Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “On Dark Shores: The Lady” as Want to Read:
On Dark Shores: The Lady
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Read eBook

On Dark Shores: The Lady

(On Dark Shores #1)

3.40  ·  Rating details ·  80 ratings  ·  38 reviews
Trapped in fear and poverty after the death of her parents, the thief Nereia will go to desperate lengths to protect her beautiful younger sister from the brutality of Copeland the moneylender. No-one has dared to attempt escape before; the whole of Scarlock trembles in his grasp. Only Nereia’s cunning and some unlooked-for help give her hope....

In a country still recover
Kindle Edition, 152 pages
Published March 14th 2011 by Weasel Green Press (first published March 10th 2011)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about On Dark Shores, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about On Dark Shores

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.40  · 
Rating details
 ·  80 ratings  ·  38 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of On Dark Shores: The Lady
Amy Eye
May 18, 2011 rated it liked it
A small town is plunged into oppression single-handedly by a nasty piece of work. A long-ago wealthy child is now forced to live in squalor while trying to raise and protect her younger sister. A drug addict doing all the wrong things for the right reasons.

These are only some of the characters you will encounter when you enter this little town. The main focal point of the town is not known for its beauty, it is known for its short skirts and ample bosoms. This quaint little port town is also bei
Bark  |  Ladies Of Horror Fiction
This novella is very short and appears to be the beginning of a longer piece of work currently being written. It read like an introduction to a story and a rather large cast of characters and didn’t turn out to be very satisfying all on its own and it ended extremely abruptly. The prose is often beautifully written and almost has a dream-like feel to it which I loved and I see a lot of promise here with a little tweaking and expansion, especially when it comes to the characters and their plight. ...more
Sep 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is the first part of a much longer story. It is an introduction.

That is really the long and the short of it. This part introduces several characters, several story arcs and lots of competing themes.

It's hard to say if the reader really gets to know any of the characters well in this part, it's over too quickly and there's so much going on, you really can't get a good grasp on any of them.

I imagine that the subsequent parts, of which we're told there will be at least two of, should allow fo
Jul 01, 2011 rated it did not like it
The book genuinely frustrated me. I was the person toddling down a lovely forest trail on a lovely autumn evening, only to have a Mack truck careen out from the undergrowth, spraying me with the mud from the puddles I'd just been admiring, and go roaring down the path, steamrolling nifty literary conventions like pacing and plot arc.

The story opens with a promise of a good yarn and four characters: the man who holds the town in a mafia-like vise of control, the muscle who got hooked on drugs aft
May 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
When I was offered this book for review I was a little hesitant as I don't think of myself as a fantasy fan. However when I thought about it I do read a bit of fantasy and sci fi, so agreed to review it with the author being aware it wasn't one of my usual genres. Once again opening my mind to something different has paid dividends though.

The harbour town of Scarlock is a virtual prison for its inhabitants, who are controlled by the moneylender Copeland.Those who get on the wrong side of him hav
Jun 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
"On Dark Shores: The Lady" is a three part series that begins by introducing us to the thief, Nereia, and her much younger sister, Mary. They live in Scarlock, a tiny Harbor town dominated by a weasel of man named Copeland. Nothing gets past him, and the inhabitants of Scarlock live in fear of him and his bodyguard, a prior boxer named Blakey who spends his days roughing up the poor and unlucky who are unable to pay their debts.

Nereia and Mary are cousins of Copeland, but unless you had read tha
It took a little while to get into J.A. Clement’s On Dark Shores, the Lady, even though I’d already read the prequel, Parallels. But perhaps I was looking for too many parallels between the stories. Characters do reappear, but the story's set later and the future's more important than the past. The evil Copeland's still ruling the port town of Scarlock and Nereia, the thief, works for him, trying to keep her younger sister safe and fed. Boxer Blakey wounds people in his master's name but might b ...more
Lenore Wolfe
May 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
I was delighted by this story. Although I was a bit confused at first, I figured out what was going on and enjoyed it very much. This story has a fantasy flair in which the protagonist gets more than her fair share of hard blows. The author does a wonderful job of delving into human nature, and we get a big dish in of the evil of some in the antagonist. I gave this book four stars and recommend this book.
May 24, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-book, own

On Dark Shores: The Lady is an odd little story of the town of Scarlock and it's many battered residents trying to make their way though life. They live in a land that's apparently in the middle of some sort of war between the Shantari and the Mardon which I think are neighboring races but could be just neighboring countries. It's not really completely clarified within the text itself.

