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Dark Shores #3

Gilded Serpent

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From bestselling author Danielle L. Jensen comes a thrilling new novel in the Dark Shores world, a series that Sarah J. Maas called "everything I look for in a fantasy novel."


Lydia returns to Mudaire to enter training at the healing temple. But instead of fighting to save lives, she’s convinced she is doing more harm than good. She delves into the history of the gods only to discover a truth that will change her life forever.

His birthright as commander of the Royal Army is finally in his grasp, but Killian feels anything but victorious. Burdened by his past, he embraces the darker side of his mark—and in doing so, risks starting a war.


Having defeated the tyrant Urcon, Marcus struggles to form a lasting alliance with the Arinoquians. But he is plagued by the knowledge that there is a traitor among his friends, and it could cost him everything that he’s fought for.

Torn between her growing allegiance to the Thirty-Seventh legion and her need to liberate her people, Teriana finds herself mired in a web of secrets. She embarks upon a path that will either save everyone she loves—or put them all in their graves.

Readers may read either Dark Shores or Dark Skies first!
Suggested series reading order:

1. Dark Skies or Dark Shores
2. Dark Shores or Dark Skies
3. Gilded Serpent (coming spring 2021)

576 pages, Kindle Edition

First published April 27, 2021

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About the author

Danielle L. Jensen

24 books7,940 followers
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.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 463 reviews
Profile Image for jessica.
2,478 reviews29.7k followers
December 5, 2020
this series. oh man, this series is simultaneously giving me life and killing me. its such a wild ride and i have no hesitation in saying this is the best book so far. the stakes are higher, the tensions are thicker, and the secrets are being revealed.

i also think the story really benefits from all four of the main characters being in the same book ( ‘dark shores’ had two while ‘dark skies’ focused on the other two). i dont care that this book is super hefty because of it - give me 600 more pages. i dont care that there are constant POV switches - its an adrenaline rush jumping from each adventure to the next. it definitely enhances the story having everyone within the same pages and i am so looking forward to the day when all the POVs finally cross paths.

i feel like getting this ARC is both a blessing and a curse. a blessing because this installment is helping to save my 2020, but a curse because who knows how long i will have to wait until the next book. praying to the book gods it comes soon!

an eternal thank you to macmillan-tor/forge for the ARC!!

5 stars
Profile Image for megs_bookrack.
1,424 reviews8,987 followers
September 19, 2022
Gilded Serpent is the third installment to Danielle L. Jensen's Dark Shores series; one of my current favorites in the YA Fantasy genre.

Coming in at just under 600-pages, Jensen provided a whole lot of new information, as well as action and startling revelations.

With this series, if you aren't aware, you can read the first two books in any order. Meaning you can read either Dark Shores, or Dark Skies first.

I personally read them in publication order and would recommend that to others.

I felt like Dark Shores established the setting and functionality of the world perfectly. After reading that one, I had a strong hold on the type of series this was going to turn out to be.

It's one that channels all the brutality of Ancient Rome, mixed with a fair amount of magic and heavy doses of political intrigue. Also, let's not forget the sweet romance.

In Dark Shores, the action centers around Teriana and Marcus, while Dark Skies follows Lydia and Killian.

Gilded Serpent follows all four of these characters, as their storylines begin to merge.

Through the first two books, I became quite attached to them all. Because of that, my excitement for this release was off the charts. I was so ready to see how their paths would intersect.

As I have mentioned in my previous reviews for this series, including the prequel, Tarnished Empire, I love this series and think it is incredibly underrated. All YA Fantasy lovers need to check this one out!

I did rate this book slightly lower than the first two books, mainly because it wasn't as easy for me to follow, or stay as fully engaged with this one.

I think the length started to get to me, as well as the sheer volume of information that Jensen packed into this one. Also, I did have some issues at the beginning remembering what had happened at the conclusion of the first two books.

While I recognize that as a 'me' problem, I also feel an author including slight, subtle recaps is always helpful. I didn't feel a lot of that here.

Regardless of that fact, however, I still really enjoyed my time reading this novel. The world continues to be built out. It's dangerous, complex and full of compelling people, creatures and history.

I am really looking forward to the next book in this series. I am planning to do myself a favor and binge read the first three again prior to picking it up.

Thank you to the publisher, Tor Teen, for making my dreams come true and providing me with a copy to read and review.

I truly appreciate it and will be singing this series praises for a long time to come!!!

Profile Image for Danielle Jensen.
Author 24 books7,940 followers
January 29, 2021
I'm going to use this space to give you a few facts about this novel!

Read chapter one: https://torteenblog.com/2020/06/26/ch...

1. It is NOT the last book in this series. I repeat, this is not the end. There will be at least one more book, which has always been the plan.
2. It has all four points of view (Marcus, Teriana, Killian, and Lydia)
3. You must read both Dark Shores and Dark Skies before you read this or you will be deeply confused. It would also help if you read Tarnished Empire before reading this, although it isn't necessary.

TW: Swearing, violence, war, death, alcohol consumption, drug consumption, and more explicit sexual content than the prior books. 16+
Profile Image for ✨ Helena ✨.
364 reviews946 followers
March 13, 2021
I received this complimentary ARC from the publisher, courtesy of NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.


"If the story of your life were a book, I'd carry it with me across the world. I'd read it every night. And whenever I reached the ending of what had been shared with me, I'd open it to the first page and begin reading it again."

