dark of the west (glass alliance #1) by joanna hathaway; a review


32949202title: Dark of The West
author: Joanna Hathaway
genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
publisher: Tor Teen
release date:
 Feb 5th, 2019
source: Publisher via NetGalley
Goodreads Summary:

❝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.❞

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dark of the west is a 2019 debut that is marketed as perfect for fans of code name verity and the winner’s trilogy; while i may have not read the former, the latter is my all time favourite book series so it’s needless to say this book had some pretty large shoes to fill in my eyes. having read that and the synopsis, it quickly turned into one of my most anticipated releases of the year and i was so excited and thankful that i got to read it early and participate in the blog tour. Continue reading “dark of the west (glass alliance #1) by joanna hathaway; a review”


empress of all seasons by emiko jean; a review


title: Empress of All Seasons
author: Emiko Jean
genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
publisher: Gollancz (Orion Publishing)
release date:
 Nov 8th, 2018
source: NetGalley
Goodreads Summary:

In a deadly tournament to become empress, any may enter but only one will survive, and one competitor doesn’t just plan to win, she’s going to steal the Emperor’s fortune. . .

In each generation, a competition is held to find the next empress of Honoku. The rules are simple. Survive the palace’s enchanted seasonal rooms. Conquer Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall, and you can marry the prince. All are eligible to compete – all except yokai, supernatural monsters and spirits whom the human emperor is determined to enslave and destroy.

Mari has spent a lifetime training to become empress. Winning should be easy. And it would be, if she weren’t hiding a dangerous secret. Mari is a yokai with the ability to transform into a terrifying monster. If discovered, her life will be forfeit. As she struggles to keep her true identity hidden, Mari’s fate collides with that of Taro, the prince who has no desire to inherit the imperial throne, and Akira, a half-human, half-yokai outcast.

Torn between duty and love, loyalty and betrayal, vengeance and forgiveness, the choices of Mari, Taro and Akira will decide the fate of Honoku.❞

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i received this advanced reader’s copy from the publisher via netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

empress of all seasons is a japanese-inspired fantasy novel that takes a bit bite into not just its subject material, but important societal issues as well. mari, our main character, is a yokai – a japanese supernatural spirit, and more specifically, she is an animal wife – a a shapeshifting yokai spirit that takes the form of a beautiful woman in order to marry unsuspecting men and steal their fortunes. bein the odd one out in her animal wife village, mari has been raised with one purpose – to bear and defeat the seasons in the emperor’s competition, win the princes’ hand in marriage, and steal his fortune. however, complications arise for which mari’s training never prepared her for, and she must take back control while simultaneously hiding her yokai identity.

the premise of this book reeled me in immediately. the concept just sounded too good to pass by, so obviously i knew i had to read this book. i’d seen it vaguely on twitter before requesting it on netgalley, which is a shame, because it didn’t get the exposure that it should have. however, after reading empress, i’m of two minds. Continue reading “empress of all seasons by emiko jean; a review”