Cover Image: The Hurricane Wars

The Hurricane Wars

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Member Reviews

4.5 stars

Holy moly this was amazing! The enemies aspect is *chefs kiss*. The passion of hate and the intrigue and the slow burn of it is all so incredible. I couldn’t put this book down! I don’t really want to give stuff away but there are tropes I had hoped for and was very happy to see happen!

Talasyn’s journey I am loving! I know she is going to keep being feisty and snarky. I loved her. Alaric has many layers and I can’t not wait to see how things play out for him.

This book had me on my seat’s edge and feeling all the feelings.

I’m very excited and anxious for what is to come in the next books!

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3/5 stars

This was just an okay read for me. I did enjoy the romance as I'm always a sucker for enemies to lovers. This took me forever to get through. I kept putting it down and picking it back up. I did find out that this was a Reylo fanfic which did put in some negative feelings for me as I'm not really a Star Wars fan. The writing was okay, but I just didn't connect completely with it. Overall this was again, very middle of the road. I would completely recommend this book though as I still had a great time.

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Thank you to NetGalley for the early copy! I listened to the audiobook via my local library and it was a great listen!! I highly recommend the audiobook. I also recommend you pay better attention than me. I was really invested in the romance as well as learning about the world and how the story was going to unfold. But I missed key details while listening that left me confused later in the story. Totally my fault! I think this could have been five stars had I listened better but I’m already planning to get a physical copy and reread.

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For me, this book was all about trusting the process. It really dives into the story right away. There are a ton of phrases and words that didn’t quite make sense at the beginning but you come to understand when you keep reading.

The story starts in war, as two sides are fighting in a 10 year long war. We meet our main characters - Tasalyn and Alaric. It then moves to the city of Nenavare where the story turns more political.

Tasalyn and Alaric are true enemies to kinda lovers. Their relationship development was a bit frustrating with one step forward and two steps back. I understood the reasoning but do wish there had been a bit more progress.

This book felt like it was a lot of set up for the next book(s) in the series. There was a lot of learning about the world and the characters and the histories.

I am looking forward to what comes next because we’re definitely left with a cliffhanger.

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𝐹𝒶𝓃𝓉𝒶𝓈𝓎 𝔹𝕠𝕠𝕜 ℝ𝕖𝕧𝕚𝕖𝕨:

𝙏𝙝𝙚 𝙃𝙪𝙧𝙧𝙞𝙘𝙖𝙣𝙚 𝙒𝙖𝙧𝙨
Book 1 The Hurricane Wars
by Thea Guanzon
480 Pages
Published October 3, 2023

Thank you @netgalley @harpervoyagerus & the author for the opportunity to read in exchange for my honest review.

With an average 4.2 out of 5 star rating on Amazon, I am shocked I do not see more posts about this fantasy/romantasy. If you enjoyed Fourth Wing or Divine Rivals, you will absolutely fall in love with The Hurricane Wars. I read this in late October, early November and it saved me from a reading slump - which I have lapsed into again, on and off. Please pick this book up if you enjoy romantasy.

The heart is a battlefield.

All Talasyn has ever known is the Hurricane Wars. Growing up an orphan in a nation under siege by the ruthless Night Emperor, she found her family among the soldiers who fight for freedom. But she is hiding a deadly secret: light magic courses through her veins, a blazing power believed to have been wiped out years ago that can cut through the Night Empire’s shadows.

Prince Alaric, the emperor’s only son and heir, has been tasked with obliterating any threats to the Night Empire’s rule with the strength of his armies and mighty shadow magic. He discovers the greatest threat yet in Talasyn: a girl burning brightly on the battlefield with the magic that killed his grandfather, turned his father into a monster, and ignited the Hurricane Wars. He tries to kill her, but in a clash of light and dark, their powers merge and create a force the likes of which has never been seen.