"It would be a very heavy book. I’ve had a VERY interesting life."

THIS BOOK. THIS BOOK!!! I loved it SO MUCH. Gilded Serpent picks up where Dark Shores and Dark Skies left off, while also including a few familiar faces from Tarnished Empire, so be sure to read those before jumping into this! :D


Gilded Serpent joins the four major POVs for the first time - Marcus, Teriana, Lydia and Killian - without them all actually crossing paths, which actually made me a little bit sad. :( I can't wait to see them all finally meet up! Marcus and Teriana's story arc did seem to be stronger than Lydia and Killian's, but then again, that may just be my own personal bias.

Despite being full of action and adventure, we also saw more depth to these four characters. Marcus showed us his darker side, Teriana found her loyalties divided, Lydia was put into difficult situations...anddd we don't discuss Killian here. xD Their inter-personal relationships evolved, as well! Marcus and Teriana finally served with some STEAM <3 which I think all of you will love as much as I did!!! :) Honestly, their relationship is so amazing and my favourite of the series, in case you couldn't tell. Hehe!

In ARC-form, this book was over 700 pages, but I FLEW through it! And with the double cliffhangers and new complications introduced at the end, book four can't arrive soon enough!!! If you've managed to ignore my rave reviews for the previous books, I do recommend getting started on all the Ancient Roman fantasy goodness that this series serves. You're all missing out! :P

Profile Image for Lucie V..
982 reviews1,517 followers
February 20, 2022
I received a copy of this book via NetGalley (thank you Tor Books). All thoughts and opinions are my own.

✅ Roman-inspired
✅ Action/fighting
✅ Strong main characters
✅ Different POVs and settings
🆗 Romance
❗️❗️ Cliffhanger

So... I just now realized that there will be a fourth book because things are definitely not resolved at the end of Gilded Serpent, and even worse, it ends with a cliffhanger! 😫

Gilded Serpent starts right where Dark Shores and Sark skies ended, and Teriana and Marcus' quest is woven with Lydia and Killian's. This book is a good mix of adventure, travel, life-or-death situations, politics, and personal growth. It was a wild ride and I just couldn't stop reading it. I think it is my favorite book in the series, the stakes are higher, and secrets are being revealed, creating more tension and plot twists. I read it in two days even though it is almost 700 pages long, and I would not have minded reading another 300 pages at all!

We follow Teriana, Marcus, Lydia, and Killian as their adventures continue, and it is full of action, secrets, and angst. I really like the characters in this series, I even came to care more about Teriana and Killian in this book. There is a lot of character development, and also a lot of relationship evolution. The characters learn more about each other, and they also have to make tough decisions, having to choose between their happiness and the well-being of the realm.

“He’s my friend.”
His mouth quirked. “He’s your enemy.”
“That too.”

I like the fact that even though this is the third book of the series, I am not sure yet if the couples will have their happily ever after, the fact that Teriana and Marcus are enemies remains, as does the fact that Killian and Lydia can't be together, and also save Malahi and the kingdom. It is definitely one thing that I adore about this series: how the relationships are complicated because they are consistent with the backstories and the goals of the characters. I am glad that they do not throw everything away because they are in love. We can also enjoy some cute (and hot) moments between the characters.

“If the story of your life were a book, I’d carry it with me across the world. I’d read it every night. And whenever I reached the ending of what had been shared with me, I’d open it to the first page and begin reading it again.”
Teriana’s eyes burned and she blinked rapidly. “It would be a very heavy book. I’ve had a very interesting life.”

I hoped that the four characters would cross paths in this book, and I can't wait until it happens (hopefully in the next book!). Having 4 different points of view was not a problem in this book, since I was already well acquainted with the four characters. It added an extra adrenaline rush sometimes to jump from one adventure to the other because some chapters end with a small cliffhanger.

I was so happy to receive a copy of this book before it came out, but now it means that I will have to wait for even longer before I know what happens in the next book. 😭

Tarnished Empire ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Dark Shores ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Dark Skies ⭐⭐⭐⭐.5

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Profile Image for Steven.
1,047 reviews385 followers
April 27, 2021
Thanks so much to Netgalley and Macmillan/Tor-Forge for providing me with a review copy in exchange for nothing more than an honest review. It is most appreciated.

That being said, I'm also a little mad that you provided me with this review copy... and now you're making me wait an entire year to get more of this story... after that ending! Book torture is the cruelest of all tortures, I think!

Just kidding (mostly). To be honest, this book was fantastic. We get a lot more development of character relationships in this book, and we get to see that not all of our main characters are perfect. We see the ugly sides. We see the amazingly strong sides. We get to see what some of them do when thrown into completely new situations, cut off from everything they know. While much of this book was moving the chess pieces to where they needed to be for the final tale, it was done in a way that led to all of this development, growth, and revelation - an indication of Danielle Jensen's writing talent.

And we get to see the setup to what is now one of my most anticipated books of next year. It's going to be a wild ride, and I am totally here for it. If I survive the book torture waiting until then. :)

Highly recommended, but please start with Dark Shores and Dark Skies first.

5 Stars Marked by the Gods
I am not pleased to have to wait a year for the last book. Or longer. Omg please don’t be longer than a year.

Anyone know how to bribe an author? :)
Profile Image for Shauni .
261 reviews230 followers
July 4, 2021
Many thanks to NetGalley and Tor Teen for sending me this book.

