Beyond a Darkened Shore by Jessica Leake
The ancient land of Éirinn is mired in war. Ciara, Princess of Mide, has never known a time when Éirinn’s kingdoms were not battling for power, or Northmen were not plundering their shores.
The people of Mide have thankfully always been safe because of Ciara’s unearthly ability to control her enemies’ minds and actions. But lately, a mysterious crow has been appearing to Ciara, whispering warnings of an even darker threat. Although her clansmen dismiss her visions as pagan nonsense, Ciara fears this coming evil will destroy not just Éirinn, but the entire world.
Then the crow leads Ciara to Leif, a young Northman leader. Leif should be Ciara’s enemy, but when Ciara discovers that he, too, shares her prophetic visions, she knows he’s something more. Leif is mounting an impressive army, and with Ciara’s strength in battle the two might have a chance to save their world.
With evil rising around them, they’ll do what it takes to defend the land they love…even if it means making the greatest sacrifice of all
There is a lot to like about Beyond a Darkened Shore, but it wasn’t my favorite book.
I’ll start with the things I liked. There is a hate to love romance between Ciara and Leif that I really enjoyed. Not only did they hate each other, but they were enemies that came together to defeat something much bigger. The mythology was excellent. I loved the elements of the Morrigan, The Valkyrie, the jotnar, and the old gods like Odin. That was probably my favorite part of the book. I loved those stories.
What I didn’t like was the pacing in the beginning. I had a hard time getting into the book. I found it interesting enough to keep going, but it didn’t really pick up for me until the second half. There was also just a lot of information to learn in the beginning of the book.
Ciara was born with a power she couldn’t explain. Many people thought she was evil because of it. She could get into the mind of her enemy and control him. At least until Leif showed up. She wasn’t able to get in his mind and kept him as a captive. During this time, she is shown a vision of her home being destroyed by giants. She’s told by the Morrigan that she will have to work with Leif to kill the giants and save her people. Leif was gifted with great strength by the Valkyrie, but it came at a cost.
I liked Ciara’s growth in the book. She started to realize that there are good and bad people everywhere, that not all Northmen were horrible. She was definitely tested along the way though.
Another thing I loved was Ciara’s relationship with her sisters. They obviously meant everything to her and she was willing to sacrifice everything to keep them safe.
There is a lot of fighting and violence throughout the book. It was a bit gross, but I really liked these scenes. They made to book fly by during those parts.
Overall, I liked a lot with this book and gave it 3 1/2 stars (rounded up to 4 on goodreads). I received a copy of this book from Edelweiss for review.
Expected publication: April 10th 2018 by HarperTeen
Have you read Beyond A Darkened Shore yet? What did you think of it?