The Dark Shores by Danielle L. Jensen

Thank you to NetGalley for allowing me to read this advanced reader’s copy in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

The Dark Shores by Danielle L. Jensen
368 pgs
3 Stars

Synopsis from Goodreads:
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.


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.


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.


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.

I was a little disappointed in this book. I enjoyed it overall, but I was hoping to have a lot more pirate involvement. Teriana is a pirate and is second mate to her mother. Marcus is the commander to the Thirty-Seventh legion. The newly elected senator, Lucius Cassius, forces the Thirty-Seventh legion to capture the Maarin (Teriana’s people) and force them to reveal the location of the secret passage to the western part of the world.
Teriana is the only one willing to save her people’s lives and agrees to show Marcus and his army to the secret passage. There was some action on the seas, but most of the story took part in Celendor, the empire Marcus’ legion is based, and Derin, the kingdom in the western part of the world they are trying to travel to.
I’m also over the prisoner/captor love trope. Though Marcus is basically blackmailed by the senator to escort Teriana to the western world, she is still his prisoner. It’s not as black and white as some other books I’ve read, but I still just don’t enjoy it anymore.

I would recommend this book to someone who enjoys that trope and/or someone just looking for an adventurous badass female character.

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