This series gets better with every book. I feel a little sad that I don't see it everywhere, because it is just so good and more people need to know about it. I love that this book is told from all four of the main characters' perspectives. Each character I've grown to love. Danielle Jensen has created a world that has sucked me in and I have become invested in the plot and each of the characters. This one is intense from page one and ends with some crazy twists that left me breathless. I can't wait for the final book to come out!
Profile Image for Melissasfandomworld.
566 reviews116 followers
January 16, 2021
Thanks in advance to Netgalley and the publisher for sending me an e-arc, in exchange for me leaving an honest review. You guys made my entire bookish year!

And here's my honest review:
This follow up to the Dark Shores and Dark Skies was everything I hoped for and more. What a fan-frigging-tastic read this has been and finished way too soon - I barely noticed it being almost 600 pages, because it was so incredibly fast paced (I finished it within a day and a half, which is saying Something seeing I've been in a slump for months and haven't had a pace as good as this one since I've been back to reading since a short while now) What am I to do with my life until the next book arrives? I am so incredibly sad, knowing I'll have to wait too long now, before I'm able to read what happens next in this series. A series that has rapidly set it's place in stone in my 'absolute-favorites-list'!

Marcus, Teriana, Killian, Lydia and all other minor characters we've come across as well, are such a fantastic set of characters to follow and the character developments for all of them were executed and developed so incredibly well. And all's set in such a fascinating fictional world that has some really awesome fantasy elements, combined with a story line that gives off some major Troy/Gladiator/Pirates of the Caribbean vibes and I loved every single second spend reading this book. I truly can't get enough of it all and feel like there just aren't any words to do this book and the series in general justice.

Danielle's writing style in general, the story-line, plots and scheming, the politics added to the mix and the also more evolved and sometimes even steamy romances thrown into it, combined with some 'on the edge of your seat' action, made this yet again a 5 star read for me. As I said; There's not a single dull moment to be had, while spending time in this world/this book and each new book keeps getting better and better in my honest opinion. I didn't think I couldn't fall in love even more with everything, but I did. Thank you Danielle. From the bottom of my heart... For giving us, in the first place, Marcus and Teriana in Dark Shores and then Killian (still #TeamKilliannnn, not sorry) and Lydia in Dark Skies and now taking it all to a whole new level with Gilded Serpent. It feels like so much more is coming our way still and I can't wait for it.

A follow up book that's just everything you could've hoped for beforehand. It has it all! My inner fangirl is beyond happy with all that I've read the past day and a half, even though my heart's been ripped out on too many occasions, lol. Danielle's good at that, did you know? You'll definitely find out in this book! This book leaves me Craving the next one so badly and I'm not sure how I'll be able to hold on until then. I NEED MORE. MORE. MORE. MORE. More of these fantastic characters, sometimes morally gray but still so frigging lovable. My precious babies. I need more of this world... this sometimes cruely, dark and scary world. I need more of Danielle's amazing writing... the promise of all that's to come in the next book. I don't think my expectations can't get any higher now, lol. So much more depth and development present, while the other books were also already well developed. Those were just tips of an iceberg. Can't wait to dive underneath the surface and explore the rest of what's waiting to be discovered.

If you've been thinking about picking this series up, please don't hesitate for even a second. This series is going to be your next addiction. That's a promise!

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Profile Image for Laura S.
147 reviews4 followers
December 8, 2020
SPEECHLESS. i don’t really know what to say to convey the emotional turmoil you will go through while reading this book.

the SECRETS. the SLOW BURN. the ANGST. the CHEMISTRY. all my favorite tropes present and accounted for. so many amazing, well-developed characters. vivid writing. i don’t want to say too much cause *spoilers* but Danielle pretty please if you are by chance reading this can you give at least one of these couplets a well-deserved hea?

this book was the best so far in the series, which makes sense because she has combined the power of all four mc POVs that made up the first two books. it’s essentially two novels woven together. where some readers might find the switching between story lines frustrating, i love when books are set up this way. like reading whiplash. i don’t know how long danielle plans to make this series but there is at least going to be one more book...i just wish i didn’t have to wait so long for the next one.

in conclusion, please excuse me while I take some time off of reading to emotionally recover from this book.

and a huge thank you to Macmillan-Tor/Forge, via netgalley, for this arc!
Profile Image for Roobie.
669 reviews87 followers
January 14, 2021
⭐️4.5 stars⭐️

Ok, I loved this!

I couldn't wait for this book and for all the POVs and storylines to come together and they did not disappoint. I swear these are the only books that don't make me yawn at converations about politics. It didn't even feel like a ~600 page book because there was always something happening that made me keep reading and wanting more.

The next book is going to be amazeballs! (please stop hurting my babies)

ARC received via Netgalley.
Profile Image for Jennifer Sellers.
122 reviews31 followers
April 30, 2021
Thank you NetGalley for the chance to read and review what is possibly the best book of 2021!!

Whatever you are expecting, disregard it.

Whatever you think may happen or how, disregard it.

Be prepared for an emotional and heart stopping journey that is going to leave you wanting the NEXT book immediately! Yes, I said next book. This is NOT what I was expecting but I am oddly (and masochistically) happy about it. (This is not a spoiler as the author has shared there will be four books.) As much as I wanted the story to be wrapped up so my heart could have closure, I am sooooo happy we are not done with this world. There is so much going on and it is deliciously complex. No matter how long the book, there were just not enough pages to bring this story to a close; and Jensen definitely did the story justice by letting it unfold without rushing it.

