ARC Review: DARK SKIES by Danielle L. Jensen

I won an ARC from the author for helping to reveal the cover. It has not affected my opinion.

Title in yellow on dark purple next to half a shield with a book pierced by a sword
Genre: Fantasy
Age Range: YA
Star Rating:
Series: Yes - book 2

*SPOILER ALERT: this book runs parallel to DARK SHORES. There shouldn’t be any spoilers, but just in case!*


Cover for DARK SKIES - a sword spearing a book in front of a shield with a running horse motif around the edge against a purple background

A RUNAWAY WITH A HIDDEN PAST: Lydia is a scholar, but books are her downfall when she meddles in the plots of the most powerful man in the Celendor Empire. Her life in danger, she flees west to the far side of the Endless Seas and finds herself entangled in a foreign war where her burgeoning powers are sought by both sides.

A COMMANDER IN DISGRACE: Killian is Marked by the God of War, but his gifts fail him when the realm under the dominion of the Corrupter invades Mudamora. Disgraced, he swears his sword to the kingdom’s only hope: the crown princess. But the choice sees him caught up in a web of political intrigue that will put his oath – and his heart – to the test.

A KINGDOM UNDER SIEGE: With Mudamora falling beneath the armies of the Corrupter, Lydia and Killian strike a bargain to save those they love most—but it is a bargain with unintended and disastrous consequences. Truths are revealed, birthrights claimed, and loyalties questioned—all while a menace deadlier and more far-reaching than they realize sweeps across the world.

Synopsis taken from Goodreads. Add to your shelves here.


This sequel is incredible! The pacing was mad, and I rushed through this book because I couldn’t the high-stakes story down.

Killian is probably now my favourite character in the series – simply because he’s a character caught between duty and his own wishes. Not only is he sworn to a meddling princess, but also under obligation from a god who’s given him a gift and no direction, just everyone else’s expectations. I love that dynamic. Any character pulled in  half a dozen ways, fighting a deep rooted sense of duty that contradicts all they want to do is an automatic fave.

He also makes more progress on his goals that Lydia by the end of the book (which is reminiscent of the same situation in DARK SHORES). However, Lydia feels like she’s at least achieved and decided more on her path than Teriana did. It’s an interesting similarity between the two.

Unlike DARK SHORES, this book has an black and white evil in the form of the armies of the Corrupter – a god set on destroying the world. While I love complex villains and shades of grey, I also adore books with absolute evils, as it gives a lot more time for the heroes to react.

There is still a lot of nuance in the challenges faced by Lydia and Killian – namely in the politicians and nobles scheming around them. Even as the country hurtles towards disaster, the nobles want power at any cost. Their meddling and power plays make the situation worse and highlight the danger Lydia and Killian face as they’re prevented from fighting the real danger.

As this book runs parallel to DARK SHORES, it adds another layer of tension. While the evil god’s army is pushing from the north, I was aware that there was another threat in the south that would be a danger regardless of the outcome in the north.

The beginning few chapters were my least favourite, as it shows the events that started DARK SHORES from Lydia’s perspective. As I read ths book off the back of a re-read of DARK SHORES, I knew what was happening and didn’t feel like her perspective added anything. Luckily her POV is interspersed with Killian’s, so there was plenty of new events to read rather than simply rehashing events. However, this was all over soon, as she then ended up in Mudamora, so it’s a minor niggle that knocks off half a star.

I can’t wait for the third book (next year!!!), as all four characters are now in place to be part of the same book. The stakes have gotten insanely high, with the human evil of the Celendor Empire from DARK SHORES and now the absolute evil of the Corrupter.

Read my reviews of other books by Danielle L. Jensen:

Young Adult:

Dark Shores (this series):

The Malediction Trilogy:


The Bridge Kingdom:

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