Blog-Tour: Dark of the West

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Dark of the West (Glass Alliance #1)
by Joanna Hathaway

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.

Okay, y’all. This book was an unexpected hit for me. I went into it knowing very little about the plot, but having heard quite a lot of good things. And, I was not disappointed. I may have already found my favorite debut of 2019!

To start, this book has a lot of things I am not usually drawn to. This kind of complex, strategy based fantasy war plot is usually a bit too convoluted for me. I don’t dislike it, it just isn’t the kind of novel I usually feel engaged with. In addition, Dark of the West does have changing POVs which is not something I really like, well, ever. But, hear me out, it all worked in this book.

This novel’s writing was very fresh, very… well, young almost. The characters, who were pure and hopeful in a world where most of those in charge were cynical and corrupted, gave a new and refreshing view to the world around them. It allowed a kind of plot which can be very action heavy and dry, to be engaging and fresh, because the writing so fit the characters and their perspectives that it read incredibly naturally and was engaging from the beginning.

I did struggle at the start, especially as the novel began with two POVs that did not even overlap until a good third into the book. But, in this case, the shift was beneficial. In the style of Rosemarkedwe had two characters who were in very similar situations fundamentally, but who had been brough up with different perspectives (or, were on different sides, I should say). Having the changing POVs allowed a more whole understanding of the story line and the strategic aspects, all the while simplifying it. I believe that this formatting is a big part of why the world building and such did not take away from the characters.

Which, the characters were fascinating! I especially enjoyed Ali’s connection to her father, and how it related to her views on violence and her mother’s role in it. Now, I did have some questions on how this part of her character developed later on in the novel, but I believe that it is a plot that will be discussed more in the sequel. Athan also struggles with some related moral conflicts, but in the sense of how it relates to his family loyalties and self-worth. You all know that I love books that delve into the ever complex concepts of human morals, and this did just that.

All in all, I quite enjoyed this novel! I went in expecting little more than a fun fantasy novel, and left with story that was entertaining and complex, but also raised my heart rate significantly on more than one occasion (lol book nerd excercise). I am very glad to be a part of this tour, and hope you all make sure to check out Dark of the West!

Check out the rest of my post to read some more about the author (this is her debut!), as well as the rest of the blog tour. 🙂

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.

The Rest of the Tour:

FEBRUARY 5th

The Unofficial Addiction Book Fan Club – Welcome Post

FEBRUARY 6th

Wishful Endings – Guest Post; Paws and Paperbacks – Review; Book-Keeping – Review; Confessions of a YA Reader – Promotional Posts

FEBRUARY 7th

Dazzled by Books – Review + Favourite Quotes;Hopelessly Devoted Bibliophile – Review;Maddie.TV – Review;My Bookish Escapades – Review + Favourite Quotes

FEBRUARY 8th

NovelKnight – Guest Post; Another Book in the Wall – Review; Samodivas – Review; Adventures Thru Wonderland – Review

FEBRUARY 9th

Oh Hey! Books. – Interview; Library of a Book Witch – Review; Moonlight Rendezvous – Review + Favourite Quotes; Novel Nerd Faction – Review

FEBRUARY 10th

Book Slaying – Review + Favourite Quotes; It Starts at Midnight – Review; A Dream Within A Dream – Review; A Bookish Dream – Review

FEBRUARY 11th

A Court of Coffee and Books – Interview; The SecretReader – Review + Playlist; Omg Books and More Books – Review; Utopia State of Mind – Review

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