I am so impressed with the writing, world building, character development, and story as a whole that I am struggling to come up with words to convey the chills this book gave me. Gilded Serpent is by far the best book in the Dark Shores series, and not just because we have all four main character POVs. (We also see Agrippa in the story!) The timing between events, chapters, and every scene change felt like a mini cliffhanger making me want to read continuously without stop. So sleep was lacking this week for sure!

If you have read any of Danielle Jensen’s other books, hold on tight for a ride like no other! I for one loved ALL of Jensen’s other series, but this book shook me to my core and I was not ready for it.

So get ready and start stockpiling your coffee, tea, or other caffeine of choice now! You are going to need it.


For more reviews, check out my bookish blog: http://www.toallthebooksivelovedbefor...
Profile Image for Olga Kowalska (WielkiBuk).
1,380 reviews2,229 followers
October 3, 2021
Fascynujące połączenie powieści młodzieżowej z pełnokrwistym high fantasy w świecie pełnym politycznych intryg, wojennych potyczek i złowieszczych mocy.

Wspaniale było znów powrócić na Mroczne Wybrzeża i spotkać się z bliskimi sercu bohaterami! Tym bardziej, że teraz, po wszystkich potyczkach, po walkach, po wszystkich wyzwaniach, ich losy w „Pozłacanym Wężu” połączą się, tworząc preludium do kolejnej opowieści.

Przed czytelnikiem opowieść pełna polityki, wojennych potyczek, pełna przemocy i brutalnych zagrywek. Nawet przyjaźń zostaje tutaj boleśnie zweryfikowana i tylko wspólne interesy życie, śmierć i honor są w stanie połączyć dwa obce sobie światy. Intrygi, zdrady, okrucieństwo nie do opisania… Oczywiście nie zabraknie tu wątków miłości, oddania, tęsknoty, warto jednak pamiętać, że u Jensen wszystko jest spójne, naturalne, nieprzerysowane. Doceniam ten brak egzaltacji, to skupienie się na tym, co w opowieści najważniejsze. Mroczne Wybrzeża to wyższy kaliber fantasy, po który warto sięgnąć, tym bardziej, że to dopiero początek, a opowieść o Marku, Terianie, Lidii i Killianie dopiero nabiera tempa.
Profile Image for VICTORIA EDWARDS.
307 reviews95 followers
November 22, 2021
Wow it was that good? I read it in a few hours? Who am I 🤣.

This book was the book I NEEDED from this series. That careful, sweet, intimate development of Marcus and Teriana fueled me for the next thousand years. I love them to DEATH. To further add to that, I love the thirty-seventh. I love Teriana WITH the thirty-seventh. I love Quintus and Miki, and I just...I love them.

Despite all the chaos that descended upon them in this installment, I was extremely happy with their interactions and how they handled everything that was thrown their way. And especially how they handled their inner conflicts.

Of course with the mention of the thirty-seventh turning to the Legatus Marcus who was beyond paranoid and fighting maaanny inner battles, I loved how Danielle let those unfold. How Marcus’s worries were taken out on everyone else. She just is very good at dealing with her characters struggles and I applaud it.

Teriana was the queen she’s always been. I love how strong she is and yet when she is upset she will burst into tears. I love her love for Marcus and her reputation across the world. She’s basically revered by everyone who knows her name which is EVERYONE. She can kick your ass, take your money in cards, and man a ship all while being a 10/10. No wonder Marcus loves her 😩. Her journey in this installment is heavily weaved in with Marcus’s but I love how we get to know her better as a person. We get to see how she handles being in situations that are foreign to her, we get to see her intimate side. And of course by the end we get to see her wrathful side 😬. I am ready for what comes after her last chapter, oh boy.

Killian was fine. I don’t know why but I don’t love him lol. I do love his journey when a certain person appears. I think that was when his chapters started to interest me. But him as a person...I didn’t feel like I got to know him as much as we did Marcus. So I don’t have a ton to say about him.

Lydia was good. She is also not my favorite but I enjoyed her determination to stay in Mudamora even though she wasn’t there of her own volition. She’s a very head-strong girl who uses her powers for good despite the risk. I’m so glad even with all that has transpired she holds her relationship with Teriana in very high regards. I’m so ready for them to reunite!

The plot was aptly paced. I loved all the reveals, the slimy characters, the arguments, the stress. The PAIN. I cannot wait for the last installment.
Profile Image for Caitlin Reads.
178 reviews51 followers
December 14, 2020
4.5 Stars! I was really excited for Gilded Serpent and I was not disappointed! This book was really difficult to put down. It was really exciting to see the different stories finally connect. The story is told through the multiple points of view from Marcus, Teriana, Lydia and Killian. I really like all of the characters and care about what happens to them. I did prefer Teriana and Marcus and found myself sometimes pushing through the chapters with Lydia and Killian to get back to them. However, the story between Lydia and Killian heats up toward the end and I think things are going to get more interesting for them in the next book.

Gilded Serpent was filled with epic world building, political intrigue, forbidden romance, heart pounding action and lots of angst. I had been expecting this to be the last book in the series but was surprised to find there will definitely be another installment. This series is so riveting and I really can’t wait for the next book in the Dark Shores series! Fans of this series will fall hard for this book.