This war can only end with them. But an even greater danger is coming, and the strange magic they can create together could be the only way to overcome it. Talasyn and Alaric must decide… are they fated to join hands, or destroy each other?
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 4.5/5 stars for me

#romantasy #fantasy #debut #netgalley #bookreview #bookstagram #currentlyreading

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DNF at 30%. There was so much information dumping going on that it felt overwhelming. Too much intricacies in the world building, lore, and magic that it was too confusing to keep up with and made the story feel heavy and boring. Not to mention, the Reylo fanfic turned fantasy just didn't do it for me.

Thank you to Netgalley for providing me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

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I enjoyed this book. When I initially saw reviews adding this to the list of reylo fanfic I was a bit skeptical but the enemies to lovers troupe will get me every time. I will say the obvious trope usage and the close proximity to Star Wars almost made me put the book down but I extended grace as this is a debut author, Worth the read.

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I feel like this book started out fairly strong, then took a turn once it had grabbed my interest. So this rating is more like a 2.5.

I enjoyed reading about Talasyn as a warrior and later found the political machinations interesting. But I feel like she was later reduced to a shadow of who she started as.

The book also dragged in the middle for me. It took me a lot longer to read this than I anticipated.

I think another cause of this was how I felt about the romance. Not only did this strike me as more enemies-to-lust than enemies-to-lovers, but I couldn't understand why Talasyn would ever be drawn to the man who committed genocide with no remorse at any point during or after. And because he had no remorse, I could never sympathize with Alaric. It made no sense to me that she would be lusting after or feeling sympathy for the man who'd not only killed her people in general, but also people she loved. That's a huge dealbreaker, in my opinion.

I will not be continuing the series.

Thank you to NetGalley and Avon and Harper Voyager for an ARC in return for an honest review.

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Is this book worth the hype? Yes.
Is this the book I will forever measure the enemies to lover trope by? Absolutely! This squeal-inducing masterpiece gets enemies to lovers right because by the (spoiler free) end, these two still might kill each other despite the heat between them!
Did this book make me hungry as often as it made me want to try on beautiful clothing described in the pages or climb mountains and pick up sword training? 100% This book isn't just good lore and stunning world building on a beautiful landscape, it has all the minor details people tend to skip when crafting their world but with so much opulence you can't skim over those moment! This really does feel like a love letter to the author's culture as well as the fantasy enemies-to-love genre. This will be my top 2023 read hands down.

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As an orphan in the middle of the Hurricane Wars, all Talasyn has grown up in a nation constantly under threat, fighting off the attacks by the Night Emperor who seeks to colonize them. But she has a secret weapon – the ability to wield light magic, thought to be wiped out by the enemy armies – and it could be the power that turns the tables in this war. The Emperor’s only son, Prince Alaric, is a master in shadow magic and charged with wiping out any resistance to their rule. When he encounters Talasyn on the battlefield wielding light magic they clash, and their powers merging causes an odd phenomenon like never seen before. When some unexpected revelations follow, and they are informed of a greater threat to the land, Talasyn and Alaric know that this odd magic, whatever it is, is the only way to overcome this threat and end the war, and so they are forced to form an uneasy alliance and work together even as they keep dangerous secrets from each other.

Fantasy is my favorite genre to read, and I’ve had this on my TBR since sometime last year. So this is a very long overdue review, it should have been up last week, but I needed a break after reading this book to get my thoughts in order. I got this eARC several months go, but typical me, I left it to literally the last minute – this book is out tomorrow.

The author’s note at the beginning describing the inspiration behind the story was a very interesting read and I would suggest taking a moment to go through it.

The world building and magic system were fascinating, but the problem was the way it was presented. The author just threw everything at the reader with no time to process any of it, not to mention the lack of a map or glossary of any kind. In most fantasy novels, a map is kind of a bonus that adds to the world building, but here it was almost essential to have a map since the locations of these kingdoms and the magical sources, and the rather complicated geopolitics were all key to the plot.

A glossary or dramatis personae would have also helped greatly. I’m all for creative world building and lore, but it did get more than a little annoying when all the various concepts, the characters, and their complicated names and titles became hard to keep straight, much less remember – even worse when none of it was spaced out and instead info dumped in what was probably two chapters. Hopefully, the final version of the book includes one or both of these.

