Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

Beyond a Darkened Shore

Rate this book
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.

435 pages, Hardcover

First published April 10, 2018

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Jessica Leake

5 books708 followers
Once upon a time, Jessica Leake was a psychotherapist, but even though she loved her clients, she couldn't stop writing. She wrote and wrote until she got her first book published, and then she wrote some more. In between all that writing she had four beautiful and hilarious children with her husband (best friend and man she's known since high school; also hilarious), moved back to her adopted hometown of Greenville, SC, built a chicken coop, and got a bunch of chickens that poop breakfast every morning. She also has two dogs to keep the chickens in line. (The dogs made her write that last bit.)

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
983 (26%)
4 stars
1,434 (38%)
3 stars
948 (25%)
2 stars
311 (8%)
1 star
75 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 817 reviews
Profile Image for jessica.
2,534 reviews32.5k followers
December 26, 2020
this story is everything i wanted when i picked up this book.

it has a strong heroine, an enemies to lovers romance, a plot where the girl has to save her kingdom, rich norse and celtic mythology, fast pacing, enjoyable writing, and a satisfying ending. its a very typical YA novel, and i know that might not be enough for some readers, but i like this kind of story. there is a reason this kind of book sells so well.

this is the exact easy-going entertainment that i was looking for and i loved the escapism that it provided. also, i love love love that this is a standalone. i will always praise an author who can create a good story without needing more than one book to do it.

4 stars
Profile Image for Katerina.
422 reviews16.8k followers
May 25, 2018
What a lovely surprise!

I hadn’t heard of Beyond a Darkened Shore until it was featured in Fairyloot’s April box themed “Whimsical Journeys”, and it couldn’t be more suitable because it was a whimsical, all-encompassing journey indeed! With an intricate blend of Norse and Celtic mythology, a rejected heroine with mystical powers and a Valkyrie endorsed hero on a quest to defeat flesh-eating monsters, Jessica Leake crafted a tale of war and love that deserves more attention.
“In all the world, there are only two strong enough. One born for it, the other through great sacrifice.”

In the beautiful land of Éirinn, Princess Ciara of Mide is an outcast; while her mind-controlling abilities make her a valuable asset in order to defeat raids from the Northmen, her clansmen treat her as a heretic, an abomination, a harbinger of death and suffering. Ciara’s only concern is to keep her sisters safe, to protect them and her kingdom from harm’s way at any cost. That’s why when the Morrigan, the Phantom Queen, leads Ciara to Leif, an arrogant and frustrating Northman raider, and asks her to spare him because only the two of them can save humankind from a savage race seeking world domination, Ciara will swallow her hatred and join forces with him. Along their journey, Ciara and Leif will encounter ruthless monarchs, demons, monsters, even the Wild Hunt, they will wake the fallen and challenge the gods. For their families, their people, and mankind.
“A war is coming. Will you fight it, Ciara of Mide?”

Beyond a Darkened Shore is a deeply atmospheric novel, infused with Irish and Nordic legends, beautiful landscapes and brutality. There are explicitly savage scenes that will make your stomach churn; creatures that escaped nightmares only to soak the earth in blood and gore; violent goddesses that demand great sacrifices; but there are also breathtaking locations, strong family relationships and a blooming, slow-burning romance that offer moments of longing, happiness and love.
“There is greatness in you, Ciara of Mide, beyond even what you have accomplished so far.”

The setting and lore of Beyond a Darkened Shore were truly magical. In a land recently christianized, Jessica Leake smartly weaves a web of prophecies and pagan ways without overburdening the story, but instead she enriches it with fascinating myths that always intrigued me. Ciara is a warrior princess in her journey of acceptance and self-discovery, a journey that shed prejudices that lasted generations and showed her that the world is not painted in black and white, that enemies can be humane and monsters can have feelings. Her scenes with Leif, this cocky, powerful, loyal Northman who stood by her and supported her, embraced both her virtues and her flaws and helped her conquer her fears, were immersed in passion and warmth, and I thoroughly enjoyed them.

The only thing that felt a little off was the writing style. The first-person present-tense viewpoint was difficult to digest, especially during the first chapters, and there were times when the execution of this engaging concept was somehow immature, like some parts of the story were processed more than others.

Beyond a Darkened Shore is a captivating and bloody adventure, ideal for readers who enjoyed Sky in the Deep!