Thanks to NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review!
Profile Image for Katherine.
261 reviews151 followers
June 19, 2021
My gods this series is so amazing!!! Danielle Jensen understood the assignment! 😫💖

Start from Tarnished Empire, and read Dark Shores, Dark Skies and Gilded Serpents. Just do it. This is shaping up to be the best series I've ever read. 😌 The last book will destroy me..I can already sense it. I cant wait.😂

Actually it just deserves all the stars.
Profile Image for Richel (letsreadshallwe).
97 reviews26 followers
April 16, 2021
Update | April 16, 2021

“If the story of your life were a book, I’d carry it with me across the world. I’d read it every night. And whenever I reached the ending of what had been shared with me, I’d open it to the first page and begin reading it again.”

Gilded Serpent dives right in to where Shores and Skies left off that resulted into three storylines, merged into two and ended with three?! Danielle L Jensen started Gilded Serpent with a killing blow without any hesitation she just went for the throat. It was a dark and gruesome start.

It felt great to be back to the world of Dark Shores and I forgot how exciting and nerve wracking it can be. Danielle L Jensen has a knack in creating amazing characters that has distinct personalities. It’s impossible not to fall in love with each of the characters but for the record, I will be forever Team Marcus. Especially after reading Gilded Serpent, Killian who?🤣

Strengths and weaknesses are challenged, our main characters learned more about each other. Marcus is one of the best broody characters I have ever read and I love him for it that I always swoon. A genius who loves to read and also pragmatic to the point that he can appear as cruel. But what captivates me more is he is the most relatable character in the Shores series.

I won’t go into details about Killian but let’s just say that I wanted to smack him in the head too many times than I dare to count. I’ve always loved Teriana and Lydia but Gilded Serpent made me love these ladies even more. While we were introduced to them from Shores and Skies, we get to see their strengths and full potential in Gilded Serpent and I was cheering for them from start to finish.

Gilded Serpent is equal parts heartache, betrayal, secrets, politics, adventure and hope. My heart hurts in more than a few scenes, a few too many to bear. Everyone was walking on fine lines that made my head spin and the eagerness to know what’s next was overwhelming. I was only given respite with a certain scene that may or may not involve a sauna (wiggles eyebrows).

One challenge that I faced reading GS is similar to the challenge I faced when I read Dark Shores. I was hoping for a detailed location of every place being mentioned (unless of course the characters don't know where they are). Especially for an adventure book, Gilded Serpent requires a very detailed map.

Also, since Gilded Serpent dives right into the story with barely a recap, I find that I struggled with remembering what previously happened but that is on me, I should have reread Shores and Skies before diving into GS. Even though that was the case, I still highly enjoyed reading this and would highly recommend! Although beware, I still feel my heart shattering after days of finishing because that ending😭💔

Thank you so much to Tor Teen and Netgalley for providing me an E-ARC to review!

April 11, 2021: Proper review to follow once my heart no longer hurts😭😡
Profile Image for Sowmya (bookishelflife).
339 reviews30 followers
April 27, 2021
*Gets up- drinks water- dramatically fans herself because she is profusely sweating*

Actually review will come! Need to calm down my rapidly thudding heart first! 🙃



First I want to thank Tor Teen for my digital ARC and a gorgeous finished copy of the book!

"Lydia, to be good does not mean to be without flaw, for even the best of us are riddled with them.To be good is to recognize the darkness in one's character and strive to remedy it.And if such a thing is not possible, to control it so that it does not harm others"

Gilded Serpent picks up right where Dark Shore and Dark Skies are left off and merges to become a thrilling 4 POV plot, also please read Tarnished Empire before you read the book because it helps to understand the plot better and relate to certain characters more deeply. The multiple POV narration is definitely Danielle L Jenson's area of expertise along with an intricate yet captivating world building, she makes the world so real yet so complex with such ease that always leave me in an awe


The plot of GS is full of nerve wracking adventure, expedition and thrill with things constantly happening around the four main characters, the plot is a true testament to all 4 MC's Marcus, Terriana, Killian and Lydia because they are forced to expose all their good, bad and ugly dissecting their character and adding layers of depth to the already fleshed up characters. The last 30% of the book is intense and my absolute favorite because it is pure, undiluted adrenaline constantly being pumped into you. I was so engrossed in the action sequences because they were riveting!


Coming to the characters, I will be honest it is not easy to completely love them all through the book but we have to remember each of them are battling their internal demons from what they were forced to face in Dark Shores and Dark Skies- especially Killian, I know fan base is divided on Marcus and Killian and this book makes it hard to root for Killian BUT his beliefs, worth , loyalties are constantly challenged so I am actually excited to see his transition in the next book as he lowers his internal walls.

That being said GIRLS IN THIS BOOK ROCK!!! yes I needed to put that in all caps because they are pivotal showing strength and resilience all through saving men for a change, so before you ask I am #teamlydia and #teamterriana because Marcus and Killian can take back seats for this one!!


