(Website, Twitter, Goodreads)Also by this author: Warrior Witch
Published by Tom Doherty Associates on May 7th 2019
Genres: Action & Adventure, Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction
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 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.
Dark Shores by Danielle L. Jensen is the first book in the Dark Shores series, and I have to tell you, I already can’t wait for the next book in this series.
Teriana is a Maarin and a pirate aboard her mother’s ship…second in command to be exact. Traveling the world with her family, she and her people hold a lot of secrets. Specifically, those that would put the rest of the world in danger from the Celendor Empire. When Teriana finds herself in a situation where she believes her best friend has betrayed her and now, she has to decide whether to give up her family or give up those on the Dark Shore, she decides her family is more important.
I loved Teriana. She was in a horrible situation where there wasn’t really a good decision no matter what she decided. Despite her circumstance, she stood by her decision and did whatever she could do to thwart the path forward for Marcus and his legion. With that said, she couldn’t help to be drawn to Marcus and even make friends of the soldiers around her as she spent so much time with them. In the long run, this opens up the door for some heartbreak though as she is keeping some secrets right alongside Marcus.
Marcus is the commander of the most notorious Thirty-Seventh, a legion within the Celendor Empire. He definitely has not had an easy life and his circumstances clearly dictate his life. He may have power and strength with his legion but in the end, he is a tool for the empire and unless he wants his men/friends to suffer, he will follow through with what the empire tells him. His current situation means that he has to force Teriana to give him what he needs (information) so he can accomplish his mission no matter what he really wants. As he and Teriana become closer, they learn more about each other and that only makes things more difficult. I loved how as the story progressed, there were more layers to Marcus and we find out he isn’t necessarily everything the empire wants you to think he is.
I expect the secrets that Marcus and Teriana are keeping are really what is going to get them in trouble soon. I kind of wished that the connection between what happened to Lydia and Teriana’s current situation with Marcus had been exposed as well as Marcus’ role in the whole thing. I am bracing myself for that to come…hopefully in the next book. With that said, the romance bit is done well. Both of these characters are aware of the limitations of any relationship they currently have and despite that, they still have a connection and I can’t wait to see what happens next for them as they have some pretty big obstacles headed their way.
The guy who is pulling all the strings, (i.e. the bad guy) is really trying to grab as much power as he can and that includes in another part of the world. He is definitely not likable and while he appears to be biding his time on some things, he isn’t afraid to threaten and blackmail anyone to get what he wants.
The secondary characters are well done too. I thought Teriana’s mother, aunt, and friends were developed enough to support the story and they all had a purpose. Whether it be to add context to the repercussions of decisions Teriana made or provide guidance on figuring out a solution. Lydia has a pivotal role in the story, but I did want to know more about what happens with her as it felt a bit abrupt. I hope we get more of that storyline in a future book.
Overall, I enjoyed this first book in the series very much and I thought Jensen did a great job creating the world these characters inhabit. The action is almost non-stop in this book and it includes epic battles, dangerous voyages, and gods that might have an agenda. Layer all of that with some romancey parts and some great characters and I’m in! I’m really looking forward to the next book in this series and encourage you to pick this up when you can.
Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for the early copy in exchange for an honest review!