Dark Shores

Dark Shores

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 IRONTeriana is the second mate of the Quincense and heir...

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Title:Dark Shores
Author:Danielle L. Jensen
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Dark Shores Reviews

  • Helena of Sparta ✰

    According to the

    , we should expect:

    According to the

    , we should expect:

  • Melissa (The Reader & The Chef)

    Dark Shores might very well be one of my top favorite reads of 2019! I know it's a bit early to say that but this book is simply fantastic. Not only did I fall in love with a kick-ass heroine who is a PIRATE, but also with the world (and unexplored lands) that make up the Dark Shores.

    One question I always wonder about Fantasy books and I'm sure many readers are

    Dark Shores might very well be one of my top favorite reads of 2019! I know it's a bit early to say that but this book is simply fantastic. Not only did I fall in love with a kick-ass heroine who is a PIRATE, but also with the world (and unexplored lands) that make up the Dark Shores.

    One question I always wonder about Fantasy books and I'm sure many readers are curious about is this: does it have some form of magic? And the short answer is YES. Long answer: some characters in this world are marked by one of the six Gods whose presence are only known in the West, aka the Dark Shores. Those marked by one of the Gods get a certain type of ability in relation to the God/Goddess that marks them. However, the story starts off in the East, where the Cel empire with its power-hungry senators have conquered that part of the world and forbids any kind of belief. Our main character, Teriana, is a Maarin and while they DO believe in Gods, one of them even granting them passage to and from both worlds via Xenthiers (so cool, btw!) Teriana does not have any abilty (to be fair, she doesn't need them, she's that cool). We do get to meet several who do though, and this clash of worlds and systems will certainly build into an epic confrontation. That's why East must NOT meet West.

    I HAVE SEEN INTO THE FUTURE. And rest assured, it's going to be epic. The world will expand and there's a twist to the story that will just make this so much more complex and gaaaah, cannot say more. I hope the author doesn't kill me for saying it, LOL. BUT I LOVE THE DIRECTION IT IS GOING.

    Anyway, back to this book! When it comes to the romance, I have to say that I really really loved Teriana and Marcus together. Marcus is the type of character who is conflicted to follow orders and to protect his own (aka the the Thirty-Seventh legion under his command), and with Teriana now in the picture plus being on a quest to conquer a new "world", so many things will surely come between them. However, circumstances bring them together and they could honestly not be a better pair.

    Between the two main characters (this book has dual POVs), all my money is on my girl Teriana! She is fierce and loyal to a fault, which is what gets her and the Maarin into trouble. She will do ANYTHING for those she loves, and she's the type who won't go down without a fight.

    BUT LET ME SWOON ABOUT MY MIKI. Okay, so Miki is a legionnaire in the Thirty-Seventh legion and OMG, I loved his character so much!!! Him and Quintus are the perfect match, and I love my boys together as well as individually, they better have a HEA! I just love characters who are strong and pure, who know what to say to lift off tension, and they are just the kind of characters I would LOVE to meet if I had the chance. Ack, cannot wait to see them again soon! However, Miki might be my favorite character ever (besides Teriana of course). ♥♥♥

    Honestly, I don't feel like my words are enough to express my love for Dark Shores. I saw this book grow from amazing to epic, and I am truly excited to get a physical copy so I can hug it tight. I have already read it many times, but I want to read it once more in its final draft. I want to meet up again with Marcus and Teriana and jump aboard the Quincense with the beautiful Maarin and their secrets (Bait! ♥)! I want to see and read more about the mysterious lands found in the Dark Shores and its mythological system. And definitely get to read more about my Miki!

  • Danielle Jensen

    I can't wait for readers to dive into DARK SHORES. Here's a few things to expect!

    ~ A world inspired by Ancient Rome

    ~ LOTS of political intrigue

    ~ A villainous, power-hungry senator bent on conquest

    ~ Slow burn romance (as if I could write a book without kissing!)

    ~ Exciting sea voyages

    ~ Legions engaging in epic battles (on land)

    ~ Meddlesome gods

    ~ Friendship, both new and old

    ~ Family drama

    ~ A fierce heroine who says what she thinks and means what she says

    ~ A brilliant hero with far too many dangero

    I can't wait for readers to dive into DARK SHORES. Here's a few things to expect!

    ~ A world inspired by Ancient Rome

    ~ LOTS of political intrigue

    ~ A villainous, power-hungry senator bent on conquest

    ~ Slow burn romance (as if I could write a book without kissing!)

