Release Date: February 5th, 2019
Format: eARC, 480 pages
Genre(s): Young Adult, Fantasy, World War II, Romance, Drama
He was raised in revolution.
She was raised in a palace. Can their love stop a war? Code Name Verity meets The Winner’s Curse in Joanna Hathaway’s Dark of the West, a breathtaking YA fantasy debut.
Aurelia Isendare is a princess of a small kingdom in the North, raised in privilege but shielded from politics as her brother prepares to step up to the throne. Halfway around the world, Athan Dakar, the youngest son of a ruthless general, is a fighter pilot longing for a life away from the front lines. When Athan’s mother is shot and killed, his father is convinced it’s the work of his old rival, the Queen of Etania—Aurelia’s mother. Determined to avenge his wife’s murder, he devises a plot to overthrow the Queen, a plot which sends Athan undercover to Etania to gain intel from her children.
Athan’s mission becomes complicated when he finds himself falling for the girl he’s been tasked with spying upon. Aurelia feels the same attraction, all the while desperately seeking to stop the war threatening to break between the Southern territory and the old Northern kingdoms that control it—a war in which Athan’s father is determined to play a role. As diplomatic ties manage to just barely hold, the two teens struggle to remain loyal to their families and each other as they learn that war is not as black and white as they’ve been raised to believe.
With all these amazing books that I have been reading of late, it’s evident that this is definitely going to be a great year.
Set in the revolutionary, but fantasied World War II, Dark of the West is a tale that had me up at night with no regrets. The story follows the premise of intense political intrigue, war tension, romance and a sprinkle of good-ole’ family drama. The plot was simple to understand and fall into even with the story being alternated in the point of views of Athan and Aurelia (my babies). As simple as it was it was also a fast read because of how much was taking place. However, I did not lose myself in the conflict and plot because everything was well organized and packed together in a structured way that made the path of the story easy to follow.
Aurelia shows significant growth throughout the story from a somewhat naive, “I want to make everyone happy,” type of girl to a, “I now realize what is happening and I have to take a stance,” type of woman.
Athan was a pleasant character to read about. Learning about how his external and internal struggles collide along with everything that is happening was brilliant.
To me, the setting was by far the most intriguing part of the whole story. I am not into war stories much, but even I know how rare World War II stories are. There’s mountains and airplanes, my goodness, I love it all. If you haven’t added this to your TBR yet. Do it! Do it right now! After you read it and enjoy it, you can thank me later. *Flips Hair*
Joanna was born in Montréal and is an avid storyteller who was inspired to write after reading her great-grandfather’s memoirs of the First World War. A lifelong history buff, she now has shelves filled with biographies and historical accounts, and perhaps one too many books about pilots. She can often be found reading, traveling, or riding horses.
Her debut novel, DARK OF THE WEST (Tor Teen, February 5th, 2019), is the first in a WWII-infused fantasy series of forbidden love and deadly revenge.
Win (1) of (10) physical copies of DARK OF THE WEST by Joanna Hathaway (US Only)
February 5th, 2019
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