, a Metal: an android. Metals aren’t popular since the rebellion; most have been infected with the mind-controlling HIVE program that removes their free will. Complicating matters are Robb, a blue-eyed, olive-skinned noble on his own quest, and Jax, a violet-eyed, silver-haired Solani boy who pilots the pirate ship. Jax and Robb keep making eyes at each other, which is troublesome, since Robb’s mother wants Ana’s whole crew dead. Melodramatic back stories abound: there’s a prophesied savior, a prince in hiding with a secret power, and a noble young man with no memory. Malapropisms abound in the florid, awkward narrative (“Her voice warbled with the weight of those words”). There’s the kernel of a dramatic space yarn here, but it never comes to fruition.

A surplus of angst-ridden back stories told in deeply regrettable prose. (Science fiction. 12-15)

Pub Date: Feb. 13th, 2018
ISBN: 978-0-06-265285-0
Page count: 480pp
Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1st, 2017


ChildrenTHE FAMILY ROMANOV by Candace Fleming
by Candace Fleming
ChildrenMECHANICA by Betsy Cornwell
by Betsy Cornwell
ChildrenTSARINA by J. Nelle Patrick
by J. Nelle Patrick