From Ilongga to New York Times Bestselling Novelist

Thea Guanzon, author of the bestselling fantasy novel, ‘The Hurricane Wars.’ CONTRIBUTED PHOTO
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AS light and darkness clash in a world ravaged by storms, two bitter enemies join hands in a volatile alliance — only to learn that war is nothing compared to the hidden battlefields of the heart.

“The Hurricane Wars,” the debut romance fantasy novel by 34-year-old Pinay author Thea Guanzon, has taken the literary world by storm since its release late last year in the US. Published by Harper Voyager, a subsidiary of HarperCollins, the novel has already earned a coveted spot on the New York Times Bestsellers’ list and Barnes and Noble’s Best Books of 2023. In just one week, it soared to number five on the Sunday Times bestseller list. Recognizing its popularity, USA Today also listed it as a bestseller, while Waterstones and Indigo selected it as one of the year’s best fantasy books.

Hailing from Bacolod and armed with a degree in International Studies from Miriam College, Guanzon had initially planned to pursue a master’s degree and become a Foreign Service officer. However, fate intervened when an American editor from a major publishing house reached out to her via email. Intrigued by her short stories published online, the editor proposed the idea of writing an original novel, setting Guanzon on what she describes as “a wild ride.”

“The Hurricane Wars” follows the journey of Talasyn, a secret wielder of forbidden light magic, and Prince Alaric, an heir to the ruthless Night Empire. As they discover their intertwined destinies, Talasyn and Alaric realize that their war can only end with them. Yet, a greater threat looms, and their newfound ability to create magic together may be the key to overcoming it. Forced into an uneasy alliance, they must confront the secrets at the heart of the war and find in each other a searing passion that could either save or destroy their world.

Guanzon’s love for books dates back to her childhood. She fondly recalls visiting her grandfather’s ancestral house, which housed a vast library, and spending weekends immersed in the world of literature. The fragile pages, the scent of dusty books, and the ability to get lost in other worlds left an indelible impression on her. Inspired by her early experiences, Guanzon embarked on a journey to create her own worlds and play with language to express her imagination.

One of her earliest influences was English author Neil Gaiman, whose contemporary language and poetic prose captivated her. She also found inspiration in the lyrical and atmospheric descriptions of Gregory Maguire and the delicate and vivid language of Amy Tan. Through exploring the styles of these writers, Guanzon stumbled upon her own unique voice.

Guanzon’s academic background in peace studies and international politics influenced the writing of “The Hurricane Wars.” Drawing from her experiences in the Philippines, where frequent typhoons prompt ongoing conversations about mitigating their effects, Guanzon wove storm magic into her story. She crafted narratives that revolve around people coming together to help one another in the aftermath of storms, drawing inspiration from the nation’s history of resilience and unity.

“The Hurricane Wars” is not just a captivating romance fantasy novel; it is a testament to the power of storytelling and the ability of literature to transport readers to new worlds. Thea Guanzon’s debut work has captured the hearts and imaginations of readers worldwide, earning her a well-deserved place among the literary greats. As the first part of this thrilling tale unfolds, readers eagerly await the second installment, hungry for more of Guanzon’s enchanting storytelling and vivid imagination.

In conclusion, “The Hurricane Wars” is a must-read for fans of romance, fantasy, and captivating storytelling. Thea Guanzon’s unique voice and ability to create immersive worlds make this debut novel a standout in the literary landscape. Whether you’re a fan of the genre or simply looking for an engaging read, “The Hurricane Wars” promises to deliver an unforgettable experience.

Source: The Manila Times

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