Beyond a Darkened Shore
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 Details

TitleBeyond a Darkened Shore
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseApr 10th, 2018
PublisherHarperTeen
ISBN-139780062666260
Rating
GenreFantasy, Young Adult, Mythology

Beyond a Darkened Shore Review

  • Cait • A Page with a View
    January 1, 1970
    Release date: April 10, 2018Ok, let me get some serious fangirling out of the way first because this book had every element I love and was easily one of my most anticipated releases of 2018. I mean, there's a warrior princess in magical ancient Ireland, tons of Irish mythology, Norse mythology, vikings, fae, and then the Morrigan comes in. COULD THE SETUP BE ANY MORE PERFECT?! And crows are my favorite animal, so even the cover was perfect.The general story followed a ton of other similar books Release date: April 10, 2018Ok, let me get some serious fangirling out of the way first because this book had every element I love and was easily one of my most anticipated releases of 2018. I mean, there's a warrior princess in magical ancient Ireland, tons of Irish mythology, Norse mythology, vikings, fae, and then the Morrigan comes in. COULD THE SETUP BE ANY MORE PERFECT?! And crows are my favorite animal, so even the cover was perfect.The general story followed a ton of other similar books that have a warrior princess who sees a sibling killed in front of her, leaves her home because of reasons, meets up with an enemy guy & falls in complicated love with him, and then returns home to fight some final battle. But this story goes in some really clever directions with Ciara's magical powers and all of the Irish & Norse mythology characters that come into play.I LOVED the beginning with Ciara leading her clansmen in battle! I got a strong sense of her character & the setting and thought her ability to control minds was a fun addition. But the story kind of started unraveling once she left her home with a Northman leader guy she captured in battle. It started to skim the surface of what it could've been and seemed more like a slideshow of who's who in mythology. And the plot totally sailed past any potential it did have for emotional impact (like parts I had just started to get invested in were wiped away or skipped). There were SO many neat ideas, but they were never truly used.Ciara's personality was slowly reduced to "anger" as she jumped to a bunch of random conclusions and rushed off to the next plot point. The two main characters were actually the weakest part of the story for me. I don't remember the last time I cared so little about any romance... like I felt nothing. And I loved them both at the beginning!! But I think my main problem was that Ciara, Lief, the plot, and the general execution felt really juvenile at times. And I don't mind YA books that have a younger tone at all! That's not what I'm talking about... I mean that everything felt kind of flat & simplistic. The whole story just turned into some scattered checklist instead of an engaging world. So while I loved some of the overall ideas and seeing the author's fun take on Irish & Norse mythology, I can't deny that I really wasn't into the actual story by the end. It just wasn't for me, but I hope others adore it because it's still a great debut!Disclaimer: I read an early ARC so take what I said with a grain of salt because the finished story will obviously have changes.
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  • Anissa (FairyLoot)
    January 1, 1970
    Wow. I am at a loss for words. I loved this book SO much! The story captured me right from the start and I was rooting for Ciara and Leif so hard. On top of the fantastic characters and story, I loved all of the Celtic and Norse mythology. Everything was just perfect and I never wanted it to end! Love!!!
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  • Maram
    January 1, 1970
    you know it's going to be a good book when there's a freakin crow on the cover 🌚
  • Sabrina
    January 1, 1970
    Checkout my full review on my blog! http://omgbooksandmorebooks.blogspot.... tw: mention and attempt of rape in the book, this happened around 37%/38% of the novel, chapter 11.There are so many unique things about Beyond a Darkened Shore, the setting, the characters, the plot and more. I was ensnared from beginning to end. I haven't read a book with Vikings and Norse Mythology so this book was a treat. I really enjoyed the battle scenes, the imagery and description was so good. A warrior princes Checkout my full review on my blog! http://omgbooksandmorebooks.blogspot.... tw: mention and attempt of rape in the book, this happened around 37%/38% of the novel, chapter 11.There are so many unique things about Beyond a Darkened Shore, the setting, the characters, the plot and more. I was ensnared from beginning to end. I haven't read a book with Vikings and Norse Mythology so this book was a treat. I really enjoyed the battle scenes, the imagery and description was so good. A warrior princess, mythology, historical fiction, and mystery, this book has everything I wanted. My only complaint is that I wish the book was longer, maybe like a duology but trilogy but this book does wrap up nicely. But this book is so imaginative and unique. I've always wanted to read a book like this and now I finally have.The characters are great, Ciara will do anything to protect her kingdom and her family. Though she makes rash decisions at times. She is a badass warrior princess though. I honestly swooned when she was fighting in battle, it was amazing. Leif, is a young Northman leader and an enemy to Ciara, but they share a common goal in order to prevent evil from spreading. The most alluring/interesting part of this novel was the raven that holds prophetic visions.
