Review – Dark Shores by Danielle L. Jensen


Title Dark Shores

Author Danielle L. Jensen

Description from Amazon

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.

Initial Thoughts

I was super excited to read this one (please see my hype post detailing the excitement in full).  I started this book the day I received it (despite the other books that I was already working on and the ones I owe reviews on).

Favorite Character

Marcus – he was everything I wanted the male lead in this story to be.  Conflicted, still a good person, selfless.  He was flawlessly flawed and I loved him for it.

The Inspiration

I love, love, love the Roman influence in this story.  I thought the inspiration was so different from anything else I had read.  While it was heavily influenced by ancient Roman history, I thought the world was very unique.

Some Questions I Have After Reading

  • What happened to some of the minor characters we left behind?  I won’t give any names but several characters basically just fall off.  Since this is the beginning of a new series, I guess I can accept the cliffhangers but, it didn’t feel like cliffhangers, it felt more like forgotten loose ends.
  • Was it just me, or was “godmarked” not explained very thoroughly?  I eventually figured it out, but it took me until about two-thirds into the book to get it.
  • What’s the deal with the six seven gods of the Dark Shores?  I need more books and more stories about them.  I want to know everything.  But, the first book in a new series always leaves readers with more questions than answers.

Series Value

I think Danielle L. Jensen set up a unique world that I can easily see more stories coming from.  However, this book didn’t leave me dying to get back into it.  It was definitely a good book with a solid ending, but it felt rushed but yet very neatly tied up despite all of the unanswered questions I have.

I would read the next books in the series for sure, but, I think I could have waited to read this one.  I think it would be better as a binge read series.

Final Thoughts

I enjoyed this book.  I think it’s a great start to a new series.  I liked the world building, the inspiration for the story, and the characters.  I didn’t like the rushed ending, the unanswered questions, and the semi-underdeveloped romance (it goes along with my comments on the rushed ending).  But overall, I liked this one.


Recommendations for Further Reading

  • Before the Broken Star by Emily R. King – this is another story of a military-esque establishment going on an expedition with a female prisoner leading the way.  There is also enemies to lovers romance, a series long plot, and tons of cliffhangers leaving you wanting more.
  • Beasts of the Frozen Sun by Jill Criswell – this story also contains enemies to lovers romance, gods and goddesses meddling in the affairs of humanity, and a series spanning plot that left me desperate for the next book.
  • Daughter of the Pirate King and Daughter of the Siren Queen by Tricia Levenseller – if you liked the pirate feel of the Maarin people in Dark Shores, you will love this duology.


Dark Shores on Goodreads

Buy Dark Shores on Amazon

4 thoughts on “Review – Dark Shores by Danielle L. Jensen

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