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Dark Shores

(Dark Shores #1)

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  4,071 ratings  ·  874 reviews
High seas adventure, blackmail, and meddling gods meet in Dark Shores, a thrilling first novel in a fast-paced new YA fantasy series by USA Today bestselling author Danielle L. Jensen.

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.

Hardcover, 368 pages
Published May 7th 2019 by Tor Teen
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Average rating 3.96  · 
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 ·  4,071 ratings  ·  874 reviews

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Feb 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs-read

((Reviewer's Note: Please read the line below in a movie trailer voice. Yeah, you know the one.))

In a world divided into East and West, one people, the Maarin, have the secrets to what lies between.

The Maarin are a seafaring people who recover lost and stolen goods at sea. Additionally, they trade along the coasts.

They are the only people who know of the existence of both the East and West. Due to this, they are also the only ones who know how to traverse the Endless Seas between.

Helena Paris
Buddy read with Zoe!!!

I just re-read this and thought it was FINALLY time for a review!!! (I swear, my RTC pile is just as likely to crush me as my TBR pile, haha)

“This was how it was supposed to feel. Like standing on a cliff high above a turquoise sea, terrified to jump but desperate for the thrill of the fall.”


Welcome, welcome to the Dark Shores, where “East must never meet West”!

This decree causes two mighty empires to exist side-by-side with no knowledge that the other exists, save for my
Nov 14, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
its really not surprising that i enjoyed this a lot. it has so many of the things that i love to read about in YA fantasy:

- ancient roman influences in the world building
- a story set on a ship sailing the seas
- a slow burn enemies to lovers that feels natural

plus, im already a fan of the author, so her writing style is something i already knew i would like. i will admit that the pacing is on the slower side, but something had me hooked in the story right from the beginning, so i didnt mind it.
Danielle Jensen
Aug 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Shelves: my-books
I can't wait for readers to dive into DARK SHORES. Here's a few things to expect!

~ A world inspired by Ancient Rome
~ LOTS of political intrigue
~ A villainous, power-hungry senator bent on conquest
~ Slow burn romance (as if I could write a book without kissing!)
~ Exciting sea voyages
~ Legions engaging in epic battles (on land)
~ Meddlesome gods
~ Friendship, both new and old
~ Family drama
~ A fierce heroine who says what she thinks and means what she says
~ A brilliant hero with far too many dangero
A million years ago, back when I read more than four books a month and actually had time to post reviews, I read Danielle L. Jensen's debut novel, Stolen Songbird and really enjoyed it. So, I was pretty eager to try out this book and see where this sweeping, epic story about pirates and soldiers was going to take me. 

And where did it take me, you might wonder.

Far. But also not far enough.

First of all, let it be known that despite what the synopsis tries to tell you, this book is not in fact abou
May 09, 2019 marked it as to-read
so many good fantasy novels this year, don't know where to start ...more
Miranda Reads
Sep 24, 2020 rated it it was ok

Just published my November Reading vlog!
The Written Review

Teriana has lived her entire life on the sea - the comfort of the waves, the wild ways of the ocean.

The Celendor Empire has conquered everything in its path, and they think they are ruling the entire world...only to find out that Teriana and her people have a secret.

A secret so great that many have died to protect it.

There's a whole continent on the other side of the world - accessible only through portals. Marcus is
Lucie V.
“This was how it was supposed to feel. Like standing on a cliff high above a turquoise sea, terrified to jump but desperate for the thrill of the fall.”

✅ Sea adventure
✅ Roman-inspired
✅ Captive/captor
✅ Action/fighting
✅ Strong main character

This book is so good! Teliana is part of the Maarin, people living on their boats, and also the only one able to navigate the Endless Sea. Their job is to ensure that Est never meets West and that both empires never learn that there is more on the
Apr 25, 2020 added it
Shelves: dnf
DNF’d at 20%

This was not holding my attention. The world building felt sloppy, with elements being mentioned and not being connected to each other or the reader in any way. I didn’t find myself intrigued by the characters or the plot enough to continue with this book, let alone a 4 book series.
Arini ~ Miss Casually Reading
3.5 stars

it’d still be fantastic even without the romance - not that it was unwanted. that was part of why i read the book afterall. but it felt forced. the pacing was all over the place. sometimes it was packed with action, and other times it dragged. ive come to realise that this author’s heroines (well, ive only met one other) - while they were badasses - were not always the sharpest tool in the shed. the hero, however, was *tortured* full of angst, had a great leadership and sense of duty. i
Nov 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
Dark Shores is set in a world inspired by Ancient Rome, and follows our main characters:Teriana and Marcus. In between the story, Danielle Jensen has sprinkled in political strife among warring nations, powerful gods and a hate to love romance. 💖