    ~ Exciting sea voyages

    ~ Legions engaging in epic battles (on land)

    ~ Meddlesome gods

    ~ Friendship, both new and old

    ~ Family drama

    ~ A fierce heroine who says what she thinks and means what she says

    ~ A brilliant hero with far too many dangerous secrets that are coming back to haunt him

    ~ A large cast of secondary characters who keep things from getting too serious

    Things you will NOT find in this book:

    ~ Scenes where actual piracy takes place. While some of the characters (including Teriana) are seafaring people, this novel is NOT about pirates capturing ships, etc. Some of the marketing decisions for this novel were made because the sea voyage aspects have echoes of Pirates of the Caribbean. Unfortunately, this has led many readers to believe that the novel is a swashbuckling tale of pirates, which is not the case.

    TW: Profanity, torture, violence, character deaths, some moderate sexual content

  • megs_bookrack

    In a world divided in two, East and West, where neither side knows the true existence of the other, one people, the Maarin, control the in-between.

    The Maarin are a seafaring people who recover lost and stolen goods and trade along the coasts. They are the only people living who not only know the existence of both East and West, they are also the only people who know how to navigate the savage seas between the two.

    Living under the mandate of,

    , all this goes astray when y

    In a world divided in two, East and West, where neither side knows the true existence of the other, one people, the Maarin, control the in-between.

    The Maarin are a seafaring people who recover lost and stolen goods and trade along the coasts. They are the only people living who not only know the existence of both East and West, they are also the only people who know how to navigate the savage seas between the two.

    Living under the mandate of,

    , all this goes astray when young Teriana, heir to the Maarin Triumvirate, exposes deeply held secrets to her dear friend, a part of the Celendor Empire, Lydia.

    Not pointing fingers but now higher-ups in the Celendor Empire have conquest on their mind and they will do whatever it takes to discover the route of the Dark Shores. Taking Maarin and her crew prisoner, she is forced to either show them the way or risk all of her people's lives.

    Strong armed by Marcus, Commander of the 37th, a legionnaire for the Celendor Empire, she does the only thing she can do. Not all is smooth sailing on their voyage however and Teriana and Marcus end up forging an unlikely alliance in order to make it through.

    I thought this was such an interesting story. You can definitely feel the ancient Roman inspiration for the Celendor Empire and I love the mystery of the Dark Shores themselves. The relationship between Teriana and Marcus is good, although a little instalovey, not too bad.

    In addition to a bit of romance, there is quite a bit of political intrigue in here which I am always down for. There's nothing better than good ole-fashioned blackmail for political gain to keep a plot progressing!

    I had a lot of fun reading this and definitely plan to pick up the next book. This one left off in a great spot with a horrible villain still on the loose. I'm not sure how long this series will end up being but I am seriously hoping for at least three.

    Thank you so much to the publisher, Tor Teen, for providing me with a copy of this to read and review. I had so much fun reading this and really would like to hear more people chatting it up.

    If you like

    , pick this one up!!!

  • Dannii Elle

    Actual rating 3.75/5 stars.

    Dark Shores is the first instalment in the Dark Shores series, involving high-stakes oceanic travel, piracy and plundering, and a world divided by religion and politics. East must never meet West and West does not know that East exists at all. But all that changes when the power-hungry Western hierarchy long to stretch their reach and seek to discover if the famed never-ending seas are hiding a secret they can dominate.

    Teriana is first-mate of the pirate ship that sees

    Actual rating 3.75/5 stars.

    Dark Shores is the first instalment in the Dark Shores series, involving high-stakes oceanic travel, piracy and plundering, and a world divided by religion and politics. East must never meet West and West does not know that East exists at all. But all that changes when the power-hungry Western hierarchy long to stretch their reach and seek to discover if the famed never-ending seas are hiding a secret they can dominate.

    Teriana is first-mate of the pirate ship that sees itself as a central member of the unfolding story. She wants nothing more than the save her people, who have the echo of the sea within them, but learns she must fraternise with land-dwellers and go against all her religion has taught her against if she wishes to truly save them.

    The first half of this story was everything I wished it to be. There was political scheming in abundance and everyone had an agenda they wished to play. It made for a complex plot-line but the action at the heart of it also made this fast-paced page-turner that I consumed in one sleepless night.

    From the mid-point on a romantic element entered into the story-line that, whilst not unlikable or overdone, took away from the high-stakes thrills that had so far dominated. It wasn't until the very end, however, that my discontent began. Instead of providing closure or at least leaving me eager for more in the next series instalment, the romance became fully realised and this concluded in a sweet scene that would appeal to many when my pirate-heart was yearning for scenes of bloodshed or savagery instead.

