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Glass Alliance #2

Storm from the East

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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.

496 pages, Hardcover

First published February 11, 2020

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About the author

Joanna Hathaway

3 books308 followers
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.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 123 reviews
Profile Image for A Book Shrew.
578 reviews127 followers
May 19, 2021
Why is this book--this series--not on everyone's radars?! I discovered it this year and am blown away by the sheer amazing-ness that is the work of Joanna Hathaway. The second in the Glass Alliance series, Storm takes this historical romance to new heights with more turbulence than my heart can handle.

Full review at A Book Shrew

This second installment kicks off shortly after the events of the first book. Son of the General, Athan Dakar is bracing himself to enter an unsanctioned war--his first proper war--that originates from a pool of lies and trickery and set-ups. Meanwhile, Princess Aurelia Isendare is coming to grips with the results of the failed coup and is preparing to leave her home to fulfill an obligation to her cousin.

As with the first novel, the story unfolds through the eyes of Athan and Ali, and is interspersed with their endearing letters to one another. They are two young lovers caught on opposite sides of a war. Each with enormous secrets that could change everything and separated by distance, this awful war, and parents who hate each other. Again, I enjoyed Athan's chapters better than I did Ali's. His felt of higher stakes and dove deeper into his rattled thoughts. Of course, that is not to say that I didn't also enjoy Ali's chapters. As characters they feel far more relatable and refreshing compared to similar stories of this genre because for once, these kids aren't the face of the war or revolution. They aren't teenagers who barely know who they are and yet have to lead thousands. They're just two young people on opposing sides of the spectrum who are swept along with the events and the heartbreak that comes with it, and they're making do best they can.

Hathaway has fast become one of the best war scene writers I have ever read. In particular the flying scenes, since we are in the thick of it with Athan as our pilot. The scenes with him in his plane are intense, immersive and real. I became so invested in these moments because the way it is written has me in the cockpit like I'm living through a scene in the movie Pearl Harbour. Hathaway takes us through a few different situations involving the air force and Athan, and she never fails to capture the raw and emotional side of the war and its consequences. The wondering on the innocence of those on the other side, the hesitation in following orders, the losing of one's self after the adrenaline fades and nightmares kick in. The civilian side from Ali's situation is similar, but instead she is merely witnessing the horrors. Helpless to stop it but she endeavors to do what can be done to resist and protect others from behind the scenes. I applaud Hathaway so thoroughly for what she's created here.

This book was a lot heavier on the political side of things, and I definitely would have benefited from my ARC having a map, but it's still easy enough to follow along. You know who is on what side, who is a coward, who is in it for themselves, and who is going to surprise us all in the next book. This was twisty and at times utterly jaw-dropping crazy. So many things I didn't see coming and was left reeling, trying to figure out the ultimate question: What does this mean now?!

The first book opened with a prologue that continues to gain more and more meaning. The events set in those first few pages have still not yet come to pass ... and that makes me nervous. It set the series up as a romantic, historical tragedy, and I fear that tragedy is hardly a big enough word for it. It's clear everyone is finally setting themselves on the paths that lead to that opening scene, and it's not looking like it will be good for our beloved characters in the third book. As it stands, this series is a trilogy, but I honestly wouldn't be surprised, nor disappointed, if it become a quartet. It's just that good and deserves a befitting ending.
Profile Image for Kat.
147 reviews212 followers
August 7, 2019
I've been lucky enough to read book 2 of the Glass Alliance series, and I can guarantee it's even more beautiful, heartbreaking, epic, and romantic than book 1 (not to mention my fav Garrick getting more page time).
Profile Image for The Nerd Daily.
720 reviews344 followers
February 9, 2020
Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Kibby Robinson

Storm from the East, the second book in Joanna Hathaway’s Glass Alliance series, is a book of two parts: the slow, agonising build of war and then the break-neck twists and turns of betrayal, surrender, and loss in the war’s aftermath. Hathaway crafts a deeply intricate look into the realities of war and deftly balances hope and love within her story.

Athan and Aurelia have always been on opposite sides of the war, but never more so than now. Athan is proving himself an ace fighter pilot as he and the Safire army wage an unsanctioned war towards the capital of Resya. Aurelia has left her palace life in the North and finds herself in Resya, where she learns there is much more to the war going on and uncovers long buried family secrets. Determined not to succumb to helplessness, Aurelia teams up with a local journalist and beings reporting on the horrors of war in an attempt to bring a long desired peace.

Much like the first book in this series, Storm from the East spends a great deal of time in the first 300 or so pages, building up the world and the war. While there are a few heart pounding plane battles and shocking revelations, the first half of this book is fairly dense. It is a testament to Hathaway’s research and knowledge of the World Wars, but some readers may feel bogged down. The complexities to this world are interesting, but they do not make for a fast-paced read.

Through the eyes of Athan and Aurelia we see the war unfold on two different fronts, that of the soldiers and the civilians. Athan is in the thick of it, engaging in battles and watching his comrades and enemies die. His descent into the horrors of war is a terrifying thing to behold. We watch as he slips from being a young man in love and trying to do the right thing, to a battle hardened man fighting for his life while questioning his place in an unsanctioned war. Aurelia tries to shed her youthful and luxury filled life from the North and fight for the peace she wishes so desperately for. But the further she digs, the more complex and murky her world, and the war, becomes. Watching Athan and Aurelia grow into these people separately, and then togethe,r is heart wrenching.

While Athan and Aurelia are the focal point of the novel, the side characters provide a richness that brings out the depth of the story. The Dakar brothers are an exploration into military families and the good and bad that entails. We are introduced to many Resyans in both noble and commoner roles, who give a face to the land that is being stormed by the Safire. On the opposite side, Athan shows us the soldier side of war through the fellow pilots and infantry he meets. Bringing so many characters into a story could muddy the waters in a normal novel, but Hathaway balances them all perfectly and reminds you that at any time, as in war, they could be tragically ended.

The story truly picks up at around the 300 page mark, and from the moment our two young lovers are reunited, we don’t get much space to breath. From the electric moments shared between Aurelia and Athan during the short escape from their harsh realities, to the heart wrenching betrayals, the reader is subjected to non-stop action and drama. Right up until the last lines of the novel, Hathaway continues to draw more secrets and tragedy from the story.