In a small nutshell, this story is about the Maarin people who keep their home secret and seperate from the Celendor Empire (they fear conquest, and indentured servitude, so they keep separate-This mandate is known by all Maarin people--East must never m
Umairah | Sereadipity
May 12, 2019 rated it it was ok
Dark Shores is a tale of political intrigue that questions whether everything can be easily classified as 'right' or 'wrong'. I really thought I'd enjoy this book because the premise sounded amazing and so many other people adored it. Sadly, it left me feeling disappointed.

Plot: 2/5
Characters: 2/5
Writing: 3/5

As always, I'll start with the positives. There was a very diverse cast of characters and the word building- based off of Ancient Rome- was convincing. Throughout the novel, we are told that
3.5 stars
Before going into the book, I have to warn you: the blurb is slightly misleading. I expected pirates on the high seas but instead, Dark Shores is more focused on politics. Not that I’m complaining, because I love a book with political intrigue. I am slightly disappointed that this book did not feature any pirate and treasure raiding shenanigans. That aside, let’s continue on with the review!

The world-building was a bit weak but this is only the first novel of a series. Hopefully in the
ℓуηη, ℓσкιѕℓутнєя¢ℓαω
Ahhhhh! Why did it have to end?! ⚔️⛵️⚓️🌅 And I have to wait until May for the sequel! 😱😭

So obviously I really loved this book. It was one of my most anticipated for the year and I'm sooo happy it didn't disappoint!

I LOVED the ancient Roman influence, the politics, the fantastical world, the camaraderie and hilarious quips. I love, love, love Teriana, Marcus, Servius, Quintus, Miki & Yedda. I couldn't get enough of any of them! I wasn't at all ready for this to end and having to say goodbye to t
Dannii Elle
Actual rating 3.75/5 stars.

Dark Shores is the first instalment in the Dark Shores series, involving high-stakes oceanic travel, piracy and plundering, and a world divided by religion and politics. East must never meet West and West does not know that East exists at all. But all that changes when the power-hungry Western hierarchy long to stretch their reach and seek to discover if the famed never-ending seas are hiding a secret they can dominate.

Teriana is first-mate of the pirate ship that sees
Apr 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book though!! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Which is to say ... I enjoyed this read immensely so. In fact, I immediately purchased a hardback copy of this book and the soon to release Dark Skies upon finishing. It's that good.

What I liked

The writing is extremely smart. I never knew where it was going, but it all made perfect sense along the way. The politics play such an important role in this world and are extremely intricate. The story-line is detailed, easy to follow and gloriously twisty. The romance is bel
Brenda Waworga
Mar 14, 2019 rated it liked it
This book isn’t about pirate/piracy tho we got a glimpse of the adventure on the ship.. the story is more about empire and politics and battles and magic and gods inspired by ancient Roman! The book told by 2 POVs (Marcus and Teriana)

There were few things I love and don’t like, so lets start with things I loved. I love the main idea that Danielle tried to bring on this book… “the East continent people cant meet West continent people” is such a unique idea and I also adore Marcus one of the main
Thanks so much to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review!!!

Wow, what a ride! I *loved* this book. I didn't expect to love it, but I did. I expected the romance to be typical YA, which it had hints of, but seemed to be a little more realistic in my opinion. I expected the characters to be all tropy, which for the most part, they weren't (and where they were, the author really tried to flip the tropes upside down). I expected the stakes
⭐️4.5 stars⭐️

This was how it was supposed to feel.
Like standing on a cliff high above a turquoise sea, terrified to jump but desperate for the thrill of the fall.

I'm so happy! I really needed a win and I got it, fiiinally!
Can't wait for more!
May 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
A truly marvelous adventure! One that leaves me with so many unanswered questions regarding the story line though so I don't know if I'm upset about that or excited so I can look forward to the next installment haha. But no, I really cannot wait to see how this story continues.

The world was really interesting and well developed, and it was obvious that it was inspired by Ancient Rome which I loved. The author used some elements and made all of it her own. It also gave me a lot of Pirates of the
Apr 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
East must never meet West.