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  • Jasmine from How Useful It Is
    January 1, 1970
    About: Beyond a Darkened Shore is a young adult fantasy written by Jessica Leake. It will be published on 4/10/18 by HarperTeen, an imprint of HarperCollins, 432 pages. The genres are young adult, fiction, fantasy, mythology, and historical. This book is intended for readers ages 14 and up, grades 9 and up. This book is the author’s debut and a standalone fantasy. My Experience: I started reading Beyond a Darkened Shore on 11/16/17 and finished it on 12/8/17. (It didn’t really take me this long About: Beyond a Darkened Shore is a young adult fantasy written by Jessica Leake. It will be published on 4/10/18 by HarperTeen, an imprint of HarperCollins, 432 pages. The genres are young adult, fiction, fantasy, mythology, and historical. This book is intended for readers ages 14 and up, grades 9 and up. This book is the author’s debut and a standalone fantasy. My Experience: I started reading Beyond a Darkened Shore on 11/16/17 and finished it on 12/8/17. (It didn’t really take me this long to read. I had a Thanksgiving break in between). This book is a great read! I like the main character’s abilities and her encounters with time. I like Ciara’s love for her sisters and her desire to protect her family, even after finding out her true background. I like her independent nature and her ability to make decisions in tough situations. I like Leif and his love for his family as well. I like his good nature personality. I enjoy and appreciate the slow paced romance in this book. It’s a nice change when two characters met without prior loving feelings towards each other. They fall for each other through time from experiences of hardships and a common vengeance.This book is told in the first person point of view following Ciara Leannan, 17, heir to the throne of Mide. She is the only princess among the 4 sisters that have abilities beyond a normal person. Due to her monstrous abilities, she is deemed a warrior for the kingdom and is treated as such. She receives no love from family and friends because everyone fear her and view her as a monster. With her abilities, she is able to receive a warning of an oncoming attack that will kill everyone including her sisters. To protect her kingdom, she is forced to join the kingdom’s long-term enemy, the Northmen, to destroy the jotnar before they attack. In their agreement to become allies, Leif Olafsson, 18 also shared a loss of a sister and he is out for vengeance on his sister’s death. Leif has the strength of a warrior unlike any other because he made a deal with the Valkyrie. Through their journey to defeat their common enemy, their reluctance to fall for each other is interesting to read because their enemy background is always in the way.This book is well written and organized. There are many battles and I enjoy reading the battle scenes. I’m not familiar with the Norse mythology, Norse Gods, and Norse language so at times I find myself losing interest with the world building. Though there is hardly room for boredom as the actions and adventures are almost constant. I like that they are often on the move, traveling by horse or ship from one place to another. There are variety of characters involved: giants, immortals, gods, crows, ravens, Valkyrie, etc. The ending sums up everything beautifully and I highly recommend everyone to read this book!Pro: fast paced, page turner, independent strong female character, slow burning romanceCon: noneI rate it 4 stars!***Disclaimer: Many thanks to the author Jessica Leake, publisher HarperTeen, and Edelweiss for the opportunity to read and review. Please be assured that my opinions are honest.xoxo, Jasmine at www.howusefulitis.wordpress.com for more details
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  • Sabrina The Trash Queen
    January 1, 1970
    💫 A warrior princess has to team up with the enemy to safe the world? 💫 And she has the ability to control minds? And actions? BLOODY BADASS.
