- Audio CD
- Publisher: Macmillan Young Listeners; Unabridged edition (7 May 2019)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1250233372
- ISBN-13: 978-1250233370
- Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 2.5 x 2.5 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 281 g
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
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Dark Shores Audio CD – Audiobook, CD, Unabridged
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"Richly-woven, evocative, and absolutely impossible to put down--I was hooked from the first lines! Dark Shores has everything I look for in a fantasy novel: fresh, unique settings, a cast of complex and diverse characters, and an unflinching boldness with the nuanced world-building. I loved every word."--Sarah J. Maas, #1 New York Times bestselling author
"The book grabs readers from the beginning with its stellar worldbuilding and multidimensional characters, and the mythical elements are truly believable within the constructs of the story. The perspective shifts between the viewpoints of Teriana and Marcus from chapter to chapter, offering readers greater insights into each. ...A gripping introduction to a new series."--Kirkus Reviews (starred)
"This is a lush, imaginative world, and as the focus shifts between Teriana and Marcus, it becomes clear that the readers are only getting a glimpse of its complicated history and mythology ...Their secrets don't, of course, stop Teriana and Marcus from embarking on a steamy romance, and fans of Rutkoski's sighworthy The Winner's Kiss and the high-stakes sea adventure of Levenseller's Daughter of the Pirate King will want to know where Marcus and Teriana journey to next." --Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"The plot's twists and turns and fantastical elements add to the allure of this thrilling story. VERDICT Exhilarating fantasy-adventure romance for fans of Tricia Levenseller's Daughter of the Pirate King, Alexandra Christo's To Kill a Kingdom, or Natalie C. Parker's Seafire. Readers will eagerly await the next book in the series."
--School Library Journal
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East must never meet West. The Celendor Empire has conquered the entire Eastern half of the world, erasing all religions and enslaving the people, and the Maarin, the traders that sail across the globe, will protect the secret of the West at all costs. We follow two main characters, Teriana a young Maarin woman, and Marcus the Cel’s best commander. When the Cel threaten Teriana’s entire people, she is forced to lead Marcus’ and his legion to the West. Both Marcus and Teriana are merely slaves to the Cel Senate and if they don’t do as their told they, and everyone they love, will be killed.
The Cel Empire was clearly inspired by the Romans while the West, or at least the region we saw, seemed to be South American. This land was run by various clans who are all ruled by a sadistic Urcon. It was fascinating to learn more about the Aniquinons and snippets of information about the various other lands. Not only are the cultures and people strikingly different from the Cel, they also worship six gods, and some a seventh god of death. Some people are even god-marked, given magical gifts that allow them to do incredible feats, like healing terminal wounds. It was a great comparison between the two and I loved how important it was to the people, especially Teriana.
I really loved the Maarin people, they were an intriguing sea fairing people. They live their entire lives on the sea, travelling between the East and West, their greatest taboo is revealing one side of the world to the other. To do so would make you forsaken by the gods, forever damned to eternal punishment. Though Teriana knows she is damning her soul, she is willing to do anything to save her family and her people. The Maarin have tangible proof the gods exist by their ship’s guardian, Magnius, an enormous sea creature that follows them bellow their ship. I loved how nonchalant they were about this massive creature and he was a great introduction to the magic of this world.
Teriana and Marcus are one of the only ‘forbidden romances’ I loved. It was obvious why they shouldn’t be together, yet they developed feelings for each other, regardless of whether or not they acted on them. Their romance was the definition of a slow burn which only made it all the more captivating any time they were alone together. I just wanted everything between them to be gone and for the two be simply be together!
The soldiers were interesting characters, you knew they were nothing more than slaves yet they had actively helped conquer hundreds of people, but they were still human beings with their own distinct personalities. Teriana wants to hate them, to stop them, but the more she spends time with them, the more she realizes she may actually like them. I personally loved Miki and Quintius, two of Teriana’s bodyguards, they were funny and friendly and their deep love was beautiful. They were a great representation of how many in the Celendor legions, and the real-world Romans, were gay and came to deeply love each other. It was difficult, I knew they were the ‘bad guys’ and needed to be stopped, but just like Teriana, I couldn’t stand the idea of anything happening to these guys I’d come to care for, especially Miki and Quintius.
I loved this book, it’s characters and magic system was interesting and a breath of fresh air. Not to mention it was excellent to have a main character of colour, her long braids full of beads sounded beautiful. I give it 5/5 and am so excited to read the next in this great new series.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
The idea behind this story is wonderfully unique. Members of the East cannot communicate with members of the West. But a politician wants that to change; he wants to conquer and destroy. And in doing so, he blackmails two unlikely people to find the secret way across the dark shores. The many twists and turns Dark Shores has will keep you entertained and wondering just what is in store for the characters on their journey.
Marcus is a skilled soldier who never anticipated being blackmailed into working for a dangerous politician. It goes against everything he has been taught. He also never thought he’d have to work with a pirate. Teriana comes from a fierce line of Maarin people, and like the people aboard her mother’s ship, she harbors a secret that protects the other half of the world from the cruel Celendor people. She never expected the secret to come out. But it does, and it has dire consequences for her and her shipmates. In order to save her shipmates, she will have to work with Marcus and others to bring the dangerous politician what he wants.
I really enjoyed Jensen’s world building of Dark Shores. There are so many moving parts, and she brings them all together nicely. The characters fit well with the world and develop as new pieces of the world are uncovered. The mythology aspect of this book is fascinating and fit so well with the world Jensen has created. Learning about the gods and the magic gave the book a lighter feel and provided a wonderful backstory for the world. What I also enjoyed reading about were the different cultures between the Maarin and Celendor people. Maarin people are diplomatic like the Celendor people, but they don’t deceive and kill to get what they want. It was nice to see two cultures depicted so differently.
All in all, Dark Shores provided a beautiful storyline with well-developed and well-liked characters. I’m always looking for books with those aspects (and any book that reminds me of Pirates of the Caribbean) and outstanding world building, and Dark Shores delivers all of that. If you’re looking for a story with adventure, political intrigue, high seas, meddling gods, enemies to lover’s trope, and more, then Dark Shores is a book that is right up your alley.
“Dark Shores” finds a world where the East does not meet the West until a slip of the tongue leaves a nation known for their insatiable hunger for conquest looking to extend their reach by taking hostage pirates who can travel the seas and ensure their success.
I don’t know if I expected too much with the hype surrounding this book or what but it quickly became a story I’ve read a couple dozen times offering nothing new to the mix when it comes to nautical based fantasy and for that I’m pretty bummed.
The characters themselves are fine with your run of the mill male leader with daddy issues and the spirited girl who makes him question everything he’s ever known seconds upon their first meeting and though I see potential there for something different than a lazy enemies to lovers I don’t know if this book was captivating enough for me to follow or for the payoff, be it good or bad, to be worth it.
This was an okay read made somewhat more enjoyable as I read it while sitting with my feet in the shallows but if I was anywhere else I don’t think I would have been able to keep my mind focused to finish reading it at all but it’s one more for my reading challenge and that will have to be enough.
I received an ARC for an honest review.
The story itself is very ambitious and quite original. I felt the burgeoning romance between the two main characters took up far too much screen time in the second half of the story. Many of the side characters were quite forgettable and barely in the story to really feel a connection to either of them.
Despite those hiccups, Dark Shores are quite a novel, with complex characters that focus on the logistical side of how wars are fought and won.