Though slow to start, Storm from the East proves itself a soul stirring story of the horrors of war and two young lovers torn apart by their conflicting worlds. Fans of historical fictions and in depth world building will find a new favourite in the Glass Alliance series.
Profile Image for Ashlee » libraryinthecountry.
772 reviews631 followers
December 29, 2020
This is one of the best sequels I’ve ever read and honestly I cannot think of a thing that I would have liked to see done differently or anything that didn’t work for me.

It is clear how much care and meticulous thought Joanna Hathaway has put into these characters and this story and I am thrilled to see the culmination of Athan and Ali’s story in the final book. I NEED to see what happens after the prologue from the first book!

Truly though, Hathaway’s writing is beautiful and the way she’s interwoven such personal stories of love and courage and struggle in with the greater and darker backdrop of war, while still propelling the story forward and not getting lost, makes this one of those rare stories I’ll forever treasure.

Highly recommend these for any type of reader.
Profile Image for Rosaria Munda.
11 reviews
April 19, 2019
You know that delicious feeling when you finish a first book of a series, and it was amazing, but you get the spine-tingling suspicion that it was all set up for an EVEN BETTER sequel? This is that sequel. I loved Dark of the West, but Storm from the East is payoff, and ups the ante in every possible way.

The Glass Alliance series is structured like a tragedy: with the end at the beginning, a future snapshot of its two main characters after they have lost all innocence to war, but might still be in love. The first book leaves them a little the wiser though still in love, and still with a lot to learn.

Storm from the East is where the real education begins. Aurelia and Athan face realities of war for the first time--and the realities of trying to continue a romance across its lines. Hathaway set up the geopolitics of her world in the first book; now, she cashes in, turning tension into war and unleashing her historical military knowledge to bring air and land battles to life in dazzling detail. Politics stay snugly at the personal level as we follow the Dakars, in all their dark glory, making war a family business (for the Arrin fans out there: yes, he's at it again in peak anti-hero mode). Hathaway tackles the specter of PTSD as it affects friendships, family, and love--and she does so beautifully and hauntingly. With the series' foretold ending hanging over the story like a knife, the rising political and romantic stakes in Storm from the East combine for a pacing that is even more relentless and gut-punching than its predecessor. And like its predecessor, the ending gives you that spine-tingling suspicion that this was mere set-up for bigger and better things to come.

It's the rare series that gets better as it goes along; Glass Alliance is one of them. Read Dark of the West to be ready for this book. Read this book to be ready for what comes next.
Profile Image for Allie (alliewithbooks).
322 reviews596 followers
January 15, 2022
Okay wow…I think I enjoyed this one even more than the first. Everything get heightened and larger. I could really feel the scope of the world in this one.

I knew that, with this being the second book, they would be separated for most of it and I feel like that allowed them so much room to develop on their own. They uncovered and kept so many more secrets and shameful things from each other, and it makes their relationship that much more complicated. I loved when they finally got to see each other again, it felt so magical for that small chunk of the book. These are two damaged and secretive people who clearly care for each other, and I can’t wait to see what happens between them in the third book.
Profile Image for Elizabeth Aguilar.
577 reviews56 followers
April 1, 2020
Review: https://jinxedreviews.com/2020/02/11/...

I received an eARC from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

Storm from the East is a compelling sequel that exceeds its predecessor with its themes of war, family, and love. It picks up months after the failed coup d’etat of Etania, with Aurelia coping with the choices she made and with Athan continuing to serve his father in a campaign heading to the South. While their paths do not cross for most of this book, their choices irrevocably change the others lives.

The setup for war that began in Dark of the West is explored here but also continues to further develop something more. It explores concepts of revolution, injustice, the right to rule. While there is a huge World Wars influence on this saga, it also reminds me of some of early European colonialism followed by the rise of independent nations in the early 19th century. Not many fantasy books delve into these topics– much less as well– as Dark of the West and Storm from the East. It’s an understatement to say I am hooked.

I also loved seeing how Athan’s relationship with his siblings developed. For starters, it surprised me to see Arrin say and do some of the things he did because of how he previously acted. I never thought I would see him standing up for Athan, even when he couldn’t. There is so much background to Arrin and Kalt, who grew up with more severe expectations from their father. It felt heartbreaking to see how they bond through the difficulties.

Meanwhile, with Aurelia, we see the realities of war from a civilian’s point of view. Aurelia, rather than allow herself to be used as a pawn, decides to take action by heading to the South. There, she leads an anti-Safire campaign against the General’s campaign in Resya. Aurelia continues is hardened by war in a different way than Athan. While she was not my favorite character in Dark of the West, I grew to admire her courage and integrity.

One disclaimer I want to make is that it is not a fast-paced book. The intricacies of the events leading up to war do not make for a quick read. This is a book you need to slowly savour, not devour, but will leave you thinking hours after you finish.

I feared that the heavier military focus would make me feel detached from the story since I’ve experienced that with other books. Hathaway, however, interweaves her research with how it affected the Dakar family dynamics, our main characters, and civilians. In doing this, she also explored the dark side of war, particularly when it is not a “just war”.

So much happens in Storm from the East. Still… much more needs to happen for us to get to the prologue of Dark of the West. I am both eager for the conclusion as well as weary of what it will mean for Athan and Aurelia.
Profile Image for Joanna Hathaway.
Author 3 books308 followers
December 13, 2019
Update 12/13/19: I've just announced the preorder campaign for Storm from the East on my website. Everyone who preorders and submits proof of purchase will receive exclusive bonus content from Dark of the West and be entered for a Grand Prize. Check out my News page for the full details!

I’m posting this little update because I have ARCs and therefore things are getting very real for Storm from the East! If you’re interested in snagging one, head on over to my Instagram (handle @spitfirewriter) where I’ll be doing plenty of giveaways before release. Needless to say, I’m incredibly excited to share this second installment of the Glass Alliance series with you. Some of the things you can expect: a glimpse into Sinora and General Dakar’s shared past, a closer look at Southern royalty and politics, Aurelia and Kalt crossing paths, more love letters and more kisses, plenty of historical parallels to muse over, and maybe (just maybe) someone wearing a leather jacket whilst driving a motorcycle…

As with Dark of the West, I hope to share links to relevant maps before the release. Maps are good things, so check back here periodically to see when they’re available.

