Book Review | Dark Skies

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Dark Skies (Dark Shores #2) by Danielle L. Jensen

Published May 5, 2020

4.5/5 stars

I received a free copy of this ebook in exchange for an open and honest review

Another gorgeously written and beautifully told story by Danielle L. Jensen in this fantastical world. This book finds its voice through Lydia (who we met briefly in Dark Shores) and Killian (who you will not regret meeting in this book <3). If you enjoyed Dark Shores, you will adore the continuation of this story from this varying POV.

(Goodreads synopsis):

“A RUNAWAY WITH A HIDDEN PAST
Lydia is a scholar, but books are her downfall when she meddles in the plots of the most powerful man in the Celendor Empire. Her life in danger, she flees west to the far side of the Endless Seas and finds herself entangled in a foreign war where her burgeoning powers are sought by both sides.

A COMMANDER IN DISGRACE
Killian is Marked by the God of War, but his gifts fail him when the realm under the dominion of the Corrupter invades Mudamora. Disgraced, he swears his sword to the kingdom’s only hope: the crown princess. But the choice sees him caught up in a web of political intrigue that will put his oath – and his heart – to the test.

A KINGDOM UNDER SIEGE
With Mudamora falling beneath the armies of the Corrupter, Lydia and Killian strike a bargain to save those they love most—but it is a bargain with unintended and disastrous consequences. Truths are revealed, birthrights claimed, and loyalties questioned—all while a menace deadlier and more far-reaching than they realize sweeps across the world.

What I liked

Speaking of POV, I really enjoyed how Jensen chose to tell this story. Instead of cramming all POVs into one novel, she chose to alternate between the novels themselves. I mentioned her being a “smart” writer in my review of Dark Shores, and I feel this is further evidence to that statement. I was allowed to immerse myself into a singular storyline for the length of each novel. And Storyline it is! Wow! So much action and angst and all the romance-y drama you could possibly want! Not to even mention how masterful Jensen is at spinning a twisty tale of intrigue. Once again, I had no idea what to expect, and poor Danielle had to endure me messaging her on IG to scream about the turns I did NOT SEE COMING!

Jensen has officially secured me as a fan … I will be pre-ordering the next book in this series, Gilded Serpent as soon as it is available (scheduled to release March 23, 2021). I even went out and purchased the first two books in her The Bridge Kingdom series because I cannot get enough of her writing, worlds, romance and political intrigue!

What I Did Not Like

This book was not my favorite of the two books so far … which is not to say that it wasn’t still and incredibly enjoyable adventure. This book had a bit of a lag in the middle that the first book didn’t have, and I just found myself connecting to it a little less. However, this is still an incredible read and I cannot wait for the rest of the series!

In Conclusion 

This series is fast paced and enjoyable. I would recommend it to everyone.

 

Book Review | Dark Shores

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Dark Shores (Dark Shores #1) by Danielle L. Jensen

Hardcover, 368 pages

Published May 7th 2019

5/5 stars

This book though!! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Which is to say … I enjoyed this read immensely so. In fact, I immediately purchased a hardback copy of this book and the soon to release Dark Skies upon finishing. It’s that good.

The Story

I will only tell you that this story is not the one about pirates that perhaps you think it is … but that doesn’t make it any less brilliant and enjoyable!

(Goodreads synopsis):

High seas adventure, blackmail, and meddling gods meet in Dark Shores, the first novel in a new YA fantasy series.

In a world divided by meddlesome gods and treacherous oceans, only the Maarin possess the knowledge to cross the Endless Seas. But they have one mandate: East must never meet West.

A SAILOR WITH A WILL OF IRON

Teriana is the second mate of the Quincense and heir to the Maarin Triumvirate. Her people are born of the seas and the keepers of its secrets, but when her closest friend is forced into an unwanted betrothal, Teriana breaks her people’s mandate so her friend might escape—a choice with devastating consequences.

A SOLDIER WITH A SECRET

Marcus is the commander of the Thirty-Seventh, the notorious legion that has led the Celendor Empire to conquer the entire East. The legion is his family, but even they don’t know the truth he’s been hiding since childhood. It’s a secret he’ll do anything to protect, no matter how much it costs him – and the world.

A DANGEROUS QUEST

When an Empire senator discovers the existence of the Dark Shores, he captures Teriana’s crew and threatens to reveal Marcus’s secret unless they sail in pursuit of conquest, forcing the two into an unlikely—and unwilling—alliance. They unite for the sake of their families, but both must decide how far they are willing to go, and how much they are willing to sacrifice.

What I liked

The writing is extremely smart. I never knew where it was going, but it all made perfect sense along the way. The politics play such an important role in this world and are extremely intricate. The story-line is detailed, easy to follow and gloriously twisty. The romance is believable and beautiful … omg my heart!!! The characters are flawed and complex, with backstories and beliefs that are interwoven throughout to make everyone feel very “real”. The magic system was easy to understand (and gets explained more in book 2). I loved it all!

In Conclusion 

This book was a delight from the very moment I picked it up. I recommend it to anyone and everyone looking for a fast paced, fun read and world!