You can find this review and more on BookNest!
Profile Image for Anissa.
67 reviews895 followers
July 14, 2017
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!!!
Profile Image for ♛ may.
806 reviews3,798 followers
August 25, 2018
this was good, more than good, it was great for these reasons

- enemy to lovers trope, you cannot convince me a greater trope existed
- norse mythology (even tho i know next to nothing about it) was really fun and gave it a unique spin on the plot
- sisters who love each other 😭😭😭
- brothers who love each other 🤧🤧🤧
- interesting plot, fast paced, and action packed
- wasnt scared to get gruesome but not TOO gruesome
- that cover
- butt kicking warrior princess who literally makes armies cower, actual queen
- i got to br it with my love

there were some cliche and drawn out elements, i cannot lie, but overall, pretty darn good

buddy read with my marshmallow
Profile Image for Nasom.
195 reviews139 followers
Shelved as 'dnf'
July 23, 2018
DNF @57%

Okay, I think it is time to part ways with this book. It's just not holding my interest and the dialogues are subpar
Profile Image for Lena.
361 reviews258 followers
July 3, 2018
I loved every single aspect of this book!!! The romance was ON. POINT. ladies and gentlemen. I’ve also been really into the “Enemies to lovers” trope lately (don’t judge me I’m just a poor little fangirl and my heart simply cannot take it) so this was a delicious, suspenseful and just all around adorable read for me. Looking for something to make you happy? Read this book! Looking for two dumb idiots that are too proud to admit they deeply care for each other? Read this book! Looking for a strong female main character? Read this book! Looking for an easy, yet beautifully crafted story about an unlikely Celtic/Norse alliance? *shoves book in your face* READ. THIS. BOOK!
Also, the ending? Freaking perfect if you ask me! Now, let’s start a petition for this to be turned into a movie! This is serious movie material 🤩
Profile Image for Jasmine from How Useful It Is.
1,295 reviews342 followers
December 9, 2017
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 romance

Con: none

I 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.

Jasmine at www.howusefulitis.wordpress.com for more details
Profile Image for n a t.
393 reviews184 followers
February 11, 2022
first read • 2018
second read • 2021



this turned out to be far better than expected!

❝The laws are clear: there are only two strong enough to defeat them. One born for it, the other through great sacrifice.❞

everything I loved:

• vikings
• Ireland!!!
• norse/celtic mythology
• a badass MC
• a romance to die for *swoon*
• Leif Olafsson (my man and dream husband)
• and the action scenes were 👍🏼

it was brutal, dark and violent, and all of it was beautiful. and that ending ... was just ... *grabs Kleenex* more than I deserve.
Profile Image for Kassidy.
339 reviews11k followers
May 23, 2018

I loved the richness of the Norse and Celtic mythology set in Irish history, but the pacing of the story dragged for me.
Profile Image for Alex.
457 reviews147 followers
May 5, 2018
Soooo I kinda got this book 3 time this month in boxes and crates, and I was nervous after seeing a 3.7 rating, but I actually loved this book, and I honestly can’t tell you why.
It had a few flaws that would usually take some star power and deductions, but y’all! I actually really enjoyed this story.
And felt very satisfied with the ending.
A more thorough review to come :)
Profile Image for Beatrice in Bookland.
448 reviews838 followers
September 17, 2018
"Who knew you Northmen were so delicate?”
“We’re as fragile as petals."

There's nothing wrong with this book it's just... so plain.
For me, in order to enjoy a book (and get at least a four stars rating), it needs well written characters, an interesting plot, a shippable couple and good writing style. Beyond a darkened shore checks only one of those requirements, the good writing style.

Ciara and Leif are the two protagonists, they are enemies and they discover that they've played in the hands of their gods for their entire lives, because their destiny has apparently already been written. They fall in love, obviously. They also aren't that shippable imo. Kudos to the author for avoiding instalove and love triangles but you need more to make a couple great.

And as I said before, the plot is kinda boring. I still finished the book quickly thanks to the writing style but I also couldn't wait to get to the last page to finally start another book.

I would still recommend this to fans of Celtic books (and fans of Sky in the deep), but maybe lower your expectations in order to avoid a big disappointment.
Profile Image for Sophie "Beware Of The Reader".
1,291 reviews340 followers
May 23, 2018

I got this book in my April Fairyloot box.

I was surprise to find this book but also happy and intrigued as it hasen't been hyped. I would dive in blind!

I read it in three days due to work, chores, etc. and if I liked reading about Leif and Ciara's story I can't say that I was fascinated to the point it would have been painful to put it down.


No clue as this book at first glance has all the ingredients to be a bestseller.
-Norse Mythology? Yes (Ana I am thinking of you here!);
-Female character spunky and training to become a warrior? Yes;
-big blond handsome Norse warrior wanting to die in battle and go to Valhala? Yes;
-action? Yes (between the raid of a castle, the fight of Giants, the hunt by The Wild Hunt, the attack by a giant sea serpent, the ....);
-Gods bestowing special powers to humans even tricking them (of course they would trick the humans!)? Yes;
-Character's growth as in mastering her powers? yes;
-Love story between enemies? Yes

So what did not work???