Things improved a lot plot wise in the second half, where court politics took center stage along with magical training and this was when I started to get properly invested in the story.

I found that patience is key when it comes to this book. The pacing is painfully slow at first and while it improves later on, it’s not by much. It opened with a battle scene, but after that it took forever to move from one plot point to the next. The timeline within the story also didn’t unfold consistently. I feel like there was just so much wasted page space and this book could have been significantly shorter.

The writing was pretty decent, though there were times when certain turns of phrase or plot points made me feel like I was reading fanfiction. It was very tropey – not necessarily a bad thing – but it did cause the story to drag at times.

Talasyn and Alaric were both very typical fantasy characters to the point that you could go down a checklist for each of them – strong female character, stubborn, orphan, miraculously turns out to be the lost princess of a kingdom, and the broody, tortured male character who turns out to be not so evil. They were likeable enough, but nothing about them really stood out to me at all, so on the whole, I was much more invested in the plot over the characters with this book.

The romance was a slow burn enemies to lovers (though there’s still a long way to go in that arc) which is one of my favorite tropes so I enjoyed the back and forth there and it should be interesting to see how this plays out.

This book did not end on the cliffhanger note that I expected. It was tense, certainly, but it was kind of abrupt and I thought Talasyn’s secret would atleast be revealed to wrap up this book. Still, while it did leave a lot unresolved, it ended on a promising note and I’m looking forward to seeing what happens next.

Overall, while The Hurricane Wars had a weak start, it managed to mostly bounce back and turned into an entertaining read. Despite all the complaining, I’m not quite sure why, but this book really worked for me and I will be picking up the sequel whenever it’s out. I would definitely recommend this book for fantasy fans.

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2.5 Stars

I enjoyed the plot and the fantasy world (great detail, exciting potential story lines); however, I found both Talasyn and Alaric underdeveloped and two-dimensional. Both needed more fleshing out in order to not be so flat and boring. They also felt a long younger than their actual ages.

I received an advanced copy through Netgalley in return for an honest review.

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This was an interesting book. I loved the world building and prose itself. That really carried the books. I thought the politics was well thought out and there was some compelling commentary. The magic system was AWESOME and one of the best parts of the book! even though the prose was very repetitive at times and the world building put too many unnecessary details, it was still GOOD and the better parts of the book.

However, after the 20% mark, the book really fell off for me. I almost dnfed at 60%. the dialogue and romance was so cringe and so forced, especially the "banter". It was like our MC switched to a different person in a bad way--the most stereotypical YA teen cringe cookie cutter protagonist when alaric comes onto page. and he was honestly pathetic and weird in his extremely colonial colonizer mindset. there was so much repetitive filler with them I was getting very frustrated. this started as fan fiction but remained as fan fiction in style in a bad way.
however after the 60% mark, things improved and something in my mind switched where I accepted this as fan fiction. i do wish the author would make alaric original in his description and stop describing him as adam driver which is so cringe and weird. and stop white washing talaysn in her physical description as reylo and keep her original.
the ending of the book was good and compelling and improved the rest of the book. the character arcs started to get interesting and im always good for angry sex scenes. this was entertaining enough for me to give 3.5 stars.

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This is one of those moments where the book is everywhere and I’m just not following the same current. I couldn’t for the life of me get into this one. To be honest, I don’t dislike it or anything, it just wasn’t working for me. I hope I can try it again in the future, maybe in audiobook. But thank you to the publisher for my e-arc!

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A huge thank you to HarperVoyager for gifting me not just the Netgalley e-arc, but also a finalized edition of The Hurricane Wars! This review is entirely my own thoughts and opinions, based off the gifted physical copy from HarperVoyager.

˗ˏˋ ★ ˎˊ˗˗ˏˋ ★ ˎˊ˗˗ˏˋ ★ ˎˊ˗

The Hurricane Wars is a tale of two enemies, forced to work together to rescue both their peoples from a danger greater than their own hatred of the other. A fantasy romance with enemies to almost lovers and the slowest of slow burns to ever slow burn. This should have been a home run 5 star for me since its all my favorite tropes and themes. But... let's just get into it.