OMG! Guys, Dark Shores was so freaking good! I am beyond happy that I dove into it and now I'm super excited to dive into the ARC of the second book!! Oh lord, I seriously loved everything about this book.

In it, you will meet Teriana. She is the young heir to the Maarin Triumvirate and she made the biggest mistake of her life: she told someone secrets. Now these are no ordinary secrets, because no one should know anything about them.. unless they are Maarin. So it wasn
Mar 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dark Shores:
1. Dark Shores — 3.75⭐
2. Dark Skies — coming soon in 2020!
3. Gilded Serpent — coming soon!
4. Untitled — coming soon!

Blog | Twitter | Instagram

Thank you to the publisher—Tor Teen—for giving me an e-ARC through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

You can also read my review here

East must never meet West.
Teriana is an heir to the Maarin Triumvirate who sails with Quincense. She breaks a promise to keep silent about her people’s secret with devastating consequences
Nov 16, 2018 rated it liked it
Meh, I'm so frustrated.

I would have enjoyed this book waaaaay more if

-it had another couple of main characters
-the author didn't go so heavy on the info-dumping
-the blurb didn't advertise this as a book about and with pirates because is probably the biggest lie ever told


Athena (OneReadingNurse)
Thank you so much to NetGalley, Macmillan - Tom Doherty Associates & Tor Teen for the eARC of Dark Shores in exchange for an honest review.

For the most part, this is a quick read and a fast flowing book that kept me interested. I really liked the book until she lost me with one particular scene, which I will explain in a bit. The world is set in a roman conqueror-esque era where the Maarin traders and the Dark Shores are out of bounds....for now.

"East must not meet West"

Teriana, the heir to the
Erin Arkin
May 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2019, series
4.5 stars

Dark Shores by Danielle L. Jensen is the first book in the Dark Shores series, and I have to tell you, I already can’t wait for the next book in this series.

Teriana is a Maarin and a pirate aboard her mother’s ship…second in command to be exact. Traveling the world with her family, she and her people hold a lot of secrets. Specifically, those that would put the rest of the world in danger from the Celendor Empire. When Teriana finds herself in a situation where she believes her best fri
What a pleasant surprise this book was! I went into it after years of not reading much of YA fantasy (too many duds in the past) and expecting the worst because of all the hype.
I am so glad I was wrong.

Plot wise, Jensen nailed it. I really liked her world building - intricate enough to be interesting, but not too complex to be confusing. Although I have to admit it was hard for me to get into in the beginning, but I mostly attribute that to my long absence from fantasy. Also, I am not a fan of "
Samm | Sassenach the Book Wizard
Huh! I liked this way more than I thought I would. Most people I've talked to didn't like it but wow! Despite it using tropes I'm not a huge fan of (mc constantly blames everything on themselves when they had no control & Stockholm syndrome-like romance) yet I really loved this! I enjoyed the cast. It was a bit big at the start but once their personalities free it was easier to tell everyone apart. One of the evil characters specifically said something that stopped me and made me think because i ...more
The Nerd Daily
May 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Laura Erne

Dark Shores by Danielle L. Jensen is the first book I’ve read by her and after finishing this one, it will not be the last. Her strong female characters, realistic romance, humour, and adorable characters stole my heart pretty early on. Her writing kept me going back for more, making me devour this book in three days flat. This is a story about pirates and politics and is filled with drama and moral dilemmas that will leave you fired u
Katrin D
All the stars and all the love for this amazing story ❤️

Review can also be found HERE

I just realised that I might have been in a slump and it hadn’t registered until now. Since June I haven’t given a fantasy book more than 3*. Considering I read primarily fantasy, this is, quite frankly, a disaster.

I wasn’t planning on reading DARK SHORES either because I’m not really into pirates. It must have been luck or providence that made me spontaneously buy this book because, man, I ADORED it.

No, seri
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Danielle L. Jensen is the USA Today bestselling author of The Malediction Trilogy (Angry Robot), the Dark Shores series (Tor Teen), and The Bridge Kingdom series (Audible Originals). She lives in Calgary, Alberta with her family.

Other books in the series

Dark Shores (4 books)
  • Dark Skies (Dark Shores, #2)
  • Gilded Serpent (Dark Shores, #3)
  • Scorched Earth (Dark Shores, #4)

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