  • Danielle (Life of a Literary Nerd)
    January 1, 1970
    “The laws are clear: there are only two strong enough to defeat them. One born for it, the other through great sacrifice.” I will always pick up a mythology book. It’s one of my book buzz words that almost guarantees I will be interested in reading a book. I’m happy to say that Beyond a Darkened Shore did not disappoint me.Beyond a Darkened Shore follows Ciara and Leif, two people with special powers, who might be the only ones capable of stopping a looming destruction. Yes this synopsis sou “The laws are clear: there are only two strong enough to defeat them. One born for it, the other through great sacrifice.” I will always pick up a mythology book. It’s one of my book buzz words that almost guarantees I will be interested in reading a book. I’m happy to say that Beyond a Darkened Shore did not disappoint me.Beyond a Darkened Shore follows Ciara and Leif, two people with special powers, who might be the only ones capable of stopping a looming destruction. Yes this synopsis sounds completely unoriginal and boring, but I really enjoyed the book - which is saying a lot because almost all of my March reads were lackluster. Things I Liked As I said above all things mythology and getting to see Celtic and Norse mythology was a huge selling point. I loved learning all about the gods, the history of both Ciara and Leif’s people and seeing the rich worldbuilding come to life.I am such an easy going shipper - I’m go with the flow on romances in stories like 90% of the time. That said, while the romance isn’t a selling point of the story for me, I definitely had a goofy grin on my face a time or two. Ciara & Leif were such a well-balanced match that bickered, but respected each other and were all around entertaining.There was a lot of action in the story, as one would expect with a world-altering battle taking place. But here the stakes felt high, and there was tension in the action, which I always appreciate. Things I Didn’t Like While I did like the action through the entire story, the final battle felt little anticlimactic. Things just got a little too easy and everything happened a little too quickly. I would have liked some more consequences overall.Last few chapters kinda felt like prolonged epilogue to me. Not in a bad way, but I felt like there was an ending point that was beautiful and perfect and fit the story, but then there was 3 more chapters. I seem to finally be moving out of my mediocre reading phase and I couldn’t be happier with all the Spring releases coming up! Beyond a Darkened Shore is an actiony and engaging story of sacrifice and honor that you can’t miss.I received a copy of the book from HarperTeen via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Adrienne Young
    January 1, 1970
    A sweep-you-away fantasy filled with mythology, romance, mystery and magic. I really loved this one and I think YA readers will too! So happy I got to read an early copy.
  • Kristen
    January 1, 1970
    This book was really fun! The start was a tad slow in places but after 40% it got epic! The middle portion of the book had me absolutely hooked!
  • K.A.
    January 1, 1970
    I was lucky enough to read an arc of this book in exchange for an honest review. And oh, was it a beautiful and kick-ass book. Filled with Celtic and Norse mythology, Viking battles, wars with gods and monsters--both human and non--pacing that built and built perfectly, and a slow-burn love story between enemies (the icing on a dark and riveting cake), I loved BEYOND A DARKENED SHORE. After the first quarter mark, I seriously could not put this book down. Highly recommended for anyone who loves I was lucky enough to read an arc of this book in exchange for an honest review. And oh, was it a beautiful and kick-ass book. Filled with Celtic and Norse mythology, Viking battles, wars with gods and monsters--both human and non--pacing that built and built perfectly, and a slow-burn love story between enemies (the icing on a dark and riveting cake), I loved BEYOND A DARKENED SHORE. After the first quarter mark, I seriously could not put this book down. Highly recommended for anyone who loves the above, and especially fans of the show Vikings and The books/show The Last Kingdom. Thank you for this read. It was soooooo gooood!!!!
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  • Damaris (GoodChoiceReading)
    January 1, 1970
    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yes! Yes! No cliff hanger, but please let there be another book!! I need more of Leif & Ciara!!!!
  • ALEXA
    January 1, 1970
    Things I liked: Norse + Celt mythology, a warrior princess, quest story format (because who doesn’t like a good quest?), stand-aloneThings that weren’t my cup of tea: the story executionWhile I did end up finishing this one, it ended up being a fairly average read. I thought the main character was underdeveloped, felt like the pacing was a little rough, and I’m still torn on the level of keen I feel towards the romantic relationship in this story.