RATINGS:
OVERALL: 3.5/5🌟
STORY: 3/5🌟
WRITING: 4/5🌟
CHARACTERS 4/5🌟
SPICE: 2/5🌶️
ENJOYMENT: 6/10🌟

˗ˏˋ ★ ˎˊ˗˗ˏˋ ★ ˎˊ˗˗ˏˋ ★ ˎˊ˗

STORY: Oh boy. Where to start? This story is absolutely nothing like I expected it to be. It starts out fantastically. We're in a war. We're seeing it from both Talasyn and Alaric's point of views. This is great. I'm enjoying this. Although def wondering how a romance is supposed to blossom between these two when it's clear Talasyn has a LOT of animosity built up against Alaric. But cool. That's fine. That's the fun of enemies to lovers!

Then the war ends. Which confuses me because I thought based off the title of the book that the whole of the story would revolve around them in The Hurricane Wars. But its not. The majority of the book is about Talasyn learning about herself, her family, her culture, and how to make a shield. While also staring at Alaric and mentally berating herself for thinking he's handsome. Over. and Over. and Over. There just... really wasn't much of a plot going in this book.

When the book ended, I was confused, wondering "that's... it??" It just felt incredibly underwhelming. The ending doesn't give me the desire to move on to the next book. It doesn't leave me with the desire to know more. It just falls flat.

WRITING: Thea's writing is gorgeous. She's got a beautiful flowing storyteller's voice that drips with wonderful dazzling descriptions that fully brings her magical world to life. I thoroughly enjoyed this world she's created. Can I tell it's Star Wars coded? Absolutely. Do I care? Nope. Everything from the cultures she's created based off her own to the way magic is handled in her world, it was all so lovingly sculpted that it was a pleasure to indulge in.

CHARACTERS: Individually, I loved the characters. Talasyn is a fantastic headstrong lead character with strong loyalties and sense of self. Outside of the romance plot, I really enjoyed her. She's got a great sassy mouth of her, her wit is clever, and she can bicker like a queen. Absolutely loved her.

Alaric was also great. Like Talasyn, he's incredibly quick witted and can banter like a pro. You can tell he's thoroughly brainwashed by his father but there's conflict within that he eventually needs to work out. Gives you hope that he'll eventually rise up to become one of the good guys.

But them together? At first it was great. Fantastic enemies to lovers banter. Heart pounding moments of bared teeth and heated glares with some thrilling sword fights mixed in. And slowly, they start to grow on the other. And then they remember 'that's the enemy' and shut down. Both of them do this. A lot. To a point that I started to stop caring that much about the relationship between Talasyn and Alaric cuz I knew what was going to happen. Sparks would fly, they'd touch or kiss or whatever and then suddenly Talasyn feels terribly guilty and like a traitor and all relationship development gets tossed out the window as she goes back to loathing Alaric's existence. It would happen every time like clockwork. And when it's STILL happening at 90% through the book... it gets old. While the series as a whole will be enemies to lovers, calling this book enemies to lovers is a stretch. More like enemies to arranged marriage.

Side character-wise, I loved them all. Talasyn's lady-in-waiting is adorable, her grandmother is more likable than I think she's supposed to be. Her dad is a dad, classically so. I loved the scenes where he shows up. Alaric's right hand man/best friend? is fantastic. I honestly didn't mind the fact that all of these characters really only showed up to push the plot along. They breathed fresh air into Talasyn and Alaric's excruciatingly slow burn.

SPICE: It spiced. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

ENJOYMENT: This book is 480ish pages. That should take me 2 days to read, especially since it's in my favorite genre with my favorite tropes. This took me a week to read. I could not get invested. Will I read the next book? Probably? I have a lot of questions that need answering, and I'm hoping the second book picks up and gives what this one failed to deliver.

