After the long Great War leaves behind a shattered Europe without an entire generation of men, Great Britain permits women to serve their country as soldiers, sailors and especially pilots.
It’s the spring of 1940 and Briley Bannatyne envies her older brother Mackinley. He’s about to embark on a grand adventure, training to become a pilot officer in Britain’s Royal Air Militia. Second born and a girl, Briley’s stuck home repairing farm tractors and plows in the family’s machine shop.
Tragedy suddenly strikes. Badly hurt, Mackinley convinces Briley to take his place in the Air Militia. Training is harsh, nothing like the lark she always imagined. Briley is taunted by privileged sons of lords and tangles with dangerous sky pirates. Kendrick is one of these marauders, captured after Briley shoots him out of the sky. Brash, charismatic and mysterious, Kendrick becomes her unexpected friend and ally. Can she trust the pirate … or is he a spy?
A terrifying new enemy emerges, conquering much of Europe before turning its sights on Britain. All that stands between the unstoppable Black Legion and invasion is Briley and a handful of brave pilots. With its historical twists, surprising romance and heartfelt tragedy, DARKEST HOUR is the first of a series of truly unique and epic adventures.
ABNA Publisher’s Weekly Review
Briley McKynsie Bannatyne is a compelling young heroine. After their father, a fighter pilot, is killed, Briley and her brother Mackinley help to support their family by delivering the post by air and running a machine shop. When Mackinley is crippled in an accident, Briley assumes his place in the militia, and becomes an ace fighter pilot. … The book is set in a world that is recognizably Britain just before World War II, but there are some interesting variations. Due to the shortage of pilots, women are allowed to fly, serve as officers, and command men. Here, the Axis powers appear as The Legion. And Briley belongs to a modernist religion, the Technicals, which embraces social progress … the richness of the novel’s imagined world and the rendering of flight scenes are superb. Beyond this, Briley is a complex and admirable model of young womanhood, strong, accomplished, and heroic, but also compassionate and human.
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