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.


Teriana is the second mate of the Quincense and heir to the Maarin Triumvirate. Her people are born of the seas and the keepers of its secrets, but when her closest friend is forced into an unwanted betrothal, Teriana breaks her people’s mandate so her friend might escape—a choice with devastating consequences.


Marcus is the commander of the Thirty-Seventh, the notorious legion that has led the Celendor Empire to conquer the entire East. The legion is his family, but even they don’t know the truth he’s been hiding since childhood. It’s a secret he’ll do anything to protect, no matter how much it costs him – and the world.


When an Empire senator discovers the existence of the Dark Shores, he captures Teriana’s crew and threatens to reveal Marcus’s secret unless they sail in pursuit of conquest, forcing the two into an unlikely—and unwilling—alliance. They unite for the sake of their families, but both must decide how far they are willing to go, and how much they are willing to sacrifice.

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. 


I loved this book so much, I thought it would be a shame if I didn’t write at least a mini-review. It’s basically the story of an empire filled with ancient Rome vibes, ruled by an evil senator. He sends his best legionary, Marcus, to conquer a secret ruled by the tribes land, where gods are pretty much real, with the company of a female pirate, Teriana. In order to reach this land, they need to ask permission to the gods and go through the hidden magic tunnels. This is a super brief summary of the story because this story is so much more.

It explores the borders between conquering and being conquered. Both Marcus and Teriana are such amazing complex characters, with their own opposite backgrounds and beliefs, so, other than politics, there is a wide discussion about gods and religion. Honestly, I was blown away by such strong dialogues, ans I loved every scene with both Marcus and Teriana. The plot kept me on the edge until the end, the world-building is fantastic and thanks to the descriptive writing, it was easy to understand regardless of its complexity. The slow-burn romance is there, it does not drive the plot, but it has been ages I enjoyed such an enemy-to-lovers couple. I have to get my hands on book two soon.