Dark Shores #1 by Danielle L. Jensen
Publication Date: May 7, 2019
What a wonderful read this was. It’s always nice to find a good book to curl up with that is well written, has good characters, and keeps you entertained for hours. Dark Shores is story told from 2 alternating POVs: Teriana and Marcus, both of whom are trying to do what is best for their people.
In Dark Shores, the East only knows of the East and the West only knows about the West and there is no known way to travel from one to the other. However, when an Empire Senator learns that the Maarin folk know the path to travel to the Dark Shores his lust for power becomes clear. In his desire to conquer the new lands, the Senator takes Teriana’s crew hostage and then proceeds to torture and threaten them for the information. Teriana sees the only hope out of this for her and her people are to agree to his demands. Legatus Marcus, the 37th Legion commander, and his army are given the task to escort Teriana to the Dark Shores and discover this path for themselves. However, the gods have their own thoughts about this plan.
There are many things to like about this novel. The characters have depth, especially Marcus who has been in the military from a very young age. He has seen many atrocities, but he knows he must still go on and perform his duties. But he is growing and seeing the world differently and learning there are better ways to perform ones duty than just conquering and enslaving. On the other hand, Teriana is caught between needing to fulfill her side of the bargain in exchange for her people’s safety, and yet at the same time realizing that the Empire should not be allowed to conquer yet another land.
The Dark Shores world is similar to ancient Rome, where officials are elected, but there is also the fantasy aspect that includes their gods as well as the god’s motives within this world. In the story, the role of the gods is never heavy-handed or overly tiresome. They have a part to play within this story, but it is accomplished very gracefully and leaves you with a desire to learn more.
Even though there are only 2 POVs within this book, I can easily see how one or two other POVs could be woven into the story for a chapter or two. Perhaps the POV from someone who reports to Marcus that could show us more of the military aspect and what their role is – or the changes they see from their perspective in regards to Marcus. I can also see a chapter or two from a Dark Shores leader’s point of view. Or, even a chapter from Bait’s perspective. Perhaps in the next book.
Final Verdict. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and am thankful to Netgalley and the publisher for giving me the opportunity to read this ARC and provide my honest opinion. I can definitely recommend it to fantasy and YA fans and look forward to when the next book in the series comes out.