Top Ten Facts... Dark of the West by Joanna Hathaway (Guest Post & #Giveaway)

Welcome to my tour stop! Check out the fun guest post and giveaway below...

Dark of the West
(Glass Alliance #1)
By Joanna Hathaway
YA Fantasy
Hardcover & ebook, 480 Pages
February 5th 2019 by Tor Teen


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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Guest Post:
Top Ten Facts about the World, Series, and Characters of Glass Alliance

1. The world is inspired by both WW1 and WW2. The technology (i.e. the fighter planes and battle campaigns) is based on that which existed during the Second World War, while the geopolitics (i.e. the aging empires, rising revolutions, naval arms race) are parallels to the build-up of the First World War.

2. While I love Aurelia dearly and we share an affection for horses and masquerades, she was inspired mostly by my younger sister who is an artist. Aurelia’s personality reminds me a lot of hers—bold, smart, creative, and a bit stubborn at times!

3. Athan is definitely closer to my own personality. He’s not comfortable being the center of attention and will go to great lengths to avoid confrontation. It’s taken me many years to learn that conflict is okay. Standing up for yourself and being able to productively disagree with someone is a skill that must be cultivated.

4. Speaking of Athan, his character was also inspired by many years spent reading pilot memoirs from the Second World War. I found that many of the young men who flew in the 1940s had a spunky sense of humour, a deep romanticism, and a keen awareness of the tragedy of war. I wanted to imbue Athan’s character with that same juxtaposition. He has the youthful mischief of a 17-year old boy, but he also has this maturity and awareness beyond his years (and can write some pretty romantic love letters!).

5. Switching gears, let’s talk about the prologue. I’m curious to see how readers will feel about it! I think it serves as a chance to share my “thesis” for the series — a clear statement against war, militarism, nationalism, occupation—all of these themes the characters are grappling with. I think it also makes the reader wonder how a girl who won’t even touch a gun becomes a sniper, and how a boy who wants to avoid the frontlines becomes a commander. It’s quite a journey.

6. Because I’m an airplane nerd, I’ll share that the Safire fighter planes (which Athan flies) are inspired by the German Me-109s in WW2, as they had the firepower advantage early in the war. Another kingdom in the book has fighters inspired by my very favourite airplane, the British Spitfire. I try to follow historical details where I can, but sometimes I have to simply allow it be “fantasy”.

7. While the technology has direct parallels to our history, the world of Glass Alliance does not. No one kingdom or nation is directly inspired by anything that currently exists. I worked very hard to blur lines, illuminating the themes that span across our history and avoiding specifics.

8. With all this talk of war, I want reassure you that the love story is incredibly central to this book. It’s the heartbeat of the story. The star-crossed romance between Aurelia and Athan begins in Dark of the West and will span the entire series, and I cherish it immensely. Writing the scenes between these two characters really melts my heart!

9. I also want to add that in real life I am a person of faith, and while I don’t dive too much into the religions of this made-up world, I do try to focus on the inner-instinct of each character to choose what is good. I believe we all have that little compass inside, pointing us the right direction. And while life (and the world) can get very complicated, we can follow that voice if we’re listening closely.

10. I’ll finish by saying that this is also a story about families. I love reading about siblings and parents and children—the good, the bad, the ugly—and one of my favourite parts about writing this series is chronicling the ever-evolving dynamics within these two families full of dark secrets. The politics may be large, but I always want the human relationships to feel honest and intimate. Hopefully I can succeed there!

About the Author

Joanna was born in MontrĂ©al 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.

Tour Schedule
Tour-Wide Giveaway

Win (1) of (10) physical copies of DARK OF THE WEST by Joanna Hathaway (US Only)
Ends February 18th, 2019

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This is one book I'm definitely planning on reading. How about you? What do you think about the guest post? What fact most interests you?

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