I think that even if I understood and could follow Ciara I could not really connect with her. She was too "volatile" going from blind rage to remorse and guilt and ...
I still don't really "feel" who Leif is. Yes we see he is a fantastic warrior and is looking for revenge. He loves bragging and fighting but... I still miss necessary elements to really walk in his shoes.
The love story was ...lacking in my eyes. Against it is probably a "it's not you it's me" but I did not think they really had many opportunities to fall in love. I can believe in insta love but here I did not feel it.

OK stopping here as it's probably me and not the book. I can't say the author did a bad job that's not it at all but simply it was not meant to work for me.

Profile Image for k .
292 reviews
June 8, 2018
Plot - 5
Writing style - 4.5
Characters - 4.5
Romance - 5

In which a powerful Christian princess fought alongside with a clingy Norse warrior to stop the giants from conquering the world.

Plot - I would be lying if I'll say the plot was very original because the conflict somehow resembles Magnus CHase (obviously) , despite that, Beyond the DArkened SHore managed to surpassed my high expectations.

Though I have to say, I would prefer if this is a trilogy or something. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the book despite it being a stand-alone novel.

The story quickly grabbed my attention at the very first chapter. What I like about it was that, there was no unnecessary chapters in the beginning where the author will bore you to death explaining how the heroine woke up or whatever.

Though the twist about Ciara's sister's murderer didn't really surprised me. I saw it coming.

Writing style - I absolutely have no problem with the writing style. Like I said, from the very beginning, I was immediately hooked.

Fast-paced. Action-packed. No dull moments.

Characters -

Ciara - somehow, I cannot help myself from pitying her. She somehow became nothing but a weapon to her kingdom. Her parents are scared of her due to the power she possess.

She's the type of heroine you just want to be like. She's just so freaking perfect, okay? Despite how hard life treats her, she's still so, so kind.

She's brave and beautiful, inside and out.

Leif - handsome, smart, strong af, family-oriented, cocky, and very clingy. My fellow bookworms, these qualities are enough to make him swoon-worthy.

I love him, by the way. And I would be lying if I said I did not expected him as a Norse prince since the heroine was a princess.

Though, I would very, very much like to read his POV.

Romance - with the hero being super clingy, it's enough to clarify that, indeed, the romance was pretty good.

I was surprised at how the romance was emphasized in this novel since I rarely read fantasy books that SERIOUSLY give attention to the romance for every damn chapter. And I likeeee it! Hahahha.

I know they're still young. I mean, they're only 17 and 18 but who cares? It's fiction. Plus, people back then really do marry at a very young age and still last long.
Profile Image for Danielle (Life of a Literary Nerd).
1,174 reviews253 followers
March 29, 2018
“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.
Profile Image for Stacee.
2,710 reviews701 followers
April 3, 2018
2.5 stars?

I was all over that synopsis and the bird on the cover and sadly it took a lot for me to get through this one.

I really liked Ciara and Leif. She stands up for herself and he’s cocky and together they’re fantastic. I loved the scenes of them bantering or kissing or pushing each other’s buttons.

Plot wise it was booooooooring and yet not. When there are awesome things happening, they’re mostly awesome. It’s the parts in between where I struggled to keep going. Eventually things got repetitive and this felt like the longest book of my existence. The last 20 or so percent was what I wanted for the entire book, but by then I just wanted it to be over.

Overall, it was a fantastic idea with characters I really liked. The dry, dense plot and stretches of telling and not showing made it drag.

**Huge thanks to Harper Teen for providing the arc free of charge**
Profile Image for Zoraida.
Author 35 books4,010 followers
December 23, 2019
This was a delightful surprise! Love the Celtic and Norse myths and Ciara is an incredibly strong girl who makes selfless decisions but never loses herself completely.
Profile Image for ✨ Helena ✨.
369 reviews977 followers
December 21, 2020
This was so much fun! A blend of Celtic and Norse mythology, following a Celt and a Viking as they take on various mythological creatures!!! Plus, an enemies to lovers romance! There’s nothing I didn’t enjoy about this one. My only regret is that it took me this long to get around to reading it. I can’t wait to jump into the next one!
Profile Image for Kristen.
436 reviews543 followers
September 29, 2017
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!
Profile Image for Tara♥ {MindforBooks}.
1,360 reviews114 followers
July 2, 2018
I'm not even sure where to begin with this. I can't remember the last time I disliked something so much. Well I kind of can but it's not worth mentioning.

