Review: ‘Beyond a Darkened Shore’ By Jessica Leake

Beyond a Darkened Shore

By Jessica Leake

Publisher: Harper Teen
Date: 2018
Pages: 435
Fiction/Non-Fiction: Fiction
Genre:  Fantasy
Days to Read: 6
Purchase Locations: Amazon & Kindle Audible Book Depository Booktopia Dymocks

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.

‘Beyond a Darkened Shore’ was a book I picked up, one because I really wanted to read it and two, because it fills the Ordinary in Care of Magical Creatures prompt in the N.E.W.Ts which asks for a book that has a bird on the cover for which it fits into perfectly.

We follow Ciara, the Princess of Mide who is a warrior when woman aren’t really warriors. She also has an additional ability. This makes her someone who people fear and distrust as well as wanting her to battle along side them. Things change for Ciara however when her father is away and she leads a battle against the northman where she spares the lives of 2 northman fighters. This leads to Ciara finding out more about her abilities and what they actually mean for her and all of Eirinn.

Ciara as a main character was someone who I definitely found brave. I also definitely agreed with her empathy towards others and her desire to protect those she loved.

I did find myself at times wanting to learn more about the past of both Ciara and Leif. However I wasn’t utterly enthralled with the story. I enjoyed the fantasy elements however to really flesh out this story and gain more from reading it a series would of been better than a standalone. A series would of given the author the chance to really flesh out the backstory and make up really feel for the chracters.

Overall I enjoyed my time reading however would of enjoyed more depth in the characters. I enjoyed the viking nature of the book and if you like a standalone viking read then you would definitely enjoy this.

Plot: 6/10
Ease of reading: 7/10
Character Development: 6/10
World Building: 6/10
Quality of Writing: 7/10
Stars: 3/5


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