Gilded Serpent by Danielle L. Jensen (Dark Shores #3)
Publication date: April 21th, 2021
THEIR BATTLES ENDED IN VICTORY
Lydia returns to Mudaire to enter training at the healing temple. But instead of fighting to save lives, she’s convinced she is doing more harm than good. She delves into the history of the gods only to discover a truth that will change her life forever.
His birthright as commander of the Royal Army is finally in his grasp, but Killian feels anything but victorious. Burdened by his past, he embraces the darker side of his mark—and in doing so, risks starting a war.
BUT THE WAR HAS ONLY JUST BEGUN
Having defeated the tyrant Urcon, Marcus struggles to form a lasting alliance with the Arinoquians. But he is plagued by the knowledge that there is a traitor among his friends, and it could cost him everything that he’s fought for.
Torn between her growing allegiance to the Thirty-Seventh legion and her need to liberate her people, Teriana finds herself mired in a web of secrets. She embarks upon a path that will either save everyone she loves—or put them all in their graves.
Readers may read either Dark Shores or Dark Skies first!
Suggested series reading order:
1. Dark Skies or Dark Shores
2. Dark Shores or Dