Book Review: Dark Skies

dsDark Skies is part of a unique series where another book Dark Shores can also be the first book in the series; basically both books take place simultaneously with slightly overlapping characters so you can choose which you start with. I started with Dark Shores and was so invested in that story and those characters I was reluctant to read Dark Skies because I didn’t think I could become as invested in this story—I just wanted to get to the next book to see where the characters in Dark Shores ended up and skip Dark Skies entirely. Boy am I glad that I didn’t do that! Dark Skies is so good! Easily one of my favorite reads so far this year; Danielle L Jensen is quickly climbing into my favorite author list as her storylines are refreshing and her writing is sharp as well--good world building, nice attention to detail without being overwrought, avoids cliche phrases, etc.

Quick synopsis: Dark Skies/Dark Shores takes place in a fictional world which is partly inspired by the Roman Empire. Lydia is the adopted daughter of a Celendor senator and scholar who stumbles into danger and the plots of a powerful man and ends up fleeing to an unfamiliar land. Killian is Marked by the God of War, but when his gifts fail him he finds himself pledging to protect his kingdom’s final hope: the Crown Princess. Lydia and Killian are an unlikely pairing that strike a bargain to help one another and maybe save those they care about as well. What I really enjoyed about this book is Lydia's progression and growth. She starts the novel as a sheltered and bookish girl who falls into a world she knows nothing about. Rather than her personality and talents changing overnight, Jensen gives her a realistic progression as she learns to adapt to her new surroundings, but isn't a new person overnight. One of my favorite moments in the book is when Lydia tries to learn fighting techniques from a book--such a hilarious and yet realistic attempt from a bookish character. I saw a few reviews that complained she was weak, but Lydia has one of the most realistic character developments I’ve ever read—it’s unrealistic that she’ll be a convincing fighter in a few short days and her attempts to learn how to use a sword and bow are amusing and relatable. I also love the other main character in this book, Killian, and he’s officially my new favorite book crush because he’s so adorably awkward. If you enjoy a solid fantasy story definitely check this series and author out.


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