Book Review: Beyond A Darkened Shore

The Book: Beyond A Darkened Shore by Jessica Leake

The Rating: 3 ⭐️⭐️⭐️

The Review:

“Demon, they called me in their minds.  Changeling. Cursed.  And every time I took hold of someone’s mind, I wondered if perhaps they were right.”

First of all, let me say that this review is a long time coming!  I read Beyond A Darkened Shore while I was on holiday last September, and for some reason never got around to typing up my review… oops!

Second of all… I’m honestly not sure why I didn’t absolutely love this book.

It had everything I usually enjoy in a good fantasy story: a warrior princess with magical powers, a handsome warrior with god-like strength and a lot of snark. Vikings, Celtic Mythology, Norse Mythology and an appearance by one of my favourite mythological characters – the Morrigan.

I just didn’t feel it.  At all.

Ciara started off as a great character.  A warrior maiden ostracised by her people but still fiercely loyal to them, and wielding a power that she doesn’t quite understand.  But even as she was rallying the men of her tribe to stand against the invading Northmen, I wasn’t entirely convinced by her.  There just seemed to be something missing, and I found it extremely difficult to relate to her.

As the story developed, there were lots of moments where I wanted to feel compassion for her character and what she was going through, and I did to some extent.  But I couldn’t really get behind her story.

Leif was an interesting character – quite a lot like Thor from the Marvel movies with his swaggering and arrogance hiding a soft heart inside.  I absolutely loved his relationship with his younger brother (who, by the way, is a complete sweetheart) and honestly he’s probably my favourite character in the whole book.  His development was far more believable than Ciara’s, and I found it much easier to connect with him as I was reading.

However, I really couldn’t get on board with the romance in this story, which was strange as usually I can be counted on to ship characters with the best of them!  But the romance between Ciara and Leif felt forced rather than a natural progression from their rocky beginnings.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that this book just wasn’t for me.  I can’t even put my finger on exactly why I wasn’t a fan of it, which is rather annoying!

Have you read this book?  What did you think about it?  Let me know in the comments!



6 thoughts on “Book Review: Beyond A Darkened Shore

Add yours

  1. It sounds like it has the potential to be good – that concept would have had me hooked from the beginning! But, after reading your review, I’m not sure if I even want to bother with it now. It’s so frustrating when a book sounds like it has it all and ends up being so disappointing.

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