Title: Dark Skies
Author: Danielle L. Jensen
Series: Dark Shores #2
Audience: Young Adult
Length: 464 pages
Publisher: Tor Teen
Release Date: May 5, 2020
Recommended for Fans of: epic fantasy, Game of Thrones
A RUNAWAY WITH A HIDDEN PAST
Lydia is a scholar, but books are her downfall when she meddles in the plots of the most powerful man in the Celendor Empire. Her life in danger, she flees west to the far side of the Endless Seas and finds herself entangled in a foreign war where her burgeoning powers are sought by both sides.
A COMMANDER IN DISGRACE
Killian is Marked by the God of War, but his gifts fail him when the realm under the dominion of the Corrupter invades Mudamora. Disgraced, he swears his sword to the kingdom’s only hope: the crown princess. But the choice sees him caught up in a web of political intrigue that will put his oath – and his heart – to the test.
A KINGDOM UNDER SIEGE
With Mudamora falling beneath the armies of the Corrupter, Lydia and Killian strike a bargain to save those they love most—but it is a bargain with unintended and disastrous consequences. Truths are revealed, birthrights claimed, and loyalties questioned—all while a menace deadlier and more far-reaching than they realize sweeps across the world.
This was my first Danielle L. Jensen novel, but it will not be my last! I was skeptical about reading Dark Skies before Dark Shores since it’s the second book in the series, but I’d heard you can start with either once since they take place in the same world at the same time but cover different characters in different places. I can confirm you do not need to read Dark Shores first to understand enjoy Dark Skies!
This is an epic fantasy that gave me major Game of Thrones vibes with all the plotting, scheming, politics, war, and shocking twists and turns, minus the extreme gore, sex, incest, and slow, dragging sections. The expansive worldbuilding was very well-integrated into the storytelling, and it only took a couple chapters for me to become fully invested.
I love how all of the characters, not just the MCs Killian and Lydia, are strong, complicated, and imperfect people who sometimes make wrong choices for right reasons, and vice versa. I even found it difficult to dislike some of the antagonists because their motivations were real and understandable.
I LOVE LYDIA AND KILLIAN SO MUCH! They are both such strong, determined, compassionate characters who feel the weight of the world on their shoulders. They both struggle to reconcile their personal desires and their duty to the greater good. Their relationship was beautifully and perfectly developed. They bring out the best in each other when they are together, but countless obstacles force them apart.
The last act of the book left me breathless, gasping, and teary eyed. There were SO MANY new twists and obstacles I never could have predicted. I was floored. This book was incredible. I am so excited to go back and read Dark Shores now, and I cannot wait to see where this series goes in book #3!
Thank you to Netgalley and Tor Teen for my advance review copy of Dark Skies.