cover image Dark of the West

Dark of the West

Joanna Hathaway. Tor Teen, $18.99 (480p) ISBN 978-0-7653-9641-9

In this slow-burning debut historical fantasy, an illicit romance between a princess and a pilot blooms against the backdrop of a world at war. Athan, the youngest son of the cunning General Dakar of Savient, wants nothing to do with his father’s military and political ambitions, but when his mother is murdered, he’s forced to play a role as pilot and undercover operative. Then he meets the innocent Princess Aurelia of Etania, whose indomitable mother stands between the general and his ultimate goals of conquest, and he dares not reveal his true parentage, even after a relationship unexpectedly develops. Meanwhile, a complicated web of alliances, deceptions, betrayals, and intrigues threatens to drag previously unaffected lands into the escalating conflict, and Athan and Aurelia must find a way to prevent matters from growing worse. The leisurely pace and some overwrought prose slow the novel’s momentum. However, once the plot gets underway, the charismatic characters, lush descriptions, a setting inspired by World War II–era Europe, and a charming if subtle romance offer rewards for readers. Ages 12–up. Agent: Steven Salpeter, Curtis Brown. [em](Feb. 2019) [/em]