And finally, if you happen to be a reader who prefers a nice soft paperback (like me), you can now order that cozier version of Dark of the West. Make sure you read it before Storm from the East hits—you can barrel roll straight from one to the next!

Please don’t hesitate to reach out via DM on Instagram with any questions. I’m always delighted to hear from you and forever grateful for the continued enthusiasm and support—it means so, so much. :)
Profile Image for Andi.
1,145 reviews
February 6, 2022
The fact this series does not get a lot of traction in the YA world or in the shelves of many on Goodreads makes me sad. I started this book at 11:00 last night and maraton-ed 75% of it on my kindle. I finished the rest of it today, and in that same today I finished Book 3. That's how devoted and awe-struck I am by this gorgeous series.

This book reads like a cinematic experience. Aurelia and Athan are like the couple I wish to see on the big screen with the lush landscapes, gorgeous costumes, secret meetings, stolen kisses, war, heartbreak, betrayal, and death.

There are so many tropes and plot themes I see in this book that I also saw in the previous book and I know for sure carry over into the final book. It has been a long while since a book has taken over my soul and entreated me to continue to read well past my bed time.

Just read this book. Keep going, don't stop. Keep flying.
Profile Image for Jordan.
495 reviews34 followers
July 26, 2022
Rating: Really Enjoyed It, 4 stars

I thought that this was an excellent follow up to Dark of the West. We follow Ali and Athan on their separate trajectories through the same unsanctioned war. I enjoyed seeing the split between perspectives with Athan's a bit more high-stakes and fast paced as he is actually fighting in the war, and the more political maneuvering on Aurelia's side. We also learn more about Ali's history in the South, specifically that of her mother Sinora's, and just about the South in general.

This book was a lot less about Ali and Athan's relationship as it was about all the ways that their world is stacked against them. Because their relationship doesn't get as much page time, there is a lot more yearning in this one, which I would have been fine with, if it weren't for the big miscommunication trope.

Honestly that is the only reason that I rated this a four rather than five stars. Otherwise, I enjoy the characters and I love the world and the political setup

I did listen to this on audio and while the narrators are incredible, I feel like there were some moments where I wasn't following the political pieces as well as I would have if I were reading the text with my eyes. Definitely looking forward to how this all ties up, especially because I have suspicions of what will happen next based on the prologue of The Dark of the West.
February 19, 2020
Disclaimer: I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you to Fantastic Flying Book Club, Netgalley, and Tor Teen for this free copy. All quotes in this review are taken from the Advanced Reader Copy and may change in final publication.

Okay why was I feeling all sorts of things while I was reading this novel? Yes, disclaimer: this is the second book so make sure you read the first one before reading this one. Thank you also to Tor Teen for providing me a free copy of the first novel to get me prepared for this one. Absolutely loved it.

And I have to say that I think I loved this one even better than the first? Don’t you love when sequels are better than their originals? It’s so thrilling and you just feel like you’re in the middle of this high speed chase and it’s hitting the climax right before a car explosion or something. Can’t you hear the speed music going on? I know I was when I was reading this one. I can’t even begin to think about how amazing the third novel will be.

I’m usually not a war drama person, especially when the synopsis says that it’s a “world wars-inspired” novel. Both of the World Wars that we had were devastating, and honestly I can’t even really begin to think about it by choice. From the groups of people that were killed and not recognized, to the kinds of violence that each side dished out and endured, it was just terrible. I mean terrible enough that pretty much the world was involved, right?

But this book really made me invested in everything that was going on, and this was something that will stay near and dear to my heart. I couldn’t help but feel a certain type of way for Aurelia, for Athan, for the Safire and want the revolutionaries to just finally get what they have been fighting for this whole time. Which may not even make sense be in this one, it seems like Aurelia and Athan are on opposite sides of the line. But I just wanted both of them to get what they wanted, and I just wanted the war between their two sides to come to a somewhat happy conclusion. But that didn’t mean I wasn’t all for the drama and heartbreak in between these pages. It’s really what got me going.

I just really felt pulled in to this story, and wow. Talk about complex characters that you can relate to on different sides, not knowing what you would do if you were in either of their shoes, but understanding that the decisions that they made were made because they had to. It was just that kind of book that will really stick with you after a couple of days, maybe even more.
Profile Image for Karina.
517 reviews124 followers
March 17, 2020
Rating: 4.5 Stars: ★★★★ 1/2
Storm From The East is a thought-provoking, beautifully crafted novel that expands on the politics, stellar cast of characters and intriguing plot introduced from the first installment! Easily one of the best sequels I've read in a while!
Aruelia & Athan's journeys continue in this spectacular continuation all about identity, choice, war, and sacrifice. I missed Joanna's world and characters so much and I'm thrilled to have finally finished Book 2, but at the same time I'm not sure how I'm supposed to wait for Book 3!
I ADORE Aurelia & Athan so much <3, seeing them grow throughout this book, learning more about who they choose to be and where it will lead them next just warmed my heart and also broke it at the same time.
The politics of this world develop on a completely different level than DoTW and I loved that! There's also new characters who I love? (*Triza & Trigg) They forced Athan & Aurelia to think about their own roles in the world and play such important roles in the book! I also appreciate how Hathaway really develops the Dakar family a lot, they are cunning, manipulative, but also secretive and I loved learning even more about them and getting a deeper look as to who they really are.
As with the previous book, the world-building, politics, and intrigue are deeply explored elements of the story. But I also love that its reflected in such layered and subtle, almost quiet way through Athan & Aurelia.
Hathaway's writing is poetic and beautiful as always, thought-provoking + essential to seeing Aurelia and Athan's distinct view of the world.
I did have a couple minor critiques, but in the end this book left me feeling so hopeful (where I was dreading it would be heartbreaking), I can't wait to see where how my FAVORITE series ends in book 3!

