Trigger Warning: Torture, Violence
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 (Goodreads, 2019).
Things I Liked: Where do I even begin? I’m a sucker for all things inspired by ancient Rome so having a major power in this world be inspired by the Romans was huge plus for me. I also felt that there was a good balance between the action and world building so at no point did the story feel slow. Finally, I thought it was a good choice to have the two main characters have their own POVs. I saw myself more in dependable Marcus than in feisty Teriana, but appreciated both their perspectives.
Even though this is essentially an adventure story there was also a fair bit of fantasy and romance interspersed. It seems like we just got a glimpse of the magic of the world of Dark Shores and it has me intrigued. I am curious to see what role the gods have in store for Marcus and Teriana and if the gods will continue to make appearances or control events at a distance. I’m also curious to see what other gifts the god touched individuals have.
I’m a sucker for enemies to lovers and slow burn romance so I enjoyed the development of Marcus and Teriana’s relationship. Their individual POV made it even more entertaining as we see the various signs of attraction and the misunderstandings they experience from each side.
Things I didn’t enjoy/Disliked/Would have changed: I think this was a very written story. I don’t have any criticism at this time.
Overall Thoughts: This is a great adventure series, which maintains the perfect balance between world building and action. I’m looking forward to continuing with the series and give this a 5 out of 5 star reads Will definitely be adding Danielle L. Jensen to my list of must read authors.
Quotes I Enjoyed/Found Significant:
How was it that a name was capable of causing him so much grief? Gaius Domitus was the name he had been born to, the name he’d been called for the first eight years of his life. But for the past twelve everyone had called Marcus. It was what his friends called him… It was who he was”
To relax even for a heartbeat might mean catastrophe. Except with Marcus she was no longer certain what catastrophe meant and there was a part of her buried so deep she could barely admit it to herself that wanted to find out what would happen if she let go.”