I'm pretty much a 'if you can't say anything nice don't say anything at all' kind of person. When it comes to books especially, I hate to be just negative because it takes a lot to put yourself out there and writing a book is not an easy thing but sometimes, sometimes it's just got to be said and I have got to say that this was just terrible.

Now. Disclaimer. I had a feeling that I'd be overly critical of this book. I get very snippy about books that are based in Ireland or have Irish characters, usually it's contemporary but turns out this extends to medieval Ireland as well. This is not altogether fair I know but I think it's the same for anyone when it's their own particular culture or race being written about, they read something about their identity that's not how they know it, understand or have experienced and it ranges from an eye-roll to being more than a little pissed off. Now obviously I didn't hang out in Ireland in 1035 but I studied Irish Mythology in school (admittedly it was national school so I might be a little hazy) and I know a fair amount about the history between the Normans and the Celts as again it was required in school. So I can be snippy and I can be really snippy about little things like Brian Boru making an appearance 21 years after the Battle of Clontarf in which he DIED.

But it's fantasy and stuff and sometimes you just gotta suspend belief and history I've found over the years. I've had to suspend belief when it comes to Irish history because people sure as shit aren't going to research it so hey, let's move on.

Let's move on the purple prose and the god awful dialogue shall we?

'Take the reins', Leif said, dropping them into my lap. I nearly jumped out of my skin when I first felt his hands upon my hair. With gentle yet efficient movements, he combed the hair back from my face, His fingers were warm and strong as they brushed against my neck, and I could feel an answering warm stir inside me. No one but my handmaiden had ever touched my hair, and having a man touch it seemed intensely intimate. A few moments of a tugging sensation, and then my hair was neatly plaited behind me. 'Thank you', I said quietly, I reached back and felt the smooth braid. How strange that this Northman warrior should know how to do something so domestic.

This is not anywhere near the worst of the purple prose, they usually came for about 4 pages at the start of each chapter but this is one of the quotes in the quotes section for the book and I can't be arsed going through the book again to pick out something but this gives you an example of purple prose or is it just bad prose?

“Our tongues met, and the reaction within me was like the sudden flash of lightning.”

That sounds like something you'd want to have checked on.

Honestly though, most of the time I can find at least one thing about a book that I liked, in this case it was the cover and the fact that I finally finished reading it. That's it. There is absolutely nothing else that I liked. I should have loved it. This had the promise of Celts and Vikings, Norse and Celtic Mythology, enemies to lovers, magic and battle and even if the history was wrong I should've been able to forgive it because all these things are things I love but every chapter was a different mythological creature and then move on. There was no development. Battles started and ended in 3 sentences but we needed to be given a page on how the wind was blowing! It was a mish mash of everything and ended up being nothing. I didn't care about a single character in the book and I actually kind of wanted Ciara and Leif to be killed on more than one occasion.

I am giving it one star instead of a zero rating though and that's because I had an epiphany while reading it. Well actually two, the first is that I just need to start dnf'ing books because this book added nothing but pain and frustration to my life so why on earth put yourself through that?

The second was about reading speeds. I'm usually a middle of the road reader in terms of speed. If I'm very tired it takes me a lot longer to read a book but usually I read at an average pace. This has bothered me in the past because I want to be able to read faster so I can read more. Susan and Fra are my idols because they naturally read at a crazy fast speed and do it in THEIR SECOND LANGUAGE!!! I can read at a faster pace and in order to get through this book I did that but I came to the realisation that it's uncomfortable for me to do it. My brain and I enjoy our pace, sure it would be nice to be able to read faster naturally but I'm no longer going to beat myself up about my pace. There were 50 million reasons I didn't like this book and having to race through it so it would be over was one of them. So that learning is a positive. One point in the win column for it?

Also I had a lot of fun creating a Pinterest board for this one but to be honest I think it was more about the time period and the mythology so not sure that can be a plus for this.

I read this with my Fairyloot buddy reader and thank goodness for her as I may not have survived otherwise!
Profile Image for Sheila G.
506 reviews97 followers
September 23, 2019
Read this full review along with others on my blog: Foals, Fiction & Filigree.

I received an ARC of this book via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! In no way does this influence my rating or review.

All included quotes have been taken from an ARC and may not match the finished publication.

Content Warning: War, Death, Mentions of Slavery, Attempted Sexual Assault
”We have nothing to fear, lads. Not with Princess Ciara leading us.” He meant it ironically, of course—I was the one they feared.