*Full review to come! (Also still don't understand how this series can be SO underrated?)
Profile Image for Lulai.
1,253 reviews158 followers
January 13, 2020
-- I received this book through NetGalley against an honest review. --

I started 2019 with Joanna Hathaway and well, I started 2020 with Joanna Hathaway and this sequel.

I must admit that if you are looking for a fantasy book centered on politics, this is the saga for you. This novel presents a universe where parts of the empires has managed to free themself. Those who achieved independence are in the south and the rest are in the north. Since then, there has been a coalition between governments to try to keep the geographic area peaceful. Well peace is clearly not there and war takes shape in this sequel. What I found absolutely brilliant is to see how it all started years earlier, we discover the past of certain characters, the links between them and especially the grudges. In the end, this war is more a question of personal revenge than the good or freedom of the people.

Athan and Aurelia are caught in the middle of it all. Their parents hate each other while they love each other. It's horrible to see them caught between their loyalty to their family and their personal desires. You can feel the intensity of their feelings and their personal demons, I loved reading these characters. Their humanity is touching and their dynamic is crazy. Frankly, it has been a long time since I have read such characters and it is a real pleasure. I cross my fingers for a happy ending, but nothing is guaranteed.

This second volume takes you enormously into political issues, there are blows, betrayals and secrets at every turns. I was surprised more than once and I liked to feel this tension, the pressure to act. It is a series which for me is centered on the characters above all and they are so well written that one can only love reading the novel. It is therefore a book that I recommend, because you will live at the same time as Athan and Aurelia a thousand things
Profile Image for michelle (magical reads).
839 reviews216 followers
February 9, 2020
4.5 stars

read on my blog + see a playlist and some graphics I made for the book + a giveaway

**I received an ARC from Netgalley. These are my honest opinions, and in no way was I compensated for this review.**

I want a heart that breaks. A soft heart.

While I greatly enjoyed Dark of the West last year, I think Storm from the East greatly surpassed it. The worldbuilding and characters are fleshed out more, and truths and secrets are uncovered (still more to come, however). Storm from the East was a thrilling sequel, one that will steal your attention and won’t let it go.

As usual, the prose was beautiful. I highlighted so many lines because they were all so pretty! And the writing definitely added to the emotional impact this book has.

The worldbuilding was wonderful; I found it more fleshed out than the first book. The issues I had with the worldbuilding then were lessened in this book, especially when I read a bit closer.

There was more development in general, especially in the characters. I’ll admit it was very annoying reading Aurelia’s point of view at first because, while yes, she’s realizing that there’s more to the world outside of Etania, she has such a narrow perspective that’s really frustrating to read at times. She thinks she can fix everything; I suppose the point is that she has to realize that she can’t. My annoyance with her faded throughout the book though.

“Oh God, we killed him,” Arrin says, and something pokes me in the side. “Hey, Athan. You’ve got to die by a bullet, not a bottle. Father said that to me once and — wait.” A hand snatches my wrist. “Is that my watch? What the hell, Athan!”
Kalt snorts. “He stole it years ago.”
“You little thief!”

I loved Athan so, so much! He’s just trying his best honestly. Also, we get to see more of his fucked-up family dynamic with him and Kalt and Arrin in this book. I’m always a sucker for siblings who despise each other but really care for each other, and there were so many examples of that here. Arrin continually throws Athan and Kalt under the bus but actually puts them in safer positions; Kalt helps Athan, unbeknownst to him.

Anyways I’m scared of what’s going to happen to all of them, knowing part of the future from the prologue of the first book. I’m probably way too attached to the Dakar brothers…even though Arrin is an absolute bastard, he’s fascinating to follow (antihero much?). He’s sarcastic and self-deprecating yet brilliant and secretly cares about certain people. I’d also love to see more of Kalt, and I suspect we will in the next book. I genuinely cannot get over their dynamic; I think it might be my favorite part of the series.

We also get to know more about the side characters. The Savient crew includes Cyar and a new character named Trigg. Their dynamic with Athan and the other officers was great to follow, although Cyar deserves better than Athan shutting him out. I even somehow ended up liked Havis more somehow? That is quite an accomplishment because I really hated him in the previous book.

“If I were a girl, Fox, I’d wait for you.” Trigg offers, which might be the nicest thing he’s ever said. Then he adds, “But not you, Captain. No way. That would be a mistake.”
I kick him with the edge of my heel this time.

The romance was adorable as usual. Athan’s and Aurelia’s letters to each other read like those incredibly sappy historical ones that everyone’s obsessed with, but in the best way. I think the letters were some of the best writing in the whole book actually! Not just between Athan and Aurelia, but also their letters to other characters.

So yeah, the first half dragged a bit to me because it was Aurelia not making much progress and Athan flying a lot. But believe me, it picked up very quickly. The war is picking up, and the action escalates without warning.

With the war comes the increasing realities that our protagonists have to face. Again, Aurelia grows to realize that war, this one particularly, isn’t always so black and white. Athan has to deal with the fact that he’s enjoying being under his father’s control less and less. I always love when a character realizes that, after begging for attention and respect, they don’t actually need it!

No one can kill the sky. No one can shrink it back down to the earth. I need to believe there are some things in this world which can’t be stolen from it. Some wild and breathless realms, too high to touch, even by war, and you are one of them — always.

I can’t really talk about the second half of the book without spoiling it, but know that I was stunned by the ending. I can’t wait for the third book to see how everything connects to what we already know of the future. Storm from the East left me whirling from the beautiful writing, heartbreaking characters, and intense plot.

original review:

ngl aurelia was really annoying me in the first half (love u tho athan) but that second half was soooo good

also s/o to the dakar brothers!! we love fucked-up siblings who hate each other but also really love each other
Profile Image for TheGeekishBrunette.
1,138 reviews28 followers
February 8, 2020
Thank you Fantastic Flying Book Club for this opportunity and thanks to the publisher for the free copy! (I received a copy for reviewing. All opinions are my own.)

I have been dreading picking this one up. The first book was a whirlwind of emotion and the second book was definitely right up there, if not more so! I could feel my eyes tearing up throughout and honestly, it gave me a book hangover. It hasn’t happened in awhile so that’s a win even if I may drown in my own sadness, ha. So, let’s move into my review of this heart-wrenching read.