  • Brenda Waworga

    This book isn’t about pirate/piracy tho we got a glimpse of the adventure on the ship.. the story is more about empire and politics and battles and magic and gods inspired by ancient Roman! The book told by 2 POVs (Marcus and Teriana)

    There were few things I love and don’t like, so lets start with things I loved. I love the main idea that Danielle tried to bring on this book… “the East continent people cant meet West continent people” is such a unique idea and I also adore Marcus one of the main

    This book isn’t about pirate/piracy tho we got a glimpse of the adventure on the ship.. the story is more about empire and politics and battles and magic and gods inspired by ancient Roman! The book told by 2 POVs (Marcus and Teriana)

    There were few things I love and don’t like, so lets start with things I loved. I love the main idea that Danielle tried to bring on this book… “the East continent people cant meet West continent people” is such a unique idea and I also adore Marcus one of the main character on this book, I have soft spot for inner conflicted soldier with dark past or secrets! I also love the friendship stories here! The glossary behind the book is really helpful to understand some of the names and terms and myths

    Now onto things I don’t really like… the pace sometimes super slow like almost.. almost want to skim read it and gosh I just don’t like Teriana (the 2nd main character), shes annoying, whinny and bratty and kinda stupid sometimes and did reckless decisions, I hate being inside her mind tho I keep reminding myself… shes JUST 17 and she acts exactly like her age… so don’t expected her to act like a grown up woman LOL… I also don’t buy the romance, it felt kinda forced and I wish there will be more development on the next book

    I understand this is only the 1st book from the series so I expected a more built up worldbuilding and conflicted on the next installment

  • Angelica

    A million years ago, back when I read more than four books a month and actually had time to post reviews, I read Danielle L. Jensen's debut novel, Stolen Songbird and really enjoyed it. So, I was pretty eager to try out this book and see where this sweeping, epic story about pirates and soldiers was going to take me. 

    And where did it take me, you might wonder.

    Far. But also not far enough.

    A million years ago, back when I read more than four books a month and actually had time to post reviews, I read Danielle L. Jensen's debut novel, Stolen Songbird and really enjoyed it. So, I was pretty eager to try out this book and see where this sweeping, epic story about pirates and soldiers was going to take me. 

    And where did it take me, you might wonder.

    Far. But also not far enough.

    In fact, the very word 'pirate' is used exactly once in this entire book. So, I accuse this synopsis of false advertising and getting my hopes up for a story that was very different from what this one turned out to be.

    That said, the story that we did get wasn't a bad story. I was still entertained. It was a quick, page-turner that made you want to keep reading. It's a book that according to Goodreads I had been "reading" for weeks. But in reality, I only actually read it in a few hours.

    It was quick and fluid and easy to read and I'm sure many of you will enjoy it.

    So, before you get too excited, allow me to point out some of its flaws.

    The pacing in this book is a bit off at times. Sometimes it's good. Like I said, it's fast and fun. Other times it drags and it feels like we're a ship without a sail, waiting and hoping for something to move us along.

    The world building had something missing to it. We get a good amount of info on the Celendorian, but nothing at all on the Dark Shores, despite the book's title. I wanted more details on these two worlds and the endless sea that separated them.

    The romance was also nice, but also not? At times I liked it. Other times I wanted it to step aside. This was true near the end of the novel in particular where it felt like the romance was the main focus for a bit.

    Anyway, in the end, I liked this one. It was nice. It was enjoyable. But I didn't love it, no matter how I tried. And I did try. I couldn't fully dive into it. Maybe it was because I expected a pirate adventure and Teriana and her people are very clearly not pirates? Maybe I wanted more epic battles and a more fleshed out romance? Maybe I just didn't love it because it simply wasn't for me.

    Who knows.

    Hopefully, some of you do get to read it and do end up liking it. I'm certain that many will end up enjoying it because it really is a pretty decent book.

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  • Umairah | Sereadipity

    Dark Shores is a tale of

    that questions whether everything can be easily classified as 'right' or 'wrong'. I really thought I'd enjoy this book because the premise sounded amazing and so many other people adored it. Sadly,

    .

    As always, I'll start with the positives. There was a very diverse cast of characters and the word building- based off of

    - was convincing. Throughout the novel, we are told that

    Dark Shores is a tale of

    that questions whether everything can be easily classified as 'right' or 'wrong'. I really thought I'd enjoy this book because the premise sounded amazing and so many other people adored it. Sadly,

    .

