If you saw my March TBR, then you know that I’m trying to work on getting through all the ARCs that I have for books that are either coming out soon, or ones whose published date has come and gone and I had yet to read (and House of Earth and Blood, of course!) So today since I finally finished the arc I had for a book from May 2019, I’m sharing my review with you!
by Danielle L Jensen
Series: Dark Shores #1
Release date: May 7th 2019
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
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.
Firstly, this book was giving me so many different vibes – all the pirate bits felt like Pirates of the Caribbean (especially the part with the whirlpool) and the legions reminded me of Ancient Rome! I was really getting the West being more inspired by Ancient Rome, which makes sense as that is where the legions come from, and with the beach and the jungle that they land on in the East, (and the fact that I already had Pirates of the Caribbean stuck in my head) it reminded me a lot of the islands in the Caribbean.
Teriana was such a great character! She was tough and wasn’t afraid of speaking her mind and protecting her people, even if it meant she would be forsaken by them. But even though she is strong, we still see her struggle with taking on some of these new responsibilities and it makes her feel more like a real person with real struggles, rather than just a heroine who is great at everything. Marcus was also a great character, and while I hated what he stood for, his inner thoughts made you really root for him. Plus that love/hate relationship is just perfect!
There was a ton of great banter between not only Teriana and Marcus, but the side characters as well. We saw the personality of some of the more important side characters just as often as we did for the main characters, which is something that is sometimes glossed over in books. I especially loved Miki and Quintus, especially their relationship with each other! I was also surprised by how much I liked Servius, because I wasn’t expecting him to be so supportive of Marcus and his views on how to treat women was refreshing for a soldier in a legion known for being brutal.
As far as the plot goes, it was a lot of scheming and betrayal and there was never a dull moment! Both Teriana and Marcus are keeping so many secrets from each other and it’s clear that eventually those secrets will explode out and create a lot of trouble for them both. By the end of this book, there were definitely a bunch of unanswered questions and plot lines that seemed to just…disappear, but I have a feeling that we haven’t seen the last of Lydia. After all, we spent a lot of time talking about how she was probably from the Dark Shores and we have Magnius who could possibly save her…..(read the description of the second book!!!)
Overall, this was a great book and I’m excited to see where things go in the second book, which comes out May 5th 2020!