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  • mith
    January 1, 1970
    Rating to change; I'm a bit torn on how I feel about this.
  • Sean
    January 1, 1970
    I loved the whole Viking + Celts everything, and the magic was incredible! The Moriggan, the undead armies... This was everything I hoped it would be. Truly fantastic. I read an advance copy of this book.
  • Sara (sarabara081)
    January 1, 1970
    Between 4 and 4.5 stars!I really enjoyed this one! It started off with some action to pull me in and kept up with a good pace throughout. There was so much fun mythology involved and I loved the storyline. Definitely worth a read! Better RTC.
  • Yara
    January 1, 1970
    This book deserves more than five stars! If you like Celtic/ Norse mythology and Vikings, then this is the perfect book for you. It flows seamlessly, has a ton of action but at a good pace, slow burn romance, and friendship/ family themes. So far, this is my fave book I’ve read this year and recommend it to everyone.
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  • Aanchal (Book Flame)
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 Stars Beyond A Darkened Shore surprised me, maybe it's because I didn't have any expectations going in for the novel, I just knew it had a breathtaking cover and I wanted to read it. This book is not just a pretty cover, inside the pages is an epic fantasy filled with magic, Norse and Irish mythology, undead armies, monsters, love and loss along with characters you will come to love or love to hate. I'd say it's pretty damn amazing. Any epic fantasy read needs to have phenomenal world buildi 4.5 Stars Beyond A Darkened Shore surprised me, maybe it's because I didn't have any expectations going in for the novel, I just knew it had a breathtaking cover and I wanted to read it. This book is not just a pretty cover, inside the pages is an epic fantasy filled with magic, Norse and Irish mythology, undead armies, monsters, love and loss along with characters you will come to love or love to hate. I'd say it's pretty damn amazing. Any epic fantasy read needs to have phenomenal world building and Jessica Leake nailed it. She knows how to create a world that pulls its readers in, as I was reading the final page it was bittersweet because I didn't want to leave Ciara and Leif and the magical world of Beyond a Darkened Shore.I don't think there was a dull moment in the book, not even a few pages in and we are thrust into a raid on Ciara's village and that is where she meets Leif, kind of. More like they are enemies and she kicks his ass and takes him prisoner. The two of them realize rather quickly there is something bigger than any threat the two of them could be to each other and so the two put their differences aside and go on a journey to save the world. I loved everything about Ciara and Leif, the slow burn romance, their loyalty and fierceness and most of all what was admirable was their love for their siblings. It was impossible not to root for them.The reason I gave this 4.5 stars and not the full 5 is because I wish we got to know more about the villains. There were some hints that there was more to them than just these evil creatures but it was never really explored and I love complex villains, so they were a little one-sided for me.I was thrilled that this was a standalone but at the same time I'm not too happy about it because I feel there is so much more left to explore in this world, so I'm crossing my fingers that maybe there will be other books if not revolved around Ciara and Leif, maybe other characters in the same world.Overall, I highly recommend Beyond A Darkened Shore especially to all my Fantasy lovers, it is a must-read, and I can't wait to see what else the author has in store for us because she is definitely someone to be excited about.
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  • Cindy ✩☽ Savage Queen ♔
    January 1, 1970
    Synopsis sounds promising and the cover is lovely, so sure, TBR it is!
  • Bella
    January 1, 1970
    OMG.I was given an uncorrected ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review, and I was blown away. This book incorporates everything that I love, a little bit of romance, mythology, historical fiction, and a warrior as a main character! The book is beautifully written and made me laugh as well as cry! The story is filled with mystery, and magic, but not in an overwhelming way, and overall, this was a book that I would strongly suggest! The story, which I believe is a stand alone book, was f OMG.I was given an uncorrected ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review, and I was blown away. This book incorporates everything that I love, a little bit of romance, mythology, historical fiction, and a warrior as a main character! The book is beautifully written and made me laugh as well as cry! The story is filled with mystery, and magic, but not in an overwhelming way, and overall, this was a book that I would strongly suggest! The story, which I believe is a stand alone book, was fast paced and filled with action and adventure. I could not put it down, and just laid in my bed for hours finishing it! This is not a book you want miss out on.
