Title: Dark of the West
Author: Joanna Hathaway
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Publisher: Tor Teen (Macmillan)
Published: February 5, 2019
A physical copy of this book were kindly provided by Raincoast Books in exchange for an honest review.
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.
I first heard about this book last Fall, and I remember that I was very intrigued by the cover and the synopsis of the book. From the sounds of it, I got the feeling that it would be a story set in a fantasy world that greatly resembles our world the way it was during WWII (in regard to technology, architecture, and fashion). And, as it turns out, my prediction was correct for once! Or, the more likely scenario is that this book was pitched effectively, haha. But anyway. Before diving in, I also knew that a considerable portion of the plot would revolve around a young and forbidden romance, which was great news for me! And, luckily enough, the book delivered all that it promised!
I was made even happier by the fact that Dark of the West delivered even more than it promised. A lot of time, work, and detail was put into the world building for this book series. Sadly, my ARC came without a map of the world, and I had to greatly rely on the descriptions of the countries and continents within the book itself. Later on, I was able to find a world map online, which definitely helped (since I’m a very visual person). The descriptions of the world did a great job of painting an accurate picture without the map as well though. There is definitely some political intrigue in this book, and a lot of thought and detail was also put into the histories of the countries and the characters (which definitely added substance to the intrigue and the plot as a whole). The two main characters also really grew on me, and I was rooting quite hard for them by the end of the book. I look forward to seeing what will happen to the world and characters in the next book, and will definitely be picking it up when it comes out!
Joanna Hathaway 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.
THANK YOU FOR READING MY REVIEW! HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK? WHAT DID YOU THINK? AND IF YOU HAVEN’T READ IT YET, DO YOU WANT TO, OR NOT? HOW COME? LET ME KNOW YOUR THOUGHTS IN THE COMMENTS!