The romance on the other hand had little scope in this book partly because how intense the events around them are and also partly because all the lies and deceit comes back to take revenge on them.However please enjoy this quote from my bwoy Killan ;)

"What I was meant to do was be with you" Reaching out, he caught her around the waist drawing her closer."To never leave your side and to guard your back until one of us cease to draw breath".
"You swore that to Malahi"
"I swore it to you first, even if you weren't there to hear it.Swore it a hundred times with you in my heart.And even if I had not, I love you.And if this is where you choose to make your stand, I will be at you side until the bitter end"

While I hoped for all 4 MC's to meet at some point that did not happen unfortunately, but knowing DLJ she is going to make than an epic scene in the next and final installment. Everyone's favorite Primus(ex) comes back with a bang and adds a punch to the already gripping plot, he brings some much needed comic relief easing the tensions and I have to say it hurt seeing him hurt. The political intrigue is comparatively less because it doesn't happen in the foreground for the most part of the book but when they happen it did make my blood boil, give it to DLJ to make you all the emotions that intensely!

I think it is safe to say the book is quite literally "A wild Adventure" because a lot of traveling happens in the good 65% of the book, while some parts of the book felt dragged because of it, we are rewarded with epic action sequences to make up for it.So hold on to you reins and keep riding because that ending...... ;)

-The actions sequences
-The plot twist
-last 30% for its pure adrenaline rush
-Character development of the ladies especially Lydia my queen
-Of course the world of Dark Shores

-Length because some parts from the travel sequence kind of dragged the story
-Jumping straight to plot without a recap (especially for plot as intricate as this I felt like it would help tremendously)
-A SUPER DETAILED MAP, there are thousand and 1 locations mentioned in the book which are actually very very interesting but unfortunately it was super hard to imagine them in your head especially when the characters are constantly on move!

When can I have the final installment ????
Profile Image for Vee.
1,141 reviews86 followers
December 30, 2021

I don't read a lot of YA anymore, but this series seems really underhyped for how much it fulfils a lot of the things most people love about YA fantasy - me included. I loved seeing the characters from Dark Shores and Dark Skies (sort of) come together in this book and how their stories played out in tandem, differently to how they played out in tandem in their separate books. Whilst the stories were still quite separate it was clear what the overall end goal was/is for how Jensen is going to converge them. And, because of that, I think there was slight danger in this book feeling a bit like filler, but it was fast-paced, action-heavy with oodles of romantic tension and it consistently felt like it was moving all the story arcs along in the right direction. There were also some great revelations in this instalment, which always contributes well to a book not feeling like filler.

I did feel like I was having a slight bit of whiplash when it came to the romantic arcs, there were some moments that bordered on frustrating but only in a minor way. Usually I can just gloss over that sort of thing but the festive season has me feeling wholesome and I just wanted everyone to get along a bit more.

I think also this skews more towards the older end of YA for some of the content so I'd probably feel more comfortable recommending it as NA, but NA in the fantasy romance sense and not NA in the contemporary romance sense (ugh we definitely need some more descriptive categories for things in 2022.) It'd also likely have a bigger fanbase if more people knew that about it too.

If you like pirates, royalty, enemies-to-lovers, forbidden romances, friendship and adventure then you'll probably like this series. Be warned thought that a large part of the plot is to do with a 'magical-virus' so if you're avoiding those sort of stories in these times then proceed with caution.
Profile Image for Ariel.
113 reviews80 followers
April 27, 2021

“If the story of your life were a book, I’d carry it with me across the world. I’d read it every night, and whenever I reached the ending of what had been shared with me, I’d open it to the first page and begin reading it again.” -Gilded Serpent

I was thrilled to receive an e-arc of this book from @torteen and also not at all prepared for what happened! I finished it on Sunday and my mind is still 🤯🤯🤯

This series is for you if you love:
- Ancient Rome inspired fantasy worlds
- multiple POV
- lots of action and adventure
- swoon worthy men
- #IsThisAKissingBook? You’ll be fanning yourself a few times 🔥
- plot twists galore and double cliff hangers 🤯

It’s safe to say this book has ruined me and I need the next one now!

Danielle Jensen really woke up one day and decided to hurt us like this. 😭😭😭 proper review to come soon!
Profile Image for Jess (oracle_of_madness).
599 reviews36 followers
April 1, 2021
Wow! Hello book 3 in the Dark Shores series!! This was a thrilling installment and I'm just blown away!
In Gilded Serpent all of the main characters from the first 2 books are present, not necessarily together, but the reader will see their separate points of view... and it's incredible. Jensen goes so deep into character development that it's scary good, literally in some cases.
This was a long book, but it is a MUST READ! I promise! If you haven't gotten into this series yet, now is the perfect time!
I just can't believe I have to wait for the next book!!! Cliffhangers much?
Profile Image for Amanda .
432 reviews151 followers
June 29, 2021
You can also read my review here: https://devouringbooks2017.wordpress....

Review: 4.5 Stars

I can't believe it took me so long to finally pick this book up. At first I delayed reading it because it had been a while since I read the previous two books, but I shouldn't have let that stop me because I was quickly reminded where the previous book had left off. It did take me about five chapters to fully sink into this book, but once I did I found I could hardly set it down. Gilded Serpent reminded me why I loved the first two books so much because this truly was an addictive read.

It was so great to have all the characters I love finally together in one book. Since this series is a bit unconventional, the first book follows Terianna and Marcus and the second occurs at the same time, but follows Lydia and KIllian. In this book you get all four points of view and follow the two plot lines. The plot lines don't converge in this book, but it's pretty clear that they will in the next. It was really interesting getting to see the characters side by side, because I thought that Lydia was my favorite, but in this book I wound up favoring Terianna. Terianna is more bold and brave and Lydia is more sweet and bookish. I am able to relate to Lydia's bookish personality and love her pure heart, but it was Terianna's bold moves and bravery that really had me captivated in this installment.

