Dark Shores – Danielle L. Jensen

Dark ShoresFrom the publisher, “Piracy, blackmail, and meddling gods meet in this thrilling first novel in a commercial, fast-paced new YA fantasy series by Danielle L. Jensen

Teriana is the daughter of a trading ship captain. Her people have the sea in their bones, their ships are guarded by demigods of the Sea Goddess, and they are the only ones who know how to traverse the never-ending ocean between the East and the West.

Marcus is the leader of the Thirty-Seventh legion, the notorious army that has led the Celendor Empire to conquer the entire East. The legion is the only family he has, and even they don’t know the secret he’s been hiding since childhood.

When a tyrannical ruler gains power in Celendor, he kidnaps Teriana’s mother and threatens to reveal Marcus’s deepest secret unless the two of them help him conquer the unknown West. The unwilling pair, distrustful of each other’s motivations, join together for the sake of their families, and must decide how far they are willing to go, and how much of themselves they are willing to sacrifice.”

This book is garnering accolades and I can see why.  Teriana is easily likeable.  The impossible position she’s gotten herself into and how she deals with it is well told.  Teriana does not drone on endlessly about inner conflicts. It is just enough so we get an understanding of her predicament.  The same for troubled, heroic, dashing Marcus, the discarded son of nobility who has risen in the ranks of the legion.  The quest for territory is based on the Roman Conquest but with mystical elements involving a dramatic and speedy method of travel.  The story has it all: romance, adventure, conquest, strategy.  There is a fair amount of torture and fighting, but not overly descriptive and that leaves the author to focus on plot.  I am eager to read the next installment and curious if Lydia reappears.  Highly recommend!

eGalley review                                                                Publication date 5.7.19

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