    As always, I'll start with the positives. There was a very diverse cast of characters and the word building- based off of

    - was convincing. Throughout the novel, we are told that

    is a legendary commander and his tactic of conquering by gaining the trust of and then manipulating the people is brilliant but in the most terrifying and unsettling way.

    was a

    sailor, a part of a peaceful trading people. There were two main continents, with a vast swath of sea between them and the Maarin were the only ones who knew that both these continents existed. They lived by the principle,

    because they thought that if the East and West knew that they both existed they would destroy each other. I found this to be an interesting idea but I also found it hard to believe that they managed to keep

    a secret for so long.

    The plot was very

    and

    . I wasn't sure if Teriana was trying to save the Maarin or help Marcus conquer the west or sabotage the conquering of the west. I couldn't tell if Marcus wanted to conquer the west or help Teriana or help the Arinoquian people or defy the evil senator. There were a lot of plot details that didn't fit in or make any sense. Furthermore, I could not bring myself to care about the characters. Teriana was

    and immature despite what she may think about herself and Marcus was

    and forever drowning in self-hatred.

    Teriana and Marcus had nothing between them. Their seemingly heart-rending romance

    and the whole

    was very forced. I didn't feel any love, affection or chemistry between them but then suddenly, nearer to the end of the book, Marcus was being incredibly protective over Teriana and they were both swooning over each other. That's the problem I have with YA fantasy because normally the characters are intriguing and the plot is gripping but then an

    , which adds nothing to the storyline, is randomly thrown in and ruins everything- which is what happened in Dark Shores.

    Honestly, I think it was a case of,

    with this book. I can understand why so many people loved it and I think it did have the potential to be amazing but it the end I couldn't connect with the characters and I found the plot to be a bit

    .

    The title and blurb heavily imply that Dark Shores is a swashbuckling adventure akin to Pirates of the Caribbean. It's not. It's based on Ancient Rome and is more about fighting, military strategy and politics.

  • Lola

    This is a DNF for me. I instantly knew after reading the first page that it would be a DNF. Sometimes you just know. It’s like when you meet someone knew. The first conversation you have with that person can determine whether you can connect on a deeper level or not. Of course, it’s good to give the other person a more meaningful chance than one simple conversation, so I pushed through that boring first page. But like most relationships, if the beginning isn’t beautiful, the rest of it usually i

    This is a DNF for me. I instantly knew after reading the first page that it would be a DNF. Sometimes you just know. It’s like when you meet someone knew. The first conversation you have with that person can determine whether you can connect on a deeper level or not. Of course, it’s good to give the other person a more meaningful chance than one simple conversation, so I pushed through that boring first page. But like most relationships, if the beginning isn’t beautiful, the rest of it usually isn’t. It CAN get better, but that’s extremely rare and involves growth.

    I’m actually shocked this didn’t work for me. Aside from being one of my most anticipated adventure books of 2019, I just really enjoyed this author’s debut – Stolen Songbird – which I found exquisitely written and very gripping. But this felt as though it was written by another person entirely because although the writing flew, it did not have the magical quality Stolen Songbird did. I also did not find the heroine particularly likeable or mature. I kid you not, the first time I ‘‘met’’ Teriana, I thought she was eight or something, definitely not seventeen.

    I had to smile a little awkwardly when I realized she was much older than I assumed in the first scene she was featured (which I thought was a memory from her childhood). Because that’s just awkward. It’s not like I wanted to force her to act her age but she seemed a bit lost in her head, not sure what to think and what to say and rarely carefully considered what people told her. Again, this is a DNF for me so maybe she grows throughout the novel. It’s important to understand the characters you read about—see where they’re coming from and what their values are—otherwise it’s hard for the reader to understand the world they live in. And this being a fantasy world invented by the author, I NEEDED to understand it. Yet, I struggled to do so. I did like Teriana’s badass family, though, and her courage, even though she’s frequently careless.

    I wonder if the author had teens read the manuscript. Somehow I doubt that because if she had asked young adults to give her honest feedback on her work, she would not have ended up assaulting the reader with politics right from the start and info-dumping like it’s a race and we MUST know everything about the world at once! Boy was I confused. It was as though I was thrown into the third episode of season two of Game of Thrones, with no knowledge of what occurred in the past episodes.

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  • Nick

    so many good fantasy novels this year, don't know where to start

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