Cover Image: The Hurricane Wars

The Hurricane Wars

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

Star Wars mixed with Shadow and bone and a touch of Throne of Glass

The perfect mix of magic, politics and romance!

Was this review helpful?

The Hurricane wars by Thea Guanzon, a fun read that makes you want the sequel NOW! I really enjoyed the magic system and think this book will do well.

Was this review helpful?

If you are looking for a true enemies-to-lovers romance fantasy, look no further. You've found it. The Hurricane Wars was probably my most anticipated read of 2023. It didn't disappoint.

The chemistry between Alaric and Talasyn is electric. You can feel their energy as they revolve around each other. They wage against their hatred and attraction in perfect balance.

Like most fantasy, it takes about 50 pages to make it past the plot setup, worldbuilding, and magic setup to the meat of the tale. The magic system is fascinating, well-described, and easy to visualize. The politics are intriguing, tantalizingly leaving room for exploration in the sequels.

My one criticism: I desperately wish we got to see more of the MMC and FMC's dynamics with their friends and especially their families. This aspect seemed pushed aside to spotlight their dynamic.

The Hurricane Wars was an all-together thrilling read. I await the sequel with bated breath.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with this ARC. This review contains my honest thoughts and opinions.

Was this review helpful?

This book, without a doubt, has the best enemies-to-lovers relationship I have ever seen in any book. The development of Talasyn and Alaric's relationship was done perfectly, and was extremely believable. It's definitely a slow-burn, but it's absolutely perfect in the context of what is going on around them.
The first part of the book is a little slow and confusing; I was prepared to give this a 3 or 4 star rating. However, it really started to pick up. I enjoyed the politics, especially Talasyn's connection to Nenavar, as well as how that connection was revealed. I'm still a little confused on the intricacies of the magic system; I think this is something that could have been explained a little better at the beginning of the book.
The romance completely made up for any shortcomings in the world-building. I think the set-up was absolutely genius.

Was this review helpful?

Do you know the feeling when you read a book and get upset that you started it when the next book in the series isn't out yet to fill that void? This one is that book for me right now. ( And it's not even technically out yet). The Hurricane Wars mixes slow-burn romance, magical tension, and political intrigue. This is a genuinely remarkable fantasy romance filled with drama, intrigue, and enough enemies to lovers passion to make you kick your feet. This book was recommended to me as the romantasy baby of RF Kuang and Sarah J. Maas, and oh baby, is it ever? Guanzon beautifully mixes environment and characters to create two well-built tangible narrators who, despite their reluctance toward each other, are absolutely secretly, accidentally in love. I am thoroughly excited to see what is in store for this series, and I absolutely cannot wait for release day.

Was this review helpful?

Lethally sharp in both its cunning political intrigue and exquisite prose, THE HURRICANE WARS is a strategic marvel that holds your heart in a death grip. Romantic fantasy at its very best.

Was this review helpful?

I really enjoyed this! I have to admit, I looked on Goodreads/at other reviews before reading the novel just because I knew literally zero about this author or this work and a lot of people are super excited for this to come out which is great! I guess there must be some existing excitement about this author or what the book is about? I'm not quite sure. I did really enjoy it though. The world-building was great and the magic system had familiar pieces but was overarchingly a pretty unique idea. I liked the characters a lot and the way their magic meshed together, and how Talsyn is a lost princess determined to stand against the Night Empire. Thrown together with Alaric, she has to find a way to save her family and friends safe while navigating being the perfect heir. This was a fun, well-written fantasy romance that a lot of people are excited for! I think they're really going to love it--I had a lot of fun, and I'm really excited for my library to get physical copies of this, the cover is absolutely gorgeous!

Was this review helpful?

I received an advance copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Okay, let's get it out of the way: this originally was in the world as Landscape with a Blur of Conquerors, a Rey-Kylo Ren fanfic that even Tor Publishing's blog listed as "one of the things that brought us joy in 2018", a meticulously-researched enemies to lovers epic. I am a Reylo trash person, and I admit that. When I heard the author had gotten a book deal because of the book, I was excited for her (especially as a Southeast Asian debut fantasy author!) but was worried it would be a very shallow makeover, one where I could still easily pick out all the supporting characters, just with new names.

I am happy to say that it's not-- this is a fun, well-done novel, with an original magic system, and a world that's unlike many I've read (and seriously I read too much new adult fantasy romance). Talasyn is a foot soldier on the losing side of a war against an empire, and Alaric is the chosen heir to the Night Emperor. When they meet in battle, their powers blur in an unexpected fashion, one they don't have the time or inclination to explore. As Talsyn's side is on the run, she finds out that her heritage isn't of the streets, but rather that of a lost princess, the heir to the lone throne that stands against the Night Empire, and she leverages that knowledge in order to save the country that raised her and the army that became her family. In exchange, she promises to become the perfect heir, willing to do whatever it takes to keep her found family and friends safe.

