Thank you to Tor Teen (Macmillan-Tom Doherty Associates) and NetGalley for providing me with an e-ARC to read and review.
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Series: Dark Shores, book 1
Rating: 5 out of 5
Recommend to Others?: Yes
Summary (via NetGalley):
High seas adventure, blackmail, and meddling gods meet in Dark Shores, a thrilling first novel in a fast-paced new YA fantasy series by USA Today bestselling author Danielle L. Jensen.
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 PIRATE 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
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.
I can only describe this story as brilliant. Let me explain and I will do my best not ramble in the feels.
Dark Shores had me on the edge of my seat. I loved every moment of it despite being so angry (stories involving conquest usually do) at certain characters who were awful and did horrid things.
I loved the Roman vibe and makeup to the setting. The whole world-building is just so interesting and fascinating. Roman-like warriors meets seafaring merchant folk. Genius. Gods and goddesses. Magic and wonder. Yes, please!
Once they set sail things just took off and epicness unfolded. I didn’t know how the story would go, how it would end, who would come out on top. Everything seemed stacked against Teriana (MC). There were surprises at every turn, emphasized by detailed action and engaging character interactions. The characters were well-crafted: some loveable, some honorable, and some sinister.
I loved that not everything was resolved in this first book. This was a fantastic start to what I’m sure will be an epic series. I can’t wait to read more from this author!