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I'm obsessed and need the next book immediately. This narrative had the perfect balance of world building for me. It was a lot, but not too much to become dry or overwhelm the plot. This is enemies to lovers and the SLOWEST burn (I'm talking really slow). Because of that, I couldn't stop reading. I loved the banter between Talasyn and Alaric. Thank you Thea for this wonderful narrative, it was beautiful!

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- thank you to netgalley and the publisher for an arc to review!

- i tried to like this, but i couldn’t. Guanzon has a strong writing style, but the characters (which are based off of reylo) and the worldbuilding really didn’t help with my process of reading the book. plus, it’s a colonizer X colonized romance, which is a trend i really hate with a passion. why is this a thing???

- i don’t know if I’ll read any other works of the author, it depends on what’s coming after this series because I’m not coming back to this series ever again.

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*4.5 Stars**

THE HURRICANE WARS is a brilliantly conceived tale set in a fantastical world infused with magic, passion, politics, and very real-to-life struggles. Guanzon effortlessly weaves together all of the elements surrounding her characters with engaging and addictive prose.

As with any first book in a series, there was a lot of world-building, character introductions, and laying the stage for what is to come. However, it was done in a way that remained entertaining as well as informative. The careful construction of the various levels of magic and how it is developing in Talasyn and Alaric makes it all feel very real. This plays well off of the motives of certain characters, power plays, and hidden agendas throughout these pages. Everything melds together with the development of the characters through the various interactions and conversations. Simply perfection. There are big personalities in this book, and I am here for it. And then you have Talasyn and Alaric. The enemies-to-lovers angle is wonderfully coming to life, though I anticipate many more scenes with these two as they heat up the page only to shut it all down.

If it seems that I am gushing about this book, it is because I am. The writing was masterful. The storytelling was downright compelling. The pace was perfect as the tension slowly built. Guanzon has gifted her readers with a novel balancing action, fantasy, and romance. I didn’t know if I was a fan of Romantasy, but I do now. When an author does it this well, I love it! I cannot wait for what comes next for Talasyn and Alaric. It is going to be epic!

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4.5/5

Thanks to HarperVoyager and Netgalley for the ARC.

Enemies to lovers is my favorite trope and boy did I love it in this story. In so many other stories the "enemies" find common ground so fast and BAM in bed they go, but I so loved that these two truly struggled with even being in the same room and then with the growing feelings they have. I thought for sure by the end they would have discovered they both want much the same thing for their respective nations but now I really am not sure what's going to transpire in book 2 and I am so here for it. Gaheris has the potential to be a really good bad guy and I hope with the story shifting back to the continent that we get more with his character and really delve into his story and relationship with Alaric. Thoroughly enjoyed my time with this story.

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I am honestly at a loss for rating this book. There are so many tropes. There is so much world building. There is just a lot going on. I think the easiest thing to do is a pro/con list.

Pro:
Arranged Marriage Trope- This is a favorite of mine!
Romance in the back half of the book is gripping and kept me reading
Back half is fast paced and I didn't want to put it down

On the Fence
-Enemies to Lovers Trope when the MMC essentially destroyed the female main character's country. Can we really come back from that? Much like the FMC, I kept getting sucked in and getting mad at myself for it.

Cons:
- The pacing in the first half of the book is wonky. It is like the first two books of a series are consolidated. There are A LOT of settings. There is a confusing magic system. It's a lot to track.
- The FMC's backstory is convoluted. I don't understand so much of why decisions were made. The MMC agrees with me.
- Most of the background characters feel dimensional. They do not round out the world.
- Miscommunication trope for too long.

Will I read the next one? Yes. I was gripped enough by the second half.

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This book absolutely worked for me. The balance of romance and world building was *chefs kiss* and I loved the magic system.

This book was fast-paced and I am so glad it was dual POV. The FMC and MMC are enemies and have to get married for political reasons. They clash literally and figuratively but have to work together to figure out the strange new magic they can create together.

There is a bit of world building at the beginning but if you hang on the story is so worth the wait.

Thank you to Harper Voyager for the eARC. All thoughts are my own.

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