“The problem isn’t Indian or English, Verity thought for the hundredth time that day. The problem is man’s unwillingness to recognize himself in another.” – Kerrin Willis.
What a powerful line, that holds true with things happening in the world right now – war. I loved this novel! I had no idea about King Philips war and the author did an amazing job of writing this storyline while telling the history of the war. I loved the characters and the historical details she included throughout. It always amazes me to read about how people used to live and survive and I had no idea about the garrison houses and how scared people really were of the Indian’s.
This novel follows the storyline of Verity and her family. Verity’s family migrated to the new country, from London not long after her father had died. There was nothing left for them there and here was a land of opportunity. Her mother quickly remarried and Verity learned how much she needed to step up and care for her family. Her mother was not the person she was in London and her step-father and her did not see eye to eye. He did not like that Verity had a mind of her own, was not afraid to speak and often deviated from what was expected and demanded of her. She was an embarrassment to him and his name and would find a way to get her to obey one way or another.
Not one to be told what to do, and having had a father who let her explore her own mind and question things in the world- Verity finds herself falling for a man that would never be acceptable for marriage- he represents everything her step-father forbids and Verity cannot help feeling she finally found someone who sees her as an equal and will never make her change or become an obedient, subservient wife. They have intelligent conversations and he wants to know often how she has come to the thoughts and ideas she bring about. She may soon be out from under her step-father but then war breaks out and all eligible men are sent off to defend the Puritan New England. Will her new love interest come back alive, or has she gotten her hopes up to be crushed and forced to finally comply to behave under her step-father?
Such a good read! I highly highly recommend this novel for those who want a good historical read on the King’s Philip War that does not read like a history text book. I just loved Verity and Kit and the other characters and storylines that the author weaved in. Thank you to the author for the free novel, and to HFVBT for the invite. I hope the author writes more historical!
Iron & Fire
by Kerrin Willis
Publication Date: April 5, 2022
eBook & Paperback; 316 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
1675 — Plymouth Colony — Verity Parker promised to look after her family.
Raised among the bookshops and turmoil of Reformation London, Verity now finds herself in Puritan New England, where she must learn to keep her head down and her mouth shut, or risk dire consequences. The only person who values her tenacity is Kit, the heretical ironworker she has been forbidden to see. When King Philip’s War breaks out, Verity must stay silent as the Puritan elders spread hateful rhetoric about the “savages” in the forest. When she witnesses a young girl die in childbirth, Verity must stand by as neighbors blame God’s vengeance. But when tragedy strikes her own home, Verity must choose between her duty to her family and her love for Kit. Will she choose to keep the peace, or will she defy the leaders of the colony for a chance at happiness?
Set against the backdrop of King Philip’s War, the bloodiest war per capita in American history, Iron & Fire explores the experience of a clever, educated woman at a time when being so often resulted in death. Perfect for fans of Amy Belding Brown’s Flight of the Sparrow, or Elizabeth George Speare’s The Witch of Blackbird Pond, Iron & Fire was written for those who read the original American Girl series as children and are now all grown up.
“Whether you’re a fan of passionate romance, a detective in search of a mystery, or a history buff looking to learn more about what happened after Plymouth Rock, Iron & Fire has something for everyone. While Verity and Kit are the main attractions, the family relationships were my favorite parts- especially the bonds between the cheeky eldest Parker sisters. I learned quite a bit about things from my own backyard I knew nothing about- and most appreciated that for a novel that took place nearly 350 years ago, the characters and their issues felt modern and relatable. A fast read that will stick with you after you turn the final page!” Meredith Bickford, MA MEd
“Iron and Fire masterfully depicts Puritan New England in a story that seamlessly blends themes of love, war, and family. Verity Parker, the headstrong protagonist, challenges nearly every “norm” of Puritan society. Throughout the course of the novel, Verity seeks to define her purpose; oftentimes she is trapped deciding between meeting the expectations of her family or embracing her divergent worldview. In particular, Verity’s conception of humanity will make her an endearing and relatable character for Willis’ audience; unlike her peers, Verity’s notion of justice and community extends far beyond societal limitations, making her worldview far more relevant for modern readers.
Beyond Verity, Willis incorporates a series of complex characters whose subtle growth help shape the novel into a well-rounded story. Each character faces a conflict that calls their identities and beliefs into question. It is unlikely that readers will not be able to find one character with whom they can relate to. Willis’ ability to interweave these intricate story lines is captivating!” ~ Megan Johnson, MEd
“In her debut novel, Kerrin Willis captures the heart of American colonial historical fiction with her words and characters. Iron & Fire, set during the King Phillip War in southeastern Massachusetts, explores the themes of family dynamics, love, and the voice of independent women living in a time when silence was the standard….The writing style is fluent and peppered with wit and descriptive prose balanced throughout the dialogue. The novel reads quickly, while the characters stay with you. Iron & Fire is an engaging, character-driven novel that is strongly recommended” ~Kimberly Rocha, MA MEd
About The Author
Kerrin Willis lives in Southeastern Massachusetts with her two daughters and her dog, Austen. She is a high school English teacher who prides herself on being a feminist and a strong protagonist in her own story, and she would probably have been burned as a witch in colonial New England. Kerrin can usually be found pausing The Little Mermaid and subjecting her daughters to a lecture on the dangers of giving up their voices.
Kerrin has a BA in English from Stonehill College, and MA in English from Simmons College, and is currently working on her MFA in Fiction from Southern New Hampshire University.
Blog Tour Schedule
Tuesday, April 5
Review at Michelle the PA Loves to Read
Wednesday, April 6
Interview at Passages to the Past
Thursday, April 7
Review at Amanda in PA
Friday, April 8
Review at The Page Ladies
Sunday, April 10
Review at Coffee and Ink
Monday, April 11
Review at Booking With Janelle
Wednesday, April 13
Review at Dive Into a Good Book
Friday, April 15
Review at Reading is My Remedy
Monday, April 18
Review at Bookworlder
Wednesday, April 20
Review on Novels Alive
Thursday, April 21
Review at Books, Cooks, Looks
Enter to win a copy of Iron & Fire by Kerrin Willis!
The giveaway is open to the US only and ends on April 22nd. You must be 18 or older to enter.