While this series is really action packed, it's the characters that take this series up another level. Their motives and conflicting interests really make for some interesting relationship dynamics. Marcus and Terianna's enemies to lovers relationship was my favorite. In the beginning of the book they couldn't trust one another, but they wound up on a perilous journey where they grew closer and their relationship really grew. Killian and Lydia have some big relationship issues in this book, partially because of Killian's honorable nature. At times it felt like everything was pushing them apart when I just wanted them to be together. Both relationships have some really amazing moments along with some that are heartbreaking. I felt like the characters all grew a lot during their journeys in this book and I was incredibly invested in this emotional roller-coaster ride.

As I mentioned before this book is action packed and filled with some really great plot twists. I loved how every moment felt important and that even moments of levity foreshadowed twists in the plot. The two plot lines are both really great, but I enjoyed Marcus and Terianna's plot line more because it was more adventurous where Lydia and Killian's was more political. There were so many scenes that had me flipping the pages as fast as I could and others that had me screaming in frustration. I tore through this book pretty fast despite having lots of other things to do because I just kept sneaking in reading time whenever I could.

I also have to mention that I really love that Danielle Jensen expands upon the world building in each installment. In the first book we dove into the world and learned about the Six and the Marked, and in the second we got to see the horrors of the blight and learn about the Corrupted. While these things were still a large part of this story we also got to see mimics, wolves and more of the world. Every part of this story played out vividly in my head because Danielle Jensen did a fantastic job balancing world building and storytelling. There are no tedious info dumps and the reader is never overwhelmed with unnecessary descriptions.

I'm pretty mad at myself for waiting so long to read this book. I would recommend this series to fans of action packed fantasy, complex character dynamics and enemies to lovers romances. I could gush about this book for ages, but just trust me and go pick up this series.
Profile Image for AJ.
240 reviews92 followers
January 13, 2021
Thank you to the publishers at Macmillan-Tor/Forge for providing me an arc of this book in exchange for an honest review!

”And I think it will be in the absence of light that we all see who we truly are.”

This series is kicking ass and taking names! I can’t believe how amazing it is. Actually, I can because within the last year I’ve come to realize just how amazing Danielle’s writing is. She’s given us all 4 POVs from the characters we’ve grown to love over the last two books. I enjoyed Marcus and Killian’s POV much more than Teriana and Lydia’s but each POV brought so much to the story. At the end of each chapter I wasn’t ready for it to end.

Gilded Serpent picks up right where Dark Shores and Dark Skies leaves off. We get to see how Marcus is dealing with an unknown traitor within his men and his internal conflict on what’s the right and wrong decision. We saw how Killian is coping with Lydia leaving, and more. I’m keeping this review spoiler free until after the publication date but I will say that it’s intense, and emotional rollercoaster and there is so much more at stake!

I know I have to wait quite a while for the next book and after that ending I don’t know how I’ll manage but I can already tell the next book is going to destroy us all in the best (and possible worst?) possible way!

Full review to come closer to publication date.

5/5 ✰’s
Profile Image for Alaina.
5,928 reviews216 followers
May 6, 2021
I have been waiting patiently for Gilded Serpent to come my way. It is here. I sort of freaked out before diving into it's wonderful pages. Therefore, I devoured the entire book in one sitting. It's safe to say that I have a reading problem and I have zero desire to seek out help.

From the very first page, it was easy to fall back in love with this world and the characters living within it. I was easily invested and intrigued by every little thing. Then I would make dramatic noises or hum music in my head when certain things were said. It just made this book that more enjoyable for me because a lot happened. Like, a lot.

I also really enjoyed getting all the wonderful POV's this time around. Even though I wanted them to all be equal, I will say that what I got was simply amazing. I'm not sure what the next book will bring me but I hope it all goes out with a huge bang. I want more steam, revenge, and everything in-between.

In the end, the cliffhanger basically stabbed me in the heart and by cliffhanger - I mean CLIFFHANGERS. Not cool and it threw me off my groove. So, I guess, I will try to be patient for the next book to come out. Please be soon!
Profile Image for ponczeq_book.
173 reviews6 followers
January 7, 2023
4,5 Nie ma w niej ani jednej niepotrzebnej sceny, dialogu czy zdania. Autorka co chwile podnosi sobie poprzeczkę.
Marek olej Teriane i bądź ze mną pliss 🥺❤️
Profile Image for Becci.
435 reviews22 followers
June 19, 2021
It always shocks me that this author isn't more well known.... and it has floored me that this series hasn't sold well enough for the publishers to be publishing the fourth and final book. (Don't worry the author is self publishing)

I loved this book. Its the first one in the series to combine our two favourite couples from Dark Skies and Shores. In doing this the pacing was fantastic and I was completely hooked throughout.

The world building is just fantastic.. but if you're reading this you've probably read Dark skies and shores already so know this for yourself. I love the history , the amazing thought that has gone into each country,their traditions and beliefs.