Aurelia and Athan are back, as well as many familiar faces from book one. They are still star-crossed lovers trying to find peace while others make it hard to do. Although there isn’t many scenes with them together, both get their own chapters/point-of-view of the war that is rattling their world.

I wanted them to be okay. I wanted them to finally run away together and forget what is happening. I wanted them to have a happy ending. The talk about running away kept coming back and when there was a glimmer of hope for them something pulled it out of sight. They were so innocent and pure and at certain times, oblivious to the world around them as they shared secret moments together. I really hope they get their happy ending because if this turns out like Romeo and Juliet, I will not be okay!

A character that made his appearance in this book really stole the show when he was present. Triggs is hilarious, cocky, and I loved it! He is also colorblind and I thought that was awesome because he didn’t let it stop him from doing what he loved, flying planes.

With any book about royalty, war, politics, and family, there is always drama. The plot twists come with vengeance and I wasn’t sure when a character would drop dead. The suspense was real and I couldn’t focus on anything until I finished this book.

Since you know that this book deals with war, you already know it’s not going to end well. Causalities in war are inevitable. No one is perfect and that means no one has the perfect strategy. There is always death on both sides and there is also death for those who are simply living in the wrong place at the wrong time. All of this and more can be found on the pages of this book. It is sad and makes you think about all the wars that have passed in the real world. It’s easy to look at fiction and see it as just that but books like this are important because it’s another way to look at a hard topic and maybe reach people who wouldn’t otherwise understand how tragic war is.

Overall, I loved this book just as much as the first. Hathaway’s writing is descriptive and leaves you wanting more with each turn of a page. I can’t wait to read the third and final book next year, although my emotions may need more time than that to be ready.
Profile Image for Nicole N. (A Myriad of Books).
856 reviews92 followers
April 2, 2021
4/2/2021: I'm glad I reread this because all I remembered was the ending with Sinora. Still as shocking the second time around but man, that woman grabbed her own fate by the horns and MADE it hers.


A HUGE thank you to Tor Teen for giving me a free digital copy via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

If you haven’t read Dark of the West, the first book in the series, there might be some *spoilers* in this review regarding previous events.

All quotes are taken from the ARC and may change in the finished copy.

“The truth won’t change…no matter how many lies we decorate it with.”

While I enjoyed the first book, I was afraid this book would suffer from the dreaded “second book syndrome.” Oh, let me tell you that’s not the case at all. So much happens in this book, it’s incredible. Another even more intriguing prologue to pull you into the story, and we start just a few months after the first book ended. Athan and Aurelia are separated, each holding onto to a secret they won’t dare let the other one know about. (To be honest one of my main frustrations lingered due to Athan not telling Ali who he truly is.) We have Ali taking a stance in the war and using not only her status as a princess but her wits and brains to do something to sway the tide. Athan, on the other hand, is under his father’s or older brother Arrin’s thumb quite often. We really seem him go through the motions and doing what he’s told and I don’t ever think it’s because he really wants to.

This book reads like a historical fiction novel, so if that’s not something you’re into, you may want to go into this with a bit of caution. Lots of talk about strategy and politics (which sometimes confused me) and some past hurts that are affecting the countries involved. There’s also a fair bit of exposition, and we see this the most in the different POVs of Athan and Ali. I think Athan does a far bit of telling while Ali does a lot of showing. There’s a good balance though.

What I enjoyed most about this book is everything becomes so much clearer in terms of who Sinora is, how she and General Dakar are connected, and a lot of their pasts are revealed toward the end of the book. While I did get some answers, I’m still left some questions, the main one being, “Why?” I feel like there’s a whole other third side to the story we don’t know about, and I have a feeling Ali is going to try her hardest to uncover that.

“We can use our words, not weapons, and perhaps, together, we can open eyes and write a better ending.”

While I do adore Ali and Athan, I think one of my favorite characters is Sinora. I wasn’t sure what to think of her in the first book, thought she was playing a game (and she certainly still is), but I see her a little better in this book. Sure, we get a skewed version of her through her daughter’s eyes, but it’s the last couple of chapters that really give you a sense of who she is and what she’s done to be where she is. Again, while I’m not certain the question of Why? answered, we’ll definitely be able to see how Sinora’s fate plays into the lives of those she was close with.

Ali and Athan still hold a bit of innocence, too. I really enjoyed the parts where they were together (even if all of them weren’t good), and the author does a great job with their interactions and making us really feel for the both of them despite the different worlds they come from. Ali was definitely justified in her anger toward Athan regarding a big secret. I think the two also take a step back and have a moment where they realize what exactly they’re getting themselves into and if they are in love with each other rather than the idea of each other.

Of all the people, I’m not quite sure what to make of Ali’s brother, Reni. Is he power hungry? Does he just want the symbol the crown will provide him? I don’t quite know. On a somewhat different note, I wish Ali had mentioned more of Violet. They’re supposed to be best friends, but when they have to go their separate ways, Ali doesn’t really think of her that much. Sure, she has a lot going on, but I thought it was a bit crass on her part.

I promise that you will love the new characters that come into this game as well.

“You can shout the truth until your voice is hoarse, but rarely will another soul listen until it strikes close to them.”

I absolutely love Hathaway’s writing style. It’s completely immersive and I think she’s a great storyteller. You are incredibly drawn into the story of these characters, their lives, and the fate of their world. It’s wonderful to be eager to return to a book once you set it down (and real life kicks in), and it’s great pick up right where you left off and not feel like you are fighting to remember what’s going on.

I eagerly away the third and final book in this series.
Profile Image for Aimie .
347 reviews77 followers
March 2, 2020
A World Wars inspired sequel to Dark of the West collides battles, romance, and revolution to create an amazing sequel.

Storm from the East once again centres upon Aurelia and Athan as they try to navigate the increasingly complex political world they live in from the viewpoint of opposing sides that quickly leads to a full-blown war. Throughout the novel, Hathaway deals with tough and often serious topics, such as the ever increasing reality of war and the impact of PTSD.