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  • Madeline J.
    January 1, 1970
    Fantastic use of lore in the worldbuilding. Leake has also created strong characters whose journeys I was invested in. Fantastic!
  • Bridget
    January 1, 1970
    Loved this one!!!
  • Lexi
    January 1, 1970
    I loved every moment of it. I love Leif. I love how he let Ciara be her own and wield her own power. Honestly such a beautiful story of a female hero also getting her love 💜
  • Kristi Housman Confessions of a YA Reader
    January 1, 1970
    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 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.
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  • alice (arctic books)
    January 1, 1970
    2.5 stars, I think. Full review to come.
  • Christy
    January 1, 1970
    DNF @ 40%There were several things I was interested in and was curious about but this book was just sooooo slow.
  • Erin
    January 1, 1970
    I received a copy of this book in exchange of an honest review. This book was everything anyone could ever want in a fantasy. Wars, enemies turned allies, a romance, Celtics gods and Norse gods. I loved both Ciara and Liefs characters and their thirst for revenge. YA fantasy lovers should give this one a read or anyone interested in Celtic or Norse mythology.
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  • Cassie James
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to the publisher for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review, This doesn't in any way influence my opinion on it. Beyond a Darkened Shore is a unique book of the likes I haven't read so far. Sure there are other characters like Ciara that are daughters of leaders with some kind of power but the setting of this book makes it differ in a special way. The story is so refreshingly original I was fully engrossed in it by the end of the first chapter. Éirinn, Ciara's Kingdom is under Thanks to the publisher for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review, This doesn't in any way influence my opinion on it. Beyond a Darkened Shore is a unique book of the likes I haven't read so far. Sure there are other characters like Ciara that are daughters of leaders with some kind of power but the setting of this book makes it differ in a special way. The story is so refreshingly original I was fully engrossed in it by the end of the first chapter. Éirinn, Ciara's Kingdom is under attack from Northmen (known to us as Vikings) and Ciara is the daughter of the king of Mide (One of the lands in Éirinn) and the heir to the throne. She has always been different from her people because she had the power to control someone's mind and make them do whatever she desires (among an array of other new frightening emerging powers). This made her reviled and revered among her people, even among her family. Ciara is also a warrior and a defender of the land, Change comes to her life in the form of a strange crow. This Crow gives her visions and guides her towards being the savior of her people. After an attack on her homeland leads to her taking a Northman leader Leif, prisoner. Ciara learns her fate is entwined with his as they are the only one who can save everyone from a darkness that is coming. Fate binds them together in a journey that takes them both away from their people unto an adventure that spans different places and realms with the aim of figuring out exactly what their enemy is and how to stop it.I really love the way Mythology plays into everything, the worldbuilding is so brilliantly structured and constructed it was easy to assimilate. I commend Jessica Leake for fashioning such an engrossing world with so many amazing and powerful characters.Ciara and Leif have a lot to overcome as their people have a lot of bad blood between them. But nothing unites people more than a common e enemy to defeat (and also kicking ass while at it).The action is breathtaking and vivid, the battles play in my mind like a movie. Jessica Leake really made it all come to life and it vastly elevated my reading experience. I also loved her twists on the Mythology, Seeing the characters in relation to these powerful being was amazing. Beyond A Darkened Shore is very ambitious and it successfully pull of big things, I love how there is still vulnerability imbued among all the power.Ciara and Leif's relationship is so interesting as it was borne from two people broken by loss and pain. They complete each other (literally and figuratively) and seeing them come together to form this powerful connection and intense love was just wonderful. Every reader will ship them so hard as they are so endearing. I rooted for them through every battle, obstacle and entanglement with the gods. The ending was beautiful and fitting, it was a satisfying epilogue to an epic story. Everything tied up perfectly, they are not the same characters they were in the beginning but who they were always meant to be. The twists and turns throughout the book will keep readers on the edge of their seat and excited, I happily recommend this book to everyone looking for the next great read.With powerful writing, heart pounding action, many immortal villains, magic, vibrant romance, badass characters (especially the females), gods and a eerily beautiful cover, Beyond A Darkened Shore is a must read from the immensely talented Jessica Leake.
