Dark of the West by Joanna Hathaway

Title: Dark of the West (Glass Alliance #1)
Author: Joanna Hathaway
Publisher: Tor Teen
Release Date: February 5th 2019
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult

He was raised in revolution. She was raised in a palace. Can their love stop a war? Code Name Verity meets The Winner's Cursein 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.


For some reason when I started reading Dark of the West, I was picturing it in my head as a Ghibili style anime.

Dark of the West has quite the expansive political element as well as a Romeo and Juliet style love story. There are twist and turns at every possible juncture and it keeps things moving.

The plot is definitely expansive in not just the world building but the building of the politics for each nation. There were times I struggled to keep a grasp on who was doing what. I also kept mixing up who was Southern and was Northern. It’s one of those you need to consult a map for reference. It’s a story where you don’t really know who your enemy is. All you can do is trust the main POV’s that you know because you are at least seeing inside their heads. I thought this made all the characters really interesting. The most being the General and Sinora. I felt like they were playing their own separate skilled chess game. Moving their pieces long before anyone around them knew what was happening. As far as what’s going to happen next the story really keeps you on your toes.

I loved loved Athan and Aurelia’s love story. They are probably one of my favorite couples now. The interactions and chemistry between them is the best thing ever. Plus everything just happens so naturally. The first part of the book gives a lot of their individual backstory before they actually meet. So you get the sense of where they are coming from when they finally do cross path. It’s largely them being underestimated by their families and trying to stay out of war that they really have no choice to be a part of.

I also really love Athan and Cyar’s friendship. I really want to hang out with them.

I really enjoyed the Dark of the West. Although the political parts could be confusing, I also think that’s what made them interesting. I loved the love story so much and worry for them in future books. Especially with the prologue but it will be interesting to see.


Joanna was born in MontrĂ©al 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.

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Prize: Win (1) of (10) physical copies of DARK OF THE WEST by Joanna Hathaway (US Only)
Giveaway Starts: February 5th, 2019
Giveaway Ends: February 18th, 2019
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About Jen S

I love books, tea/coffee(by the gallon) and sour candy. I wear my nerd badge with pride and have two children ages 5 and 3 that keep me on my toes.
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