27 January, 2018

{ ARC Review } Beyond a Darkened Shore by Jessica Leake

about the book }

Beyond a Darkened Shore by Jessica Leake
standalone novel
publishes April 10, 2018 by HarperTeen
e-ARC provided via edelweiss
The ancient land of Éirinn is mired in war. Ciara, Princess of Mide, has never known a time when Éirinn’s kingdoms were not battling for power, or Northmen were not plundering their shores.

The people of Mide have thankfully always been safe because of Ciara’s unearthly ability to control her enemies’ minds and actions. But lately, a mysterious crow has been appearing to Ciara, whispering warnings of an even darker threat. Although her clansmen dismiss her visions as pagan nonsense, Ciara fears this coming evil will destroy not just Éirinn, but the entire world. .

Then the crow leads Ciara to Leif, a young Northman leader. Leif should be Ciara’s enemy, but when Ciara discovers that he, too, shares her prophetic visions, she knows he’s something more. Leif is mounting an impressive army, and with Ciara’s strength in battle the two might have a chance to save their world.

With evil rising around them, they’ll do what it takes to defend the land they love…even if it means making the greatest sacrifice of all.


my review }

♫ ♫ ♫

Beyond a Darkened Shore reminded me awfully of Sky in the Deep. Shore had more of what I was hoping to see in Sky, but it is not without its faults. But! Before I get to those, here is what I liked: 

Warrior Princess! Woo hoo, another fighting princess who isn’t afraid to slash her sword, fell enemy clansmen, and take over their minds! 

Oh yes. You might be going, yay—wait. What? And honestly? Same. Mind control is definitely cheating on the battlefield, but at the saying goes, all’s fair in love and war, y’know? 

Joking aside, I did like Ciara. She was a fearless fighter, but definitely not without her insecurities. Her powers have made her a bit of a pariah both within her kingdom and her family, and it has taken a toll on her. She doubts herself because of that, which shows a bit more of a humane side to her, which I really loved. Not to mention that she’d do anything to protect her sisters, which motivates her to keep on with learning to use her powers and going on the journey ahead of her. Ciara was admirable, capable, and level headed. Most of the time. 

Enter the problem, also known as the love interest, also known as Leif. Personally, I didn’t care at all for him, he was fine and whatever, but man. Give a girl a hot guy, and, apparently, boom. It’s annoying! I was hoping for a little wait before any talk of weird feelings emerging, because look: He’s literally and actually the enemy. They fought on the battlefield. She had him chained in some cave. His clan raids her country, his people kill her people, and vice versa. So, yeah, I didn’t expect anything to rise up so soon. I was a bit disappointed in both of them. 

Ummm, what else. Oh! Yes, I really liked all the mythology that was part of this book! There was a lot about the Celts and the Northmen, and a lot of their gods, goddesses, and other beings. It was a great addition to the book that added to the plot. 

I really wasn’t a fan of that ending. I felt waaaaay too much happened and that Leake put far too many things in it. It was both overwhelming and a bit ridiculous, if you ask me. 

Overall, Beyond a Darkened Shore was full of interesting mythology, fierce battles, a somewhat steamy—if a bit rushed—romance, and loads of adventure. 3 stars!


buy the book }

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