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  • Rachel (APCB Reviews)
    January 1, 1970
    ** Rating is 3.5 stars **After reading so many glowing reviews for "Beyond a Darkened Shore" paired with the pitch of a Norse mythology, I eagerly started this book hoping to see a brutal clashing of two clans both struggling to survive. What I found instead was a heavy mythological plot that, while unexpected, managed to capture my attention early on."Beyond a Darkened Shore" follows the eldest daughter and heir to the Mide throne. Because of her unnatural mild control abilities, she is shunned ** Rating is 3.5 stars **After reading so many glowing reviews for "Beyond a Darkened Shore" paired with the pitch of a Norse mythology, I eagerly started this book hoping to see a brutal clashing of two clans both struggling to survive. What I found instead was a heavy mythological plot that, while unexpected, managed to capture my attention early on."Beyond a Darkened Shore" follows the eldest daughter and heir to the Mide throne. Because of her unnatural mild control abilities, she is shunned by her people. Over time she receives cryptic messages and ominous feelings to prepare for a dangerous quest to protect her family and her people. Which leads her to pair with Leif, her sworn enemy from the North, to save their people.My first impression upon finishing this book is thank gosh it is over. I really enjoyed the arc overall, but I felt the story dragged in places and was simply too long. I can think of quite a few insignificant scenes to be cut to tighten up this story to alleviate the pacing issues. Disclaimer: I read an Advanced Readers Copy, so there are many edits that were probably made to the final version.I really loved the Norse mythology elements incorporated into the story, and I was pleasantly surprised to see the big role mythology had on this novel. Given the historical element of this story, there was plenty of gore and brutality to satisfy anyone's expectations of a Vikings novel. The action was exhilarating and with such a bloody tale, there were so many twists I didn't see coming. I thought the writing overall was polished and read very easily. I thought the main character, Ciara, was a little underdeveloped. I loved her ruthless nature and loyalty to her family, but I felt like she was more of a vessel for the story than the one actually leading it. Leif was the much needed flirty, fun release to the dark tale. I thought they paired pretty well together and I liked their romantic arc. Overall I really liked how the story ended, and I would definitely read a book two if there is one!
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  • Renu
    January 1, 1970
    Beyond a Darkened Shore completely took me by surprise, I wasn't expecting to like a story about giants as much as I did. Eirinn is a land made up of kingdoms who are constantly having to protect their home from pillaging Northmen. Ciara, the mc, lives in Mide and because of her supernatural abilities she has been able to keep her people safe. That all changes, however, when she starts seeing a ominous crow who shows her dark visions. Then when Northmen arrive on Mide's shore, she discovers that Beyond a Darkened Shore completely took me by surprise, I wasn't expecting to like a story about giants as much as I did. Eirinn is a land made up of kingdoms who are constantly having to protect their home from pillaging Northmen. Ciara, the mc, lives in Mide and because of her supernatural abilities she has been able to keep her people safe. That all changes, however, when she starts seeing a ominous crow who shows her dark visions. Then when Northmen arrive on Mide's shore, she discovers that their leader, Leif, could be the key to helping her save Eirinn from the evil that threatens to destroy those she loves dearly.I liked both Ciara and Leif, they were interesting and well rounded characters who I found myself easily rooting for. I could relate to the strong bond they had with their siblings, and their sense of loyalty was admirable. Although from different backgrounds the slow build up of trust, friendship, and then something more was well executed. Plus, the romance featured one of my favourite tropes: enemies to lovers!Warning for those not into gory violence, personally I'm not a fan, but I enjoyed the characters and their story so much I didn't really care. Overall, it was a great stand-alone! This review also appears on my blog, The Page Turner.