But she never expected to be bound by political machinations to Alaric, pledged to becoming the Empress, as well as training to become her grandmother's heir. While Talasyn and Alaric are navigating their betrothal, her grandmother reveals a secret, one that could end everything they know.

Yes, clearly, we know who they're both supposed to be. But the work that Guanzon puts in to expand, reimagine, and develop the world is wonderful, and I'm excited to recommend this to other fantasy romance readers. This might not be the book I pick to introduce someone to the genre, but if you're feeling like you've read all the good stuff, this is going to be a delight.

My one drawback is that this ends on a complete cliffhanger and I am going to be so impatient until the next book.

Was this review helpful?

ARC provided by Publisher in exchange for an honest review.

"You could have killed us both!"
"Given our respective objectives, it would probably save a lot of time if we died together,"

I would like to thank Harper Voyager, NetGalley and the author for sending me a copy of this ARC. When I tell you this was my most anticipated book of the year, I am not exaggerating. I might have even emailed the publisher with my updated stats several times in hopes of getting a copy. If the recipient is seeing this, I'm so sorry, but also it was so worth it.

Southeast Asian fantasy, Enemies to Lovers and a Political Marriage? What's not to love.

The Hurricane Wars is easily the most showstopping Fantasy of the year and it lived up to all of the hype building around it. With its luscious worldbuilding, witty banter, sexual tension that leaves you breathless and characters that you are sad to say goodbye to, I have no doubt this book will be beloved by all. By the second chapter I was ready to demand an on screen adaption. It's slowburn in the best way and it drags you along, begging you for more. And the catalyst... boy was it a catalyst. I will never look at the phrase "My wife" in the same way again.

Throughout the story we circle around the common theme of discovering your true self, your capabilities and where you belong. Seeing Tala find her family and come to terms with it not being exactly what she had hoped for, was a whirlwind in its own right. On one side of her relationships we see her father, who is a reminder of just how strong a parents love should be. Their scenes made me teary eyed on several occasions and I am happy I read this digitally because there would've been several tearstained pages. On the other side of the coin, Tala had to learn that just because they are your family, doesn't mean you can always trust them.

For Alaric and Tala, the end of book one can be perfectly summed up by one of my favorite quotes.
"You have to learn the rules of the game, and then you have to play better than anyone else." -Albert Einstein

This was a beautiful debut for Thea Guanzon, and nothing was more heartbreaking than realizing that in my luck of being given the chance to read this book early, I now have that much longer to see Alaric and Tala's story continue.

I love them. I love this book. I love this author. If you haven't preordered yet, what are you waiting for? Brava.

Was this review helpful?

WOW.

From the cover to the last page, this book was SO well done. The eye-catching cover and intriguing blurb are sure to attract many readers and the story inside won't let them down.

This is one of the best romances I've ever read and I hope this book achieves the level of success it absolutely deserves. Wonderful world-building, characters, and dialogue make this a book not to be missed.

Thank you SO much for letting me be an ARC reader. I am happy to be an ARC reader for anything this author writes in the future.

Was this review helpful?

Thanks Harper Voyager/Netgalley for the eARC!

Oh, boy. Admittedly, this book was not on my radar until several of my colleagues recommended and raved about it... but it seems like whatever they thought of this, I'm thinking the opposite. This novel shines with its writting and pacing, but ends there. For me, that's not enough to carry a work. I need good character work and worldbuilding--and that's where THE HURRICANE WARS falls on its face. I need to FEEL something when I'm reading... and this book was not it.

Was this review helpful?

I struggled with this book. On one hand, it is well-written, tightly-paced, and deals with several deep themes, but those elements cannot carry a book on their own without compelling characters, a strong voice, and a well-thought out world, none of which this book has, unfortunately. The writing is also really dry. Everything is presented in a cold, matter-of-fact manner that feels like reading a non-fiction book.

Was this review helpful?

Thank you to NetGalley and Harper Voyager for the ARC in exchange for an honest review

CW: parental abandonment, violence, war themes

I would recommend if you're looking for (SPOILERS)

-m/f fantasy
-enemies to lovers
-marriage of convenience
-royal romance
-I hate how attracted to you I am
-stabbing you is my love language
-so much sexual tension

I had been seeing this one hyped so of course I threw out all the other ARCs I should be reading soon and dove into this one that isn't coming out for a bit. And loved it.

The world building was so interesting, inspired by the author's life growing up in the Philippines. A bit of magic, storms, and a secret identity Talaysn is an orphan just trying to stay alive. She clashes with the heir to the waring nation, Prince Alaric setting the story forward. I loved that this was a ReyLo fic, picking up on the easter eggs was fun but it was also incredibly original as well.

