ARC Review: Dark Shores by Danielle L Jensen

Thank you so much to NetGalley and Tor/Forge for giving me the opportunity to read Dark Shores early! I’m on something of a NetGalley roll right now (woop woop!) which is crazy, because I never thought that I would be back to reviewing ARCs and books at the same rate/level as I was back in high school!

We’re one week away from the release of Dark Shores (it comes out on May 7th)- woohoo!!! Dark Shores was my first Danielle L Jensen book- I had seen The Malediction Novels on Goodreads and Instagram, but I just never picked them up, so when I saw that Dark Shores was available on NetGalley, I thought that it would be the perfect time to start reading Danielle Jensen!

Dark Shores 4/5 Stars

Summary from Goodreads: 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 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.

So, first things first, this isn’t a book about pirates/piracy- even the author makes sure to note that on Goodreads. Yes the main character comes from a seafaring people, but they don’t take other boats and plunder the ocean for riches (at least not in this book).

Now that that PSA is done, let’s talk about how much I loved this book! I’m a sucker for ancient Rome and even though it wasn’t set in ancient Rome, there were so many things that reminded me of it that I was already super into it pretty early on! I thought Teriana was a really great main character and I thought Marcus was a great love interest/secondary character/all around generally great guy to read about. I loved the journey and the intrigue and the far off lands and places.

The only thing I was a little iffy about in this book was pacing- I feel like SO MUCH happened in the last 1/3 of the book, that looking back, the first 2/3 of the books seemed almost too slow and boring in comparison. It wasn’t too big of a deal for this book, but I’m hoping that book two doesn’t end up going the same way.

Again, Dark Shores comes out next Tuesday (May 7th) and y’all definitely need to read it! Make sure to pre-order it if you can because you definitely do not want to wait to read it!!!!

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