The action had me on the edge of my seat, the romance was absolutely swoon-worthy, and the world building as well as the characters were completely fleshed out. Between the family dynamics that keep getting more intriguing to read as the story progressed, I especially adored the relationship between Arrin, Athan, and Kalt. The writing was also occasionally so emotionally powerful that one couldn't help but sit there and absorb every moment in.

There was generally more development in Storm from the East, particularly regarding the intense plot and characters, compared to the previous book in the series. I enjoyed reading Aurelia's and Athen's point of view, especially as they began to uncover truths and secrets that have been kept in the dark. Also, their expansion in perspective was entertaining, especially as Aurelia learns more about the world outside of Etania. The romance also made this book that much more adorable to read! The letters Athan and Aurelia sent to each other were exactly what I would expect, given the historical context, and made it that much more entertaining to read.

With that being said, I did feel a sense of disconnect to Aurelia's character compared to Athen's. I think this was mostly based on how she never really committed to any action, due to her lack of conviction, despite the numerous opportunities to make a difference. When she finally does decide on a course of action, she is typically late to the party. However, besides the disconnect with Aurelia's character, the entire novel immerses its readers and takes them on a journey through the story of various characters and their exploration of not only the war but the world around them.

Overall, Storm from the East was an amazing sequel and one I definitely recommend checking out if you're a fan of action-packed historical fiction, romance, and adventure.

ARC was kindly provided by Raincoast Books in exchange for an honest review.

For this review and more, check out:
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Profile Image for Monique.
684 reviews80 followers
June 9, 2020
When I think about Storm of the East I honestly can’t form thoughts. I thought it would be better after a few weeks but I’m afraid it didn’t really. Athan, Aurelia and all the other characters have taken up residence in my head have turned said head into a giant ball of feels. Nevertheless I shall try to convey how much this series means to me. Tbh I’m kinda proud I used nevertheless, it seems my senses are slowly returning after all.

First I cannot believe this series is not as hyped as it should be! Seriously, this is sooo good, and the only flaws I can think of is maybe Athan is too adorable? Aurelia too fierce? Arrin too flawed (seriously what is the deal with Arrin? I need to know because I feel a Snape like revelation coming up!)? And Reni is a douche, seriously.

Ok I get it, I am still a mess as I keep saying names that probably won’t mean anything to anyone casually reading reviews to find out if this book for them. I don’t know you, but trust me: this book will blow you away.

THAT WRITING. I need to say this again, because just like book 1 you get this wonderful prose and awe inspiring sentences, without distracting from the story. The story itself is amazing... we get to see a lot more of Resya, where Aurelia suddenly finds herself in the middle of a war, and she sees how she can’t stay silent and let injustice happen. With her big, brave heart, she searches for ways to make an impact, to make her voice heard. In the previous book we saw this war in Thurn (which lies next to Resya), and while it made an impact on people in the north and caused mild outrage, because it was far away everyone (including you, the reader) can detach yourself easily, but now you’re right in the middle of the conflict and find that what you did was not enough. That’s the struggle Aurelia faces, along with some revelations. Because oh my there were plot twists! Every time you think you know how it works, another side has come to light which makes you rethink everything. It really shows the complexity of war, but ultimately the complexity of human beings. Aurelia’s making the hard choices, sacrificing her future and making an allegiance with the Ambassador Havis (who has some tricks up his sleeves too).

Athan also hasn’t got it easy. His squadron is right in the middle of the war, and he’s starting to doubt everything after the revelations of the previous book. He finds comfort in his squadron, especially his loyal friend Cyar who is a cinnamon bun and yet isn’t afraid to call out BS. They get a third member in their little group, Trigg, an untrained pilot whom Athan needs to train, which he doesn’t like. But Trigg is more than he seems and I’m here for it. Also not, because I care about so many people now and there is a WAR and not everyone is going to make it, you can just feel it (and the fact that fighter pilots usually don’t have much of a chance at long term survival). The feeling of the war itself is also very well done. I could spot some ideas from the Blitzkrieg to D-Day, and the planes themselves remind me a lot of the Battle for Britain in 1940 (Athan is soooo flying a spitfire in my head!). But it was so intricately interwoven, that this is very different from actual history, and this makes the stakes even higher as you have no idea what is gonna happen! I love seeing this! And yes, Athan’s dysfunctional family is being very difficult again, and you can see more clearly that Athan at a time needs to make a choice about where his loyalties are. His romance with Aurelia, though mainly through letters, is very sweet, and when they meet again (come on, you just know they have to in this book lol), I was crying of happiness. Even though Athan did set himself up for epic failure. The end of this book was heartbreaking and a set up for even bigger things to happen in the next, i’m not sure how much bigger you can go, I’m exhausted with feels already, but I’m here for it and I can’t wait to find out! I’m seriously invested in this series, it’s so amazing and everything is so complex and the worldbuilding is sublime, and there are so many awesome characters I didn’t get to name (Aurelia’s mom! The General! Tirza! Reni! The Resyan royal family! The other pilots! Karl and Folco! Garrick! Katalin (I need mooooore), and Leannya wil have a few suprises of herself I’m sure). And the themes of colonialism, racism and refugees are very important, especially now (and how war has no winners).

Be warned, this will give you a serious book hangover and will cause you to make fan theories for days. And spotify playlists.
Profile Image for Jen.
1,849 reviews159 followers
February 19, 2020
Wow. I am completely in love with this series. And I did not receive it as an ARC. I got the audiobook as soon as it was out via a recommendation email from Audible.

I started this and got frustrated right away - must have been my mood - and put it aside thinking I'd just pick it up again after the whole series was completed. I'd just done a re-read of the first book in the series, Dark of the West.

But then I realised that when a book stays on your mind and you find you don't want to leave the world, you might as well go back to it. So I picked it up again the next day and couldn't put it down. I also checked out the author's Instagram page and found a whole read-along for the first book with her notes. There are insights there you wouldn't otherwise find.

So suffice it to say that I found this book to be amazing. There's so much that happens, largely the maturing of the two main characters. Ali is still impulsive and idealistic, but she begins to learn some interesting things about her family that change her perspective dramatically. She's still a teenager, but a wiser one. Athan is changed by war, and is coming into his own identity and power with those changes. And they are dramatic changes for such a young man. Even though this is a fantasy world, Hathaway has really integrated the borrowed realities of WWII into this story when it comes to soldiers and war-ravaged cities in Europe.