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  • Carina Olsen
    January 1, 1970
    I enjoyed this book a whole lot. The story was so exciting and I simply adored the characters. The writing was pretty great too. At first I thought it might be a five star, but I ended up having a few smaller issues, so four stars it is. But gosh, I really liked this book. And I cannot wait to own a finished copy of this gorgeous.This book tells the story of seventeen year old Ciara. It's set way back in time, and I loved that lots. And oh, how I adored this girl. I loved that the whole book is I enjoyed this book a whole lot. The story was so exciting and I simply adored the characters. The writing was pretty great too. At first I thought it might be a five star, but I ended up having a few smaller issues, so four stars it is. But gosh, I really liked this book. And I cannot wait to own a finished copy of this gorgeous.This book tells the story of seventeen year old Ciara. It's set way back in time, and I loved that lots. And oh, how I adored this girl. I loved that the whole book is from her point of view. And I loved getting to know her. She was awesome. I loved how much she cared for her sisters. I hated how her parents didn't care for her.The plot in this book was so exciting. It takes place ages ago, in a place with magic. The magic isn't a big part of this world, just small things. Ciara has magic in her. She has the ability to enter the mind of a person, and change it. This was pretty interesting to read about. I did like how her ability changed later on, though that new part was a bit too much, maybe. But it was interesting to read, and I liked that. Ciara was pretty awesome. She both loved and hated her ability, and I liked that about her a lot. Her world has been at war for ages now, with the dangerous Northmen coming often to raid their village, stealing and murdering. Her older sister got murdered because of this years ago, and Ciara has sworn revenge. It was heartbreaking yet amazing.This book begins with a raid on Ciara's village. And it was pretty interesting to read about, yet a bit brutal too. Lots of death. It ends with Ciara taking a boy prisoner. This boy is Leif. So begins this story. These two enemies are meant to become allies, to help defeat something evil that is coming for everyone. Ciara has been told this by a crow person. Which sounds weird, yet was pretty awesome. But yeah. Ciara and Leif pretty much hate each other, but they also seem amused by each other right away; and I loved that.There is so much happening in this book. I'm not going to describe all of it. Just that this book is long yet not long enough. And the villains were all kinds of evil and I hated them. Yet sort of didn't truly understand the reason for why they were so evil. But they were and they were awful. And their way of killing was the worst. Aw. Yet so fascinating to read about too. But also the worst. Yet so good. How rude. But anyway. The story in this book was all kinds of awesome. There is even a kelpie. Which was so creepy and great.I really enjoyed the romance in this book. Ciara and Leif are so different yet so the same too. They both had a loss in their life. They have lots of other things in common too. And oh, reading about them slowly learning to trust each other and become friends was the best. Eee. Nothing happen for at least half the book, and I was okay with that. Because just reading about them being together was all kinds of fun. And when the romance did happen, I loved it so. They fit together so well and I shipped them the very most.The reason for why this book was a four star and not a five, was because of the magic. Sort of. I felt like some parts of it were a bit too much. It was always exciting, but maybe a bit too much. But despite that, I enjoyed this book so very much. The story was so interesting and so evil. There is a lot of death in this book. Some heartbreaking. Some awesome. The ending was pretty good, though. First totally evil. Hmph. But then good. Pretty sure this is a standalone, and it doesn't need more, but I would not say no to more.I'm not going to say much more about this book. I find that I simply have no more words to describe why I liked it and how much I liked it. Which was a whole bunch. I loved most of this book. And it was all just so exciting and I adored the characters so much. Sigh. I would love to read more about them all. This book is mostly about Ciara and Leif, though. And I adored that. There is a lot of fighting. And a bit of awesome backstory. And lots of great flirting. Yess. This whole book was amazing. Sigh. I'm so happy that I read it.Huge thank you to the publisher for the auto-approval on Edelweiss, eee. I'm so thrilled that I was able to read and review this book early. Now I just have to hunt down that print ARC, because I need it like crazy. This book was so so good. And it's gorgeous. I love that cover so much. Beyond a Darkened Shore was everything I was hoping it would be and more. Fierce characters and a stunning slow romance. Exciting plot and evil villains. I'm so glad I read this book. And I think you'll all love it too. And so go order it. Now.---This review was first posted on my blog, Carina's Books, here: http://carinabooks.blogspot.no/2017/0...
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