March 29, 2019

#BookReview for Beyond a Darkened Shore Jessica Leake

Synopsis: 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.
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About the Author:  
Jessica Leake is the author of the adult novels Arcana and The Order of the Eternal Sun, both with Skyhorse. She worked for years as a psychotherapist, but even though she loved her clients, she couldn’t stop writing. She lives in South Carolina with her husband, four young children, lots of chickens, and two dogs who keep everyone in line. Beyond a Darkened Shore is her YA debut and is followed by Through the White Wood. Visit her at

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟
My Review: I really loved this one to start out with and I made it a little past 200 pages before I decided that this one was just not for me.  I usually eat up books that are faster paced but this one seemed to be just a little too fast.  I swore that these characters needed a vacation within the first 200 pages.  I was like man people take a day off and rest for a few hours.  Because from the start of this one it was one bad guy to the next and the next and the next and the next.  And as I crept toward that 200 pages I just lost interest in what was going on.  

I really loved the mythology that was used as well as the characters. For this one it was all the the action that just didn't work for me at all.  

“Epic historical fantasy filled with deadly creatures, simmering romance, and nonstop action.” (Kirkus Reviews)

“readers will have a great time” (Booklist)

Beyond a Darkened Shore is thrilling and romantic. This is a must-read for lovers of fantasy, mythology, and folklore.” (Kody Keplinger, New York Times bestselling author of The DUFF and Run)

“A true medieval epic. This book is perfect for fans of Marie Lu and Kristin Cashore.” (Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA))

Gr 9 Up—This book brings together Celtic and Norse mythologies. Ciara is princess of Mide, one of the kingdoms of Éirinn (known in modern times as Ireland). Ciara is blessed—or cursed—with the ability to take over a person's mind and force them to do her will. The Mide's enemies are the Northmen who raid villages, murder the residents, and take home their spoils. Leif is leading such a raid when he comes across Ciara, who spares his brother in battle, before taking Leif captive. The pair become unlikely partners in a battle against a greater enemy; giants called jötnar who want to conquer the world. While Ciara fears her powers, Leif helps her embrace them and learn better control with the assistance from his Northman seer. Ciara struggles against her feelings for Leif, and while he stays respectful he also makes his attraction clear. As the romance develops, it gradually takes over the book, with victory against the jötnar becoming secondary. This alternate historical fantasy provides background to the belief systems of both sets of people, and other than the addition of magical elements, accurately portrays the medieval time period. Abrupt revelations that are intended to surprise instead bog down the plot as it heads into the long-anticipated final battle. VERDICT An additional purchase for libraries where mythology is popular and well read.—Rebecca Greer, Hillsborough County Public Library Cooperative, FL

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