Review: The Hurricane Wars by Thea Guanzon


All Talasyn has ever known is the Hurricane Wars. Growing up an orphan in a nation under siege by the ruthless Night Emperor, Talasyn has 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 forged into a weapon by his father. Tasked with obliterating any threats to the Night Empire’s rule with the strength of his armies and mighty Shadow magic, Alaric has never been bested. That is until he sees Talasyn burning brightly on the battlefield with 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 the likes of which has never been seen.

Talasyn and Alaric both know this war can only end with them. But a greater threat is coming, and the strange new magic they can create together could be the only way to overcome it. Thrust into an uneasy alliance, they will confront the secrets at the heart of the war and find, in each other, a searing passion–one that could save their world…or destroy it.


The first installment of Thea Guanzon’s captivating fantasy romance series, The Hurricane Wars, is a great beginning that holds immense potential. Thea’s writing style is truly exquisite, and the world building impeccable. The author’s vivid descriptions of Sardovia and Nenavar Dominion brought these locations to life, with meticulous attention to detail that effectively captured the contrasting atmospheres of each place. Also, character creation in the the story is truly commendable.

The initial half of The Hurricane Wars set an exhilarating pace, immersing me in a thrilling narrative filled with suspense, captivating discoveries, and the introduction of intriguing characters. However, the latter half of the book fell short in comparison, as it primarily focused on the relationship between Alaric and Talasyn, neglecting any significant plot advancement. Consequently, this shift in focus was disappointing and hindered the overall progression of the story. Ultimately, my disappointment grew as I reached the end of the book, where three lengthy chapters were dedicated solely to the wedding ceremony. The inclusion of minute, overly detailed descriptions from Alaric’s perspective regarding Talasyn’s wedding gown felt peculiar and surreal, creating an out-of-place paragraph that detracted from the overall experience. It seemed like Alaric possessed not only renowned skills as a warrior but also an unexpectedly extensive knowledge of fashion as well. lol!

The author skillfully crafted engaging conversations and character interactions, particularly capturing the enjoyable dynamic of constant bickering between Alaric and Talasyn. However, one notable flaw emerged in the second half of the book, where the POVs frequently shifted between Alaric and Talasyn without clear transitions, leaving me disoriented. Unlike the first half of the book, where dedicated chapters allowed the story to flow smoothly by focusing on either Alaric or Talasyn, the handling of POVs in the latter half was a chaotic mess.

Another aspect of The Hurricane Wars that left me disappointed was the portrayal of its magic system. Initially, my expectations were high, as the author had boasted about the existence of various magic wielders who could tap into the aethersphere, such as Firedancers, Shadowforged, Windcallers, Thunderstruck, Enchanters, and Lightweavers. However, throughout the book, we only got a glimpse of Shadowforged magic. The absence of Lightweavers was understandable as Talasyn was the last of them but the absence of the other magic wielders left me perplexed and wondering why they were not explored further in the story.

Although I found great enjoyment in the court politics and political marriage negotiations within Nenavar Dominion, I must admit that I struggled to grasp the exact nature of Sardovia’s political structure. It remained unclear whether Sardovia operated as a stratocracy or followed a different system altogether. The role of Amirante, Vela, was particularly puzzling. It was unclear whether she held authority solely within the Sardovian military or if she also ruled over the entire country.

The plot of the story could be described as somewhat shaky and lacking solidity. The necessity of a marriage between Kesath and Nenavar Dominion for the advancement of their military campaign seemed questionable, particularly evident in the final chapter of the book. Additionally, the supposed looming danger of Voidfell failed to effectively instill a sense of imminent peril, leaving me unaffected by the anticipated threat.

I really appreciated Thea’s decision not to label the connection between Talasyn and Alaric as “love,” allowing their relationship the opportunity to develop organically. It was evident that their interactions didn’t fit into the traditional romantic category, as both characters were navigating the complexities of shedding their preconceived notions and truly seeing each other as individuals. Their uncertainty and back-and-forth in figuring out how to navigate their growing attraction demonstrated a realistic portrayal of their evolving bond, which I found to be a noteworthy aspect of the story.

All in all, I really enjoyed The Hurricane Wars for the most part. I believe that for future installments in the series to achieve greater success, it would be beneficial for Thea to strike a better balance between focusing on the story and plot progression, rather than dedicating a significant portion of the book solely to the relationship between Alaric and Talasyn. By enhancing the narrative’s momentum and maintaining a more harmonious blend of elements, subsequent entries in The Hurricane Wars series have the potential to captivate readers and achieve even greater acclaim.

I have a personal practice of refraining from reading book reviews prior to delving into a new read, as I believe in cultivating my own unbiased perspective. However, as I progressed through The Hurricane Wars, I couldn’t shake off the feeling of familiarity surrounding Alaric. As an ardent fan of Star Wars, when Thea initially described him and The Night Empire, I thought to myself “Oh, she’s describing Kylo Ren!” Subsequently, upon completing the book, I ventured onto Goodreads and discovered that my intuition had indeed been correct all along. lol!!!!

My sincere thanks to Netgally, Avon and Harper Voyager and Thea Guanzon for providing me this advance copy of The Hurricane Wars.


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