Book Review

Book Review: Southern Sun, Northern Star (Glass Alliance #3) by Joanna Hathaway

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: YA Fantasy + Romance
Length: 432 pages
Author: Joanna Hathaway
Publisher: Tor Teen
Release Date: April 20th, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Reeling from the tragedy that beset her family, Princess Aurelia has joined the resistance in Havenspur, spying on the Northern leaders who were once her allies and determined to stop her uncle’s machinations for war. Meanwhile, her beloved pilot Athan leads his squadron into battle as the Safire wage a losing war abroad and combat growing unrest back home.

When Athan is sent on leave to Havenspur following the death of a comrade, the pair reunite and rekindle their romance until Aurelia uncovers one of Athan’s secrets, a secret that could save countless lives. But exposing it to the right people will cost her Athan’s trust, and this time, their shared memories of love might not be enough to stop the fateful path of destruction that threatens all they’ve fought to defend.

As history unfolds around them, every move they make drives them one step closer to either recreating their parents’ shadowed past or redeeming the alliance that could bring peace.

The breathtaking finale to a legendary series. Part war drama, part romance, Southern Sun, Northern Star is the epic conclusion to the Glass Alliance series.

MY HEART.

I don’t hug books very often. They have to really hit me, this was one of those books that I hugged afterwards because I just needed the comfort that things worked out okay. BECAUSE WOW THAT WAS A CLOSE ONE.

I loved everything about this finale. The pacing was on point, I thought it moved well and always kept me interested. This isn’t a fast read, it’s a building battle that culminates over time. And the action had my heart in my throat more times than I could count. People I thought wouldn’t die did, people I expected to did. A mix of many twists and turns that make your heart race.

The roooomance y’all. While I would obviously always love more, this fit the theme and plot well. These star-crossed forbidden lovers, Ali and Athan, tore me apart. With so many tough choices before them, both made mistakes and both found a way to create change in their countries. I love them and I love how it all worked out in the end for their story. It was the kind of bittersweet, yet positive ending that fit the book so well I couldn’t find a complaint.

The whole cast was vast and diverse. Many characters with rolls to play and I found that I was attached to many of them. Everyone was built incredibly well. The world was built incredibly well and this whole series is such a hidden YA gem that I beg of you to try it out!!

Overall audience notes:

  • YA Fantasy + Romance
  • Language: some light
  • Romance: kisses to closed door scene
  • Violence: physical altercations
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: implied sexual assault, loss of loved ones, gun violence, battle scenes, war crimes

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Book Review

Book Review: Storm from the East (Glass Alliance #2) by Joanna Hathaway

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: YA Fantasy + Romance
Length: 496 pages
Author: Joanna Hathaway
Publisher: Tor Teen
Release Date: February 11th 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Battles, revolution, and romance collide in Joanna Hathaway’s stunning, World Wars-inspired sequel to Dark of the West

Part war drama, part romance, Storm from the East is the second novel in Joanna Hathaway’s immersive, upmarket YA fantasy series that will appeal to readers of Sabaa Tahir, Marie Rutkoski, and Evelyn Skye.

War has begun, and the days of Athan’s and Aurelia’s secret, summer romance feel a world away. Led by Athan’s father, the revolutionary Safire have launched a secret assault upon the last royal kingdom in the South, hoping to depose the king and seize a powerful foothold on the continent. Athan proves a star pilot among their ranks, struggling to justify the violence his family has unleashed as he fights his way to the capital—where, unbeknownst to him, Aurelia has lived since the war’s onset. Determined to save the kingdom Athan has been ordered to destroy, she partners with a local journalist to inflame anti-Safire sentiment, all while learning this conflict might be far darker and more complex than she ever imagined.

When the two reunite at last, Athan longing to shake the nightmare of combat and Aurelia reeling from the discovery of a long-buried family truth come to light, they’ll find the shadow of war stretches well beyond the battlefield. Each of them longs to rekindle the love they once shared . . . but each has a secret they’re desperate to hide.

TORN.

My heart hurts after this one y’all.

HURTS.

BOOK THREE STAT.

For a middle book, I enjoyed this! I’ve been loving reading these through audio format. Great narrators. Capitvating and makes me want to listen as fast as I can to know what’s going to happen next.

My sweet souls Aurelia and Athan. This is one of those reads where you shout at the book, WHY CAN’T THEY JUST BE HAPPY?!?! I’m begging the last book to give me some hope or I might have committed to a series that will destory my bookish soul.

One of the only things that frustrated me was how it took until over halfway for our main’s to even SEE each other again. I don’t like when an obvious ship is separated for so long. It makes things drag a little between them even if the action is roaring around them.

And wow does the action roar. This war is only amping up and there’s so much to unpack. Betrayals, lost family lines, secrets, hidden identites and it’s amazing. I love how intricate this plot is and that I rarely find myself bored with a scene.

Really great read. Really excited that I get to read the sequel soon because I MUST know what happens next. I love these characters. I know more heart crushing is going to happen, but dang it, someone give me an at least hopeful ending by the time this is all over.

Overall audience notes:

  • YA Fantasy + Romance
  • Language: little
  • Romance: kisses to a closed door scene
  • Violence: often; depictions of war and skirmishes, physical altercations, plane crashes, gun violence
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: suicide (a scene near the end), loss of a loved one, plane crashes

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Book Review

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

Rating: ☆☆ ☆☆
Audience: YA Fantasy Romance
Length: 480 pages
Author: Joanna Hathaway
Publisher: Tor Teen
Release Date: February 5th, 2019
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK 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.

HERE FOR THIS.

What a great start to a series. I’m glad I picked this one up, and enjoyed it as an audio version too!

I’ve heard this had some World War vibes and I can definitely see that. It was really interesting to match that up with a fantasy world (but with no magic). My only issue was that the world was a bit confusing. I had a hard time remembering which nation was which and who was mad at who. By the end that was mostly cleared up, but I’m hopeful that book two expounds further.

I also want to mention that I’ve seen some comparison to The Winner’s Curse (which is one of my favorite series FORRRREVERRRRR) and I can see some semblance. Competing nations, forbidden romance, a princess. So yes, if you enjoye that series, I’d give this one a try.

Smitten with the romance. I was worried there would be some insta-love based off of how the plot was rolling, BUT ALAS, there was not. Just some genuine attraction and burgeoning feelings. I love that Aurelia and Athan wrote letters to each other. It made the fact that they were in different locations not seem as big of an issue since I still got those connections over the letters.

I’m genuinely thrilled to see where this goes. There’s a lot here. Plenty of things to still happen. I love the action and pacing of this first book.

Overall audience notes:

  • YA Fantasy romance
  • Language: some
  • Romance: kiss
  • Violence: airplane battles (and crashes), physical altercations, gun violence
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: loss of a parent, depictions of wartime

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