But the standout to me was the slow burning romance between Alaric and Talasyn as they forced into an engagement and a marriage of convince, working together to learn more about her secret magical powers. Sworn enemies but with so much sexual tension, every scene between them is a dance of frustration. If you're looking for a true enemies to lovers where they are fighting at odds but also just brimming with just kiss already energy, this is the book for you.

I am feral to find out what happens next between these two in the next book.

Steam: 2.5

Was this review helpful?

Absolutely one of the best reads of the year. The world building and character development was phenomenal. The book truly holds everything: political intrigue, romance (with ALLLLLL the tropes), An amazingly rich Filipino based, well developed world, PROSE, and it is impossible to put down.

Was this review helpful?

The Hurricane Wars by Thea Guanzon is perfect. PERFECT. Enemies to lovers! Marriage of convenience! Magical shenanigans! It’s literally the perfect storm (get it?)!

Before we go any further, full disclosure: I read the original iteration of this book. Landscape With a Blur of Conquerors was by far the best piece of fanfiction I had ever read and I still count it in my top 5 books I’ve ever read. I went into this book with high hopes and expectations and Thea did not let me down.

The world building for this novel was absolutely masterful. Thea has a way of describing even the most minute details and making them feel important. The world is rich and beautiful and perfectly woven. The magic system is unique and intriguing. It reminds me vaguely of Avatar the Last Airbender, and I was not mad about it. The pace of the book was perfect. Time passed noticeably, but did not drag and did not feel like we were skipping anything important. The plot itself was the enemies to lovers marriage of convenience of my dreams. While it does boast familiar themes and scenes, the new material and plot lines made it so compelling that I found myself enthralled.

As a friend put it, of all the Reylo rewrites I’ve read so far, this one does the best job of setting the characters apart from their Star Wars counterparts. Alaric and Talasyn feel like their own characters, not like Kylo Ren and Rey. In fact, on my inner mind theatre I didn’t even fancast them. I envisioned completely different people. Don’t let the fact it’s a former Reylo dissuade you. This book can definitely stand on its own.

Talasyn and Alaric have such good chemistry!! The constant pull of will they/won’t they was just so enjoyable to read. They both come from unhappy childhoods and both fight in the Hurricane Wars for their own reasons and while they are worlds apart they also feel that connection between them. Talasyn growing up as an orphan definitely impacts how she moves about her new life as the Nenavarene Lachis-ka. She is fierce, stubborn and compassionate to a fault. Alaric, the sole heir of the Night Empire, by contrast, moves about his world expecting it to fall to him. He is brutal, cunning and intelligent. It was so satisfying to see Alaric’s guard being let down with Talasyn, just as it was so good to watch Talasyn soften towards him. ‘Hate is just another kind of passion.’ And boy howdy, do those two have all types of passion in spades.

Seriously, if you want the chefs kiss of fantasy romance novels you want to read this book. It is the crown jewel of this years debuts.

Thanks so SO much to NetGalley, HarperVoyager US and HarperCollins Canada for providing me with an ARC in exchange for my honest review.

Was this review helpful?

Filipeno author Thea Guanzon has written a wonderful debut, in The Hurricane Wars, the first book in the trilogy. Romance, wars, and saving all who you hold dear - what wouldn't you do to have it all? While these may be common themes in fantasy romances, Guanzon writes with a bright new light and energy prevailing in the entire story. This story is colorful and breathes new dreams into the reader. Highly giving it five of five stars.

Was this review helpful?

The Hurricane Wars by Thea Guanzon is a spellbinding debut novel in a fantasy romance trilogy set in a Southeast Asia-inspired world that has been ravaged by storms. Talasyn, an orphan, has grown up amidst the Hurricane Wars, in a nation that has been under siege by the ruthless Night Emperor. She hides a deadly secret that she possesses light magic, which is believed to have been wiped out years ago, and can cut through the Night Empire's shadows. Meanwhile, Prince Alaric, the emperor's only son and heir, has been tasked with destroying any threats to the Night Empire's rule with his armies and mighty shadow magic. He discovers the greatest threat in Talasyn, who possesses the magic that killed his grandfather, turned his father into a monster, and ignited the Hurricane Wars. In a clash of light and dark, their powers merge and create a force unlike anything seen before.

The novel is a tale of bitter enemies with opposing magical abilities, whose fates are swept together. The story is brimming with unforgettable characters, sizzling enemies-to-lovers romance, and richly drawn worlds. The author's intricate world-building, unique magic, and a gleeful, smoldering romance will keep readers hooked until the very end.

Overall, The Hurricane Wars is an exquisite fantasy novel that marks the breathtaking debut of an extraordinary new writer. Fans of Sarah J. Maas and R. F. Kuang will find themselves immersed in the world created by Thea Guanzon, and eagerly awaiting the next installment in the trilogy.

Was this review helpful?