The biggest issue with this story is that even though it's part of w
Title: On Dark Shores: The Lady
Author: JA Clement
Publisher: Weasel Green Press March 2011
Format: E-book (Paperback, coming soon)

In the tiny harbor town of Scarlock, the residents are dominated by fear. They live in trepidation of when the next visit from Copeland, the town moneylender, will come. Copeland takes pride in the fact that he ‘runs’ the town and is increasingly demanding in the money and goods he collects. Blakey is Copeland’s bodyguard and the man that does all the di
Jul 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
Ahh, where to begin? Let me start by saying that this book is of a genre that wouldn’t usually be my first choice. Or second. Probably not even third. Then let me carry on to say that I am SO glad to have been offered the chance to read it, as On Dark Shores: The Lady is some of the best writing I have come across in a long time. It’s one of those books that has me enviously thinking “why can’t I write like that? It’s not fair!” every other sentence.

Author J.A. Clements has the knack of pulling
Jeffrey Poole
Jul 10, 2011 rated it really liked it
A dark, gripping novella...

Without realizing it, I'm discovering myself a fan of novellas. Short stories with wonderfully created worlds and disctinct characters that are very easily imagineable. On Dark Shores is such a novella.

This story is set in a grimy little town where it is ruled mercilessly by the moneylender, Copeland. He and his bodyguard, Blakely, keep the villagers cowering with fear, extorting money and doling out beatings on a daily basis. There are two sisters, and one has been f
M.T. McGuire
Jul 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This book takes place, mostly, in the town of Scarlock. We are drawn into the story with Nereia, a young girl whose main concern is to protect her younger sister from Copeland, the money lender who owns the town. They are trapped but they plan to escape. Meanwhile, far away, the Shantari are looking for 'the lady' who they must guard and protect. A group of adventurers arrive in Scarlock and a merchant, who is watching the events surrounding Nereia unfold with a growing sense of unease, turns ou ...more
Aug 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing

On Dark Shores The Lady by J.A. Clement

Jules Rating: 5 stars

The first couple chapters of On Dark Shores had me sratching my head, I couldn't figure out where the book was taking me. Then it found its rythym. This book is haunting, dark and leaves you wanting more, and more. Some parts of the book gave me chills with my hair standing on end... I can't wait for the next books to follow.

On Dark Shore takes place in the town of Scarlock, which is being held hostage in fear of the moneylender Copela
Jun 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! It had all the appeal of a novel of historical fiction, but a bit of fantasy is also thrown into the mix. It’s the first in a series of three I do believe. I will most definitely be getting the next two novels to read and review. I loved the characters and their stories. The evil Copeland is a great antagonist, and the grip he has on the fictional town of Scarlock is intense. His “muscle man” Blakey grows as a character in the novel, and at the end it’s hinted that there is mu ...more
Jun 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of dark fantasy stories and fans of good writing
Recommended to Katy by: J. A. Clement
Shelves: ebook
I have to start out by saying, this is an incredible novella and I hope Clement writes many, many more stories in this world. It is a dark world, a somewhat grim place, and there are threads and branches to this story that are barely touched in this initial entrance to the world – but there is no doubt that it is going to be a crazy ride, and one with which any dark fantasy fan will fall in love.

I can’t think of a way to summarize the plot very well without giving away large bunches of informati
Shivanee Ramlochan
Excerpted from the full review:

"Reading the expository opening paragraphs of ‘On Dark Shores 1: The Lady’ prompted my best hopes for a gracefully constructed and fertilely imagined creative landscape. In these lines, we are introduced to the cast’s main players not by name, but through their dreams, all of which are uneasy, tempest-tossed. Tidings are being washed ashore which will bode ill, we are given to understand, and this hinting at future upheaval is admirably conveyed through Clement’s s
Aug 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy-books, own
On Dark Shores: The Lady by JA Clement is an enthralling page-turner and I adored the book. The marvellous story sucked me in from page one and the way the author weaves her narrative elements together, I believe she may be the literary child of Charles Dickens and Ursula K. le Guin.

Sometimes you find a book that is such a delight to read, you don’t want to pry your eyes away from the page; On Dark Shores: The Lady is such a book. You fall in this world of fantasy from the first word, swept alon
Tricia Kristufek
Apr 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviews, recommended
"Copeland had already taken eleven years of her life, and there was no getting that back; but Nereia was damned if she’d let him have her sister."

Change is stirring in Scarlock...

For the last eleven years, Nereia has been Copeland's thief, stealing trinkets for him instead of going to work in the whorehouse, to protect her younger sister, Mary, from his clutches. But Copeland's reach in Scarlock is far and his ambitions are vast. Bent on getting Nereia to take on a new thieving scheme, Copeland
May 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
Scarlock is a dark, gloomy town in a country still struggling to sort out its history. The town may look sleepy, but there’s a lot going on and most of it not good. Like most of the inhabitants, Nereia is desperate to get out of the clutches of Mr. Copeland, the thug who runs the place. Unlike everyone else, Nereia is willing to risk the unthinkable: escape.