I wondered if the politics in this story would overwhelm it. And while they are a prime focus, they are just a large enough "character" to walk the line between a war story and a love story. It's hard to say what's the plot and sub-plot here, because both the romance and the political setting seem to take up equal space in the book.

Having finished this second book, I still want to go back and re-read the last couple of chapters and the prologue in the first book. This series starts with an ending of sorts; I don't think it's the real ending as such, but it's certainly a look at the starting place for the ending. Both the ending to this second book and that prologue are heartbreaking and tragic - but I have high hopes and faith in the author to give us a happy ending overall. For all the trouble these two characters go through, they're owed a happily ever after.

And as always, the narration by Barrie Kreinik and Dan Bitter is exceptional.
Profile Image for Marzie.
1,118 reviews92 followers
February 16, 2020
I'm sure many of us remember that moment in young adulthood when you find that your parents have somehow left out important details of one sort or another about their families and lives. And in those details, one can find the complex motivations that propel adults into the decisions that form the boundaries of their lives. Storm from the East ups the level of complexity that the reader absorbed in Dark of the West, the first book in the Glass Alliance. While perhaps overly optimistic about the amount of wartime entrée a princess might be able to enjoy, what Storm from the East lays bare is how Warmachine regimes cut wide swaths of collateral damage, how demonized minorities are blamed by those seeking to seize absolute power, and how even good people are hoodwinked into terrible acts when they take orders on faith alone.

This book opens with Aurelia struggling to understand her mother, and her own fateful actions with Lark near the end of Dark of the West, while Athan is serving as part of a flight wing unit in his father's air force. Aurelia, consumed with guilt, makes a bargain with the devil (she thinks) and agrees, to her brother Reni's shock, to marry Havis if he is willing to take her to Resya so she can investigate what Lark told her about her mother's family. What she finds will shock her to the core. Athan, meanwhile, struggles with his growing realization that his brother and his father are monsters, and that his beloved sister has drunk their Kool-Aid. In poignant letters that they try unsuccessfully to exchange (they are written but largely unread until the end of the book) they confide their longing for a better world. Athan in particular struggles with the fact that Aurelia doesn't know his true identity, a Dakar. As the maelstrom of war threatens to embroil most of the Eastern territories (Landore, Saveant, Karkev) and the northern swath of the South (Resya, Thurn, Masrah) in unrelenting bloodshed, a plot against Aurelia's mother, Queen Sinora, draws tighter and tighter until she is left with only one option for escape. With an epic clash of families and former allies, Storm from the East encourages young adult readers to examine the complex motivations that lead to war, and especially those who profit from it.

"I beg you to always look beyond what seems obvious. Create your allies, everywhere, and only make an enemy when the survival of many depends on it. Every man-made cause has both beauty and disaster built into it, my star." -Sinora Lehzar

One of my only criticisms of the book is that with this large cast of characters and so many countries or states involved, the lack of a dramatis personae list is really frustrating at times.

I also enjoyed the audiobook version of the novel, narrated by Barrie Kreinik and Dan Bittner.

I received a Digital Review Copy of this book via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Vee.
1,166 reviews92 followers
August 13, 2020
I find it so strange that this series is from one of the big five publishers and yet it is so underhyped. The only reason I know about it is because I randomly requested an arc of Dark of the West back in 2018 and really loved it. But, I don't think I've seen any marketing behind it at all. It's weird because it feels like this is the type of series that Tor Teen / Macmillan would be pushing on YA fantasy readers, especially when it has such a heavy romance sub-plot. Maybe it's because the "fantasy" in here isn't what is getting buzzed about at the moment since this is a magic-less world? I have no clue but I'd be super interested to find out.

This had everything that I loved about Dark of the West, it even retained some of the love letter format which was my favourite thing from the first book. The letters, don't hugely serve the overall plot but they really add to the atmosphere of two lovers being separated by war in a world that is very reminiscent of how lovers in wartime has been romanticised, especially here in Britain. I like how they feel classic and respectful.

The other thing that really shines in this book (and the series) is Joanna Hathaway's passion for planes and battles that take place in the sky. Those scenes are so beautifully written.

I liked how much the political intrigue was expanded upon here as well, sometimes you see this type of thing move by mere inches in a middle trilogy book (something that is much more prevalent in YA Fantasy trilogies, tbh.) However, Hathaway is very focused on showing how minor shifts in alliances and small decisions can really shift the tide of war. She displays this really well through Athan and Ali's differing perspectives. This needs to be an aspect of fantasy that that the reader is very into in order to enjoy these books though. There is a lovely balance with the romantic sub-plot but if you don't like political manoeuvring then you're probably not going to have an overly positive response to this series.

There was some high drama in this book as well and it didn't feel shoehorned in to pad out book two. The foreshadowing work had been done in book one rather well, to the point where I was dreading some events to come to pass. I thought it was really well executed.

Also, I'm not sure if it was just me but for some reason I thought Cyar and Trigg were going to have a romantic connection. I guess I forgot that Cyar had a long-distance girlfriend in the first book. I'm still holding I little bit of a flame for that ship though.

I'm still really excited about this series and I'm very much anticipating the final book!
Profile Image for Sam.
264 reviews19 followers
February 11, 2020
“… the more you read, the less you want to be quiet. What’s the point in learning about the world if you can’t do a thing about it?”

Storm from the East is the sequel to Dark of the West and continues to pull strong, well-written punches.

The level of knowledge behind political machinations and war that have been lovingly inserted into this book definitely speaks of the care that the author has for these types of stories. I’m not really one for war novels and often find myself thinking “when will we just skip to the romance”, however it was the actual political aspects of war and the ramifications that choices have which kept me interested throughout this entire novel.

Ali and Athan both have their own lessons to learn and their own stories to come into, which gets developed really well throughout the book. Ali is quickly becoming a favourite heroine of mine, especially with her desire to bring truth and justice to the world no matter the personal cost to herself. She is finding out what she stands for and once she identifies this, she doesn’t back down.