The characters ...again love them,love the diverse mix of them. One teeny tiny gripe is there wasn't as much Agrippa as I'd have liked 🤣

I can't wait for the fourth book .
Profile Image for TeriLyn.
1,327 reviews385 followers
March 8, 2021
**Gilded Serpent generously provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.**

5 "Make a choice." Stars

I am completely obsessed with the Dark Shores series. When the end was reached I cried a little because I'm so sad to be leaving this thrilling, chilling, and wonderful world and having wait another year for book 4 just because I want to spend more time here. These four main characters have embedded themselves in my reading heart and are not going to budge. I read Gilded Serpent on the heels of reading the first two books in the series so I've spent 1500+ pages with these characters and relished every single word and moment.

The story telling and structuring, continual world building, and beautiful writing of Danielle Jensen is a gift to readers who love Young Adult Fantasy/Romance books. Her writing is impeccable as she weaves tales of a magical yet corrupt world where four young adults are making decisions that impact themselves, their people, and each other. They meet their matches and have been fighting since the beginning of book one to maintain their scruples yet find a way to fight against those trying to silence and control them all the while falling and changing and growing. Between the four of them it's hard to pick a favorite. There are secondary characters who make the story richer as well. Even the villains of the story are captivating in their unique way.

I'm just enamored with these fantastical adventure books. I put my Kindle down and told my husband I want to be a path hunter now and find my own xenthier stem to the Dark Shores just to play cards with Teriana, hug Marcus and Killian, and visit a library with Lydia. This is compelling reading set in an extraordinary world that is so well written, engaging, and just plain fun. I absolutely cannot wait to read them all again in anticipation of the release of book four.

2021 - March - YA Challenge
Profile Image for Luca.
167 reviews7 followers
April 30, 2021
When it doesn't matter how many much of hundreds of pages you read it's never enough. I could read about these characters for days on end. What an incredible journey with real high steaks in all directions! Honest to Goddess Loved All 4 of their stories. So where is the 4th book?? Ooh and the editing is for sure the work of the devil switching pov's so masterfully!
Profile Image for Michelle.
474 reviews105 followers
April 11, 2021
Wow! Wow! Wow! What an amazing book. I expected this one to be crazy and also a bit stressful to read and it was in a good way. I love these characters, the plot, romance and high stakes dangers around every corner. I had a few heart attacks but this book was just so good!

I’m trying to not write a spoiler review but if you haven’t read the last books (Dark Shores, Dark Skies and Tarnished Empire) then there will be some spoilers.

We have Teriana and Marcus in the Southern Continent of the Dark Shores and Lydia and Killian in the Northern Continent. Some battles may have been won in the last book but the fight isn’t over yet. There is a lot of conflict that needs to be resolved and even more problems to be had. I absolutely love these four characters and I’m always hoping with all of my heart that none of them die. We still have another book left at least so I will still be hoping and wishing that they all make it out alive.

This is an incredibly dangerous world but the world-building has always been just exceptional. What I love about this book and the whole series is that the characters don’t stay in one place. They travel around and we get to see many different parts on the map. It makes it so interesting and exciting to see the different places around Reath.

Morally grey characters for me are so much better to read about than black-and-white “good” or “bad” characters. The characters explores guilt, consequences of sacrifice and difference between doing what they desire versus doing what is right. I was on the edge of my seat the entire book. Some great surprises and some things I saw coming but also wasn’t prepared for. What I loved is that the chapters are short and I love how fast this book moves. Not so fast as to miss the action, character growth or exploration or romantic moments but a wonderful blend of all.

The romance is so good because all of the romance is forbidden or at least I know they shouldn’t be together but I don’t care! I love those sweet and tender moments but also the fiery tension as well. I know the romance probably won’t end well but I’m here to enjoy it as long as possible. Teriana and Marcus spend a lot of time together in this book and there are those moments where I’m like run, leave together and be happy but I know it isn’t really possible. Same for Lydia and Killian. They all have their responsibilities, duties to others and things they have to do for the greater good. They do have to push aside their feelings and it breaks my heart.

I can’t wait for the next book. That ending. Ugh! So good. Yes, there is a cliffhanger but the wait for the next book will be worse. If you haven’t started this series yet, I will just leave my recommendation below...


Recommended reading order:
Dark Shores (Teriana & Marcus)
Dark Skies (Lydia & Killian)
Tarnished Empire (Prequel, Marcus’ story)
Gilded Serpent (All four perspectives)

...until the next book that I’m sure will break me...

*Received via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

2020: Gimmeeeeeeeeeeee!! I need this book right now! Also that cover 🔥
Profile Image for Leonie.
110 reviews7 followers
April 22, 2022
(3,5 stars)

What I didn´t like about this book is that it is written in 4 POV with the POV´s of Killian, Lydia, Marcus and Teriana changing for each chapter.
Since three POV´s are separated from each other for the first 200/250 pages of the book, it is a bit hard to get back into it and can be a bit difficult to read at times, since it can feel like you are reading three different stories at once.
Once some of the characters find their way back to each other, it gets a little bit easier to read.
Also I have to say that I cared so much more for Killian and Lydia then I did for Marcus and Teriana in this book.

What I did like where the plot twists at the end, some of which I didn´t see coming.
It also felt like a great continuation to the series with the plot deepening and the world building being extended further.
I loved the character developement in this and how the relationships between the characters developed and deepend.

Althouth the middle part of the book dragged a bit for me, the ending was exciting and action packed and I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series.

I also would strongly recommend reading Tarnished Empire, the prequel to the series, before you start this book.
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