Celtic and Norse mythology collide in this atmospheric fantasy. I find it rare that gods of competing mythology actually ever intertwine in their stories. Not just that, but intertwine mythology with Christianity (although I have been seeing more and more of this recently). It is this element which gave Beyond A Darkened Shore such an interesting perspective. Set in Ireland in 1035 AD, the once pagan realm has forgotten the old deities and replaced them anew—all except for the strongest of them.

Ciara, Princess of Mide, is no stranger to the incredible. Born with special abilities that allow her power over others minds, she is an unparalleled asset on the battlefield. Her abilities, however, have ostracized her from many, including her father, and the church. Feared by her comrades, Ciara still valiantly fights against the Viking invaders who frequently ransack their kingdom, and who have taken so much from her.

The raven has long been Ciara’s friend and ally, warning her of winds carrying the raiders to their shores. When she encounters a band of raiders, to her dismay, she comes across a man that doesn’t succumb to her mental manipulations. Succeeding in taking him captive, she learns that due to a bargain with other ethereal beings, he too, has unusual abilities. When circumstances push the two together, Ciara and Leif realize that there is a much larger opponent to both of their peoples. Only working together will rid the world of the threat descending upon their lands.

For good measure, I really liked how the different gods were represented throughout this book. The most prevalent was the Morrigan, which means “phantom queen.” Representing war, fate, death, and destiny, her role is deeply seeded with the paths of Ciara and Leif. Many members of the Tuatha Dè Danann make appearances throughout the entire plot, including some from Norse mythology.

I found the little “jabs” from one culture to another comical---like the fact that Ciara named her horse Sleipnir after the fabled eight-legged Norse horse as a slight towards her clan’s main enemy. It’s only comical because these intents are made out of ignorance. Slights towards others are never actually a good thing--as they are mainly borne from assumption and prejudice. One beautiful point that this author factored in the story was overcoming prejudice. It’s very easy to only see life and experiences from our own perspective. When an opportunity arises to see life from a different angle, one will find that their viewpoint is distorted to what one knows and is familiar with. Ciara especially learns this when she gets to know Leif on a deeper level.

The "enemies-to-lovers" trope is an obvious one between Ciara and Leif, but I think it fit well. While I thought their romance was somewhat forced into existence at times, I didn't mind it, and felt that it fit the theme of this story very well.

I really enjoyed Beyond A Darkened Shore and think that it is quite underrated. If you love mythology, magic, historical fiction, and likeable characters, give this book a shot!

Vulgarity: Minimal.
Sexual content: Minimal.
Violence: Moderate - war is a very common theme throughout the entire story.

My Rating: ★★★★

My Blog ¦ Bookstagram ¦ Twitter ¦ Pinterest ¦ Facebook
Profile Image for Brenda Waworga.
594 reviews667 followers
September 22, 2018
I like this book but not love it

so lets start with things i like: The main character Chiara is so powerful but i love her attitude, The Hate to Love romance (my fav trope) and the easy to read writing style! Things i didnt like: The freaking plots! some were boring and drag, esp there were so many creatures and names and myths from Norse and Celtic mythologies, i think it will be so much more fun to be less with better exploration about the myths rather than trying to combine so many things all at once

however i enjoy this book in the end 😊
Profile Image for Justine.
1,133 reviews309 followers
June 28, 2018
Very much a 3 star read for me. It was fine, but not great, and ultimately I won't remember it.

I really love the premise, and the historical Irish setting is one I enjoy, but the problem I had is that, for me, this book just didn't deliver like I wanted it to. I can't help but compare it to Juliet Marillier's books, and unfortunately it just doesn't hold up well next to those. Marillier's books are beautifully written stories that are both complex and subtle, and feature multi-layered characters. Beyond a Darkened Shore just felt thin and lightweight, and the characters quite simple and two-dimensional.

All in all this was a decently entertaining book while I was reading it, but ultimately forgettable. However, for readers wanting a simple YA historical fantasy suitable for younger readers (say 12 or 13+), this would be a good choice. It has a quick pace and a simple storyline that will appeal nicely.
Profile Image for Ann (annreads).
243 reviews314 followers
May 5, 2019
“There is greatness in you, Ciara of Mide, beyond even what you have accomplished so far. It matters little where your power comes from”

That was absolutely fantastic and so unlike anything I've ever read, freaking amazing!

*Review coming soon*

Profile Image for Carol (StarAngel's Reviews) Allen.
1,683 reviews597 followers
April 6, 2019
There were many times when I wanted to put this down because I felt myself losing interest, but I trudged on and was happily content with the book in general.

As the story progressed, I found myself being able to connect with the characters and lost myself in the story.

I am going to keep this author on my radar to read more!
Displaying 1 - 30 of 817 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.