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Dark of the West

Glass Alliance, Book 1
Written by: Joanna Hathaway
Narrated by: Barrie Kreinik, Dan Bittner
Length: 14 hrs and 56 mins
4 out of 5 stars (3 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

"A novel of court intrigue and action-packed military adventure", Joanna Hathaway's Dark of the West is a breathtaking YA fantasy debut - first in the Glass Alliance series. 

A pilot raised in revolution. A princess raised in a palace. A world on the brink of war. 

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 that 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. 

“Heart-pounding...will leave the reader wanting more.” (Number-one New York Times best-selling author Melissa de la Cruz)

©2018 Joanna Mumford (P)2019 Macmillan Audio

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Ashlee » Library In The Country
  • 2019-10-16

A poignant and hard hitting fantasy

I LOVED this book and am now obsessed with this world. A fantasy world at war inspired by World War II-era Europe? It is just as beautiful and bittersweet as it sounds.

Some books move so slowly you feel as though your soul is being sucked away. Other books move at a steady progression, building and building, while you know a sudden crescendo will bring it all crashing down. This is the latter and it’s still building.

The MOMENT I finished I went back to read the Prologue straight away and it just hit me SO. DAMN. HARD. Seriously, read the book and then read the prologue again. Good luck keeping those tears at bay. I knew it likely took place later in Aurelia and Athan’s story, but it doesn’t take place at the end of this book and we are still learning about these two, their relationship and what will bring them to that point in the prologue. There is still so much to come.

And let me just say, this book is written and plotted fantastically. Ingeniously. The characters have a well of depth, much of it still to be discovered. Hathaway paints these characters well. They are young. They are impressionable. They want to be heard and want to please. They are teenagers. They are realistic.

As I was reading, I couldn’t help but think of movies like Atonement – and I just have this sickening feeling we are headed down a very similar path, but I also can’t look away. I know this story is gritty and the world Hathaway has written is sweeping and golden in its detail. I know there are dark things to come and things are only just beginning but I have to know. I have to know these two will eventually get their mountain.

This is a story about the desperation of war and love and finding your voice. THIS is the type of story that will stick with you. THIS is the type of story that should be written and I’m so very grateful it was.

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  • Andrew Boyd
  • 2019-06-01

Great WWI Story

I meet Joanna Hathaway at a book conference and was not thrilled by the idea of the book. I was surprised by the level of detail in the characters and plot.

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  • James ODonnell
  • 2019-02-16

Beautifully written, expertly performed

This isn’t the type of book I usually read, but I saw it on one of those most anticipated lists so I figured I’d give it a try. Well if Hathaway’s book is any representation of the rest of the genre, I have a whole new genre that I need to start reading and listening to because I loved it. Her characters were all likable and flawed in that perfect way where there is no clear distinction between good guy and bad guy so you end up rooting for everyone to somehow win even though you know it’s impossible. The love story aspect was built up so solidly that I was praying for a HEA even though the prologue implied it wouldn’t happen. Even with all of the romance, the pacing was fast and full of enough action to give some of the best thrillers a run for their money. But the part that made me a fan not just of Hathaway, but of the genre itself, was the world-building. The world was constructed with enough familiarity to the early twentieth century to have you searching for the familiar flags flown during the world wars. At the same time, there was enough of a difference between the real world and Hathaway’s to make you remember this isn’t strictly historical and things might turn out differently.

The narrators both did their jobs to perfection and really brought Hathaway’s words to life. Great listen!

1 of 2 people found this review helpful