Book Review: Iron & Fire by Kerrin Willis

About the Book:

Title: Iron & Fire

Author: Kerrin Willis

Page Length: 310

Publication Date: April 5, 2022

Synopsis: 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. 

LINKS:   Goodreads   |    Amazon

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My Review:

Iron and Fire is a fascinating story of one woman’s experiences during one of the most brutal wars in Massachusetts history. Heartbreaking and hopeful, the story reveals the harsh and brutal realities of Puritan New England during King Phillip’s War. As a life-long resident of New England, I found the rich and authentic history of the story fascinating. I haven’t read many books set during this time period, yet the author’s writing immersed me right into 17th century Massachusetts and all its complexities.

The story is told from both Verity and Kit’s perspectives, which I really liked. Even as they grow closer, Kit and Verity’s journeys are different, and it’s fascinating to see how each deals with the obstacles and struggles put in their paths. Both are such strong and resilient protagonists who struggle to fit into society. They are idealistic and unconventional, which doesn’t endear them to this rigid and constricting world.

Though she acknowledges the benefits of life in Massachusetts, Verity is a young woman who desperately misses her old life and the freedom, comfort, and happiness she no longer has. An educated, opinionated, and strong woman ahead of her time, Verity doesn’t blindly follow the dictates of society, much to the dismay and anger of her step-father. Rather, she questions and stands by her principles, even when they conflict with society’s expectations. Verity has strong opinions about life, the war, and their supposed enemies, all of which, if known, could put her at great risk. However, her experiences in Taunton, including seeing people harshly and unfairly punished, hearing of unnecessary and brutal battles, and witnessing the death of a young woman, only reaffirm her feelings. I loved her journey as she tries to follow her heart, fight for justice, and traverse a new world that is vastly different from her old life.

Much like Verity, Kit is often torn between duty and his beliefs. He is a richly developed character, as are the other characters in the novel. I love that the author created so many unique and compelling characters and relationships, including the wonderful bond Verity has with her sister, the complicated connection Kit has with a father figure, and Verity’s relationship with her family and other people in her town. The characters and relationships are complex and layered and add to the richness of the novel.

The forbidden romance between Verity and Kit is, of course, one of my favorite parts of the story. I love a good romance, and Verity and Kit have an amazing connection and a wonderfully slow-building love story. Kit and Verity accept each other completely, which is rare for both of them and only adds to their chemistry. They appreciate the parts of each other that society deems improper or unsuitable. However, so many obstacles stand in their way, and they have to decide if their love is worth fighting for. There’s another love story that I enjoyed too, though it is very different from Verity and Kit’s. Verity’s sister Hannah has a wonderful love match, and her relationship with a local man is heartwarming.

A compelling story of love, life, and perseverance, Iron and Fire is a powerful read. It’s a perfect mix of history, drama, and romance and is the type of book that stays with you long after reading it. I loved the layered and dynamic characters, the history, and the poignant messages about life, love, war, prejudice, religion, and more. I would definitely recommend this book to readers of historical fiction and romance and am thankful to the author for providing me with a copy of the book. All thoughts are my own.


Favorite Parts:

  • The romance.
  • The history.

Favorite Lines:

The scream of a dying man sounds the same, you know, whether the man is red or white.

The problem isn’t Indian or English, Verity thought for perhaps the hundredth time that day. The problem is man’s unwillingness to recognize himself in another.


This is a great read for people who like historical fiction and romance!

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