This is a beautifully told story, gripping and with a number of threads twisting through it. The characters are all rich and deep. Even the
Jul 28, 2011 rated it liked it
On Dark Shores is a tale that is just that, dark.
J.A. does a wonderful job in her descriptions of weather and scenery so much that I actually almost shivered.
That should say a lot since it is over a 100 where I live.
She gives such life to her characters that I could see them as real people and found myself even feeling their own emotions, even the most awful of villains!
Her main character in this book is a very headstrong and stubborn girl by the name of Nereia.
She will do anything possible
Pramod Sahoo
Jun 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
Despite its darkness, this story’s infused with the promise of something more. Mysteries lurk on the edge of revelation as Nereia and her sister make a bid for freedom. The author spares nothing in portraying the cruelties and hardships of life, but adds a pleasing human kindness and the promise of more. I was just sorry the novella finished before the “more” was revealed, giving this reader a feeling of having read only part of something really good. I hope there’ll be a sequel soon, but I gues ...more
Jul 10, 2011 rated it it was ok
Have you ever been driving along listening to the radio when your favorite song comes on? You crank the volume and start singing along at the top of your lungs…then your route takes you under a series of power lines, and the reception goes spotty. That’s how I felt while reading this book; moments of absolute delight mixed with moments of complete frustration...

Full review on Dark Side of the Covers blog.
Aug 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I intended on reading a couple of chapters of this book before bed just to get me started, but ended up reading the whole thing in a sitting. I was initially confused by the first chapter but the plot soon became clear and made sense. I could feel the emotions very clearly, desperation and fear in particular. The writer portrayed the images and feelings very well, I have to say I was very impressed. I Look forward to now reading the next book and continuing this journey.
Jul 14, 2011 rated it liked it
I liked the book. It kept me interested, although there was absolutely no conclustion to anything in this book... hopefully the next one comes out soon otherwise I may not remember everything. I was a little confused with the skeleton part, I wasn't sure if that part was real or not because this didn't seem like a paranormal book by any means. I recommend it. ...more
Merissa (Archaeolibrarian)
This book is not for the faint of heart as it describes torture, murder and other darkness. It is gritty and at times obscure but a brilliant read. My only complaint is that it is a novella so it was over before it began for me, but I did enjoy it so not a complete loss!
David King
"On Dark Shores: The Lady" by J.A. Clement is a relatively short fantasy novel that forms the first part in her "On Dark Shores" series of novels. The story is mainly based around the town of Scarlock which is controlled by a tyrannical money lender named Copeland. In the town lives Nereia, a young woman who has become a thief after her family died and Copeland gave her a choice to either steal or become a prostitute. When Copeland threatens Nereia's younger sister, she realises that she needs t ...more
Pauline Ross
Nov 05, 2011 rated it it was ok
It's really hard to know what to say about this one. It starts well, with a truly atmospheric couple of chapters, but then the reader is dumped into a generic fantasy town with a generic fantasy villain and a generic fantasy situation - you know the sort of thing, there's this bad guy who runs the pickpockets, the brothels, the drugs trade, and our orphaned heroine is forced to be a thief in order to avoid a Fate Worse Than Death (ie working in the brothel). But why? Is there no honest work she ...more
** For the full review please check out **

This was my introduction to the On Dark Shores series by JA Clements. In this book we come across Nereia and Mary. We also come across Copeland, Blakey and Mickel the group who control the town of Skarlock.

At first the story is very hard to follow as it shifts all over the place and the chapters are quite long, there were 6 chapters for 96 pages. After years of abuse Nereia and Mary try to run away but get found and brutally beaten b
Feb 28, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: freebie
On Dark Shores was a book that I might not have even noticed when looking on goodreads or amazon if it wasn't for the fact that it was offered as a freebie at the time. Is now? I haven't a clue.

This book was great from the start, and it kept me turning the pages, or rather swiping my finger across the screen.There are so many characters and we the reader have been fed tidbits of things regarding them. But not their full tales, a thing that hope is resolved in the next books because I have so ma
« previous 1 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Who is your favourite character On Dark Shores? 3 6 Dec 03, 2011 07:53AM  
J.A. Clement lives near London with her partner and a lunatic lurcher puppy with a predilection for watering cans. She writes her fantasy series whenever she can, mostly in her lunch hour (which probably explains the excessive number of bacon sandwiches that have to be edited out later). Her "To-Write" list is as big as your "To-Read" list (and covers several genres, but she just needs to finish t ...more

Other books in the series

On Dark Shores (2 books)
  • On Dark Shores Part 2: The Other Nereia

News & Interviews

Need another excuse to treat yourself to a new book this week? We've got you covered with the buzziest new releases of the day. To create our...
36 likes · 11 comments
“It was a time of dark dreams. They washed in like flotsam on the night tide, slipping beneath doorways and window latches, rising through the streets and hills; and the little fishing-town of Scarlock foundered deep.” 4 likes
“The skeleton picked up the second skull, so worn as to barely be recognisable as such. The vertebrae fell and rolled like beads from a string.” 1 likes
More quotes…