”No one ever told me this secret thing, that to be small is not to be helpless. It’s to be angry”

Athan is struggling with the realities of war and the realities of his actions and choices. It’s quite difficult to read him spiralling through these introspections, but they offer an important perspective of someone who is trapped by their birth - but wanting to be better.

The last 50% blew my mind and there’s not a whole lot that I can say without going into spoiler territory, so I won’t touch on it - other than to say it was extremely well planned and well written.

Thank you to Macmillan-Tor/Forge and NetGalley for a copy of an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Xia ✻..
489 reviews58 followers
November 25, 2022
#1 Dark of the West 4 stars
#2 Storm from the East 4.5 stars
#3 Southern Sun, Northern Star 4 stars

★★★★✩ / 4.5

”They’re and idea, you see, and ideas are never stopped by borders”

Im speechless by how good this book was. I gulped more than 200+ pages in one night.

In this sequel we are thrown in the middle of a war, with our two main characters in opposites sides of it. But this time they aren’t the heroes. They are important, yes, but they aren’t teenagers leading their own sides to victory, as we are used to see in YA books. They are only two more drops of the storm of warfare that is threatening to ravage all the continent, under the influence of their parents, family and friends. And it was very refreshing.

Despite the target audience, Joanna doesn’t shy away from making us see the ugly face of the war they are living.

Athan chapters’ were my favorite. As a pilot, he was in first line with his plane, living through most of the important events, showing us his internal fight between the adrenaline and thrill of winning and the crude real side of killing people for his family’s cause.

Aurelia, because of her status as a princess, not a fighter, experienced things in a very different way, more as a spectator, but a very involved, angry and disquiet one, which maybe wasn’t as impactful as Athan’s side but very interesting and compelling nonetheless. Her development from a very black and white vision to a more grey one, resonated very strongly with me.

There were moments I was a little lost with the politic maneuvers and plotting, things I still don’t fully grasp or understand, which is the only reason why I can’t give it 5 stars.

As a final note, I can see the scene we read in the beginning of the first book approaching and I’m very anxious and worried we didn’t reach it by now.
Profile Image for Iza.
1,104 reviews5 followers
November 21, 2019
Several days after finishing it and I'm still thinking about all the things that happened, the tears, the heartache, the swoons and the FEELS!

Please don't read this review if you haven't read Dark of the West first - while there won't be spoilers from Storm from the East, there might be tiny ones from Dark of the West.

Let's me just say, Dark of the West, while really good, pales in comparison next to SftE - and I devoured DotW. I sneak-read at work, glaring at people for daring to interrupt. I mean, Athan and Aurelia were just getting started to get to know each other - Athan having unfortunate ulterior motives - and people dared interrupt me? Not that I didn't give the stink-eye while sneak-reading SftE. I did, I just didn't inhale it. I decided to savor it - plus, seems I'm a masochist because it hurt. It hurt so much.

DotW was simply the prelude of the war and battles, if you will. Yes, while it did have that coupe, things get serious in SftE. And I love that Ms. Hathaway pulls her readers into descriptive fighting scenes; she doesn't hold back or gloss over the heartbreaking events - the reality of a war, especially one where major countries are involved. The suffering, the losses of lives for power, for the greed of men.

Ali finds out gut-wrenching secrets. She's betrayed. The prologue from DotW? It starts making sense. My heart ached for Athan and I just know book three will kill me. Hand on heart, I'm positive, by the end of it all, I'll be a bawling mess.

It's heavy on war, on strategies but also on internal wars. So, so many things come to light, I could barely wrap my head around them all. So yes, pick up DotW and read it before SftW is out, in February. It'll be painful, but worth it. Brilliant writing, well-done research. Dedication.

Now I want to reread it. But I need time for my soul to heal.

I voluntarily agreed to read an early copy of this book and my rating is 5+++ stars.
Profile Image for Rebeca.
149 reviews19 followers
January 29, 2020
I received an early copy of this book from the author.

To be honest, I have no words. Storm from the East was amazing, an incredible gem of a book.

I love the feeling of loving a book I’ve been waiting to read for so long not only to end up loving it but to struggle with the right words to describe how much I loved it.

I waited two years to finally read the sequel to Dark of the West (one of my all time favorite books) and it was worth it.
Lots of stuff happened in this book. Part of me wanted to read this book slowly, to enjoy it as much as I could but I just couldn’t... Joanna’s writing style made it impossible for me to put the book down.

I have a lot of feelings right now, friends. I’m speechless and I’m not exaggerating. I loved to read Aly and Athan’s letters, their hopes and dreams for something better. I loved to be able to read from both POV’s and to know what they were both going through.

What can you expect from this book? Secrets (lots of them), treason, lies, war but most importantly LOVE❤️

This is a beautiful and epic story you won’t want to miss. And have I mentioned that Joanna’s writing style is beautiful?! BECAUSE IT IS😌
Profile Image for Ceindy.
64 reviews2 followers
June 4, 2021
Wow! I loved this book and can't wait to read the final book in this trilogy. I loved the depth of all the characters and the complexity of the politics in this world. I'm not sure why more people are not reading and talking about this book - it's just so good! The action scenes were thrilling, the writing was great, the characters!! Love, love, love.
Profile Image for Beatriz.
332 reviews53 followers
July 18, 2022
I keep wishing the plot of this series went some way and Hathaway keeps steering me the exact opposite way.

Most of this book was war scenes, war politics and the consequences of war on everyone’s story. I just wish there was something more.

I do realize this is meant to be a realistic depiction of war, and that people do end up separated a lot of the time, but damn, I don’t really want to read about the cold harsh reality.

Give me swooping romance, brotherly love, found family, winning against the odds. I like the characters and the overall plot. But I just want some payoff on this series and I feel like I keep getting none.
Profile Image for Gita Trelease.
Author 5 books616 followers
September 13, 2019
Daring rebellion, beautiful friendships, dangerous family secrets, heart-breaking romance, plots behind plots and stories behind stories, all vividly rendered against an escalating story of war—what else could you ask for? This book has it all. I loved it.
Profile Image for Marissa.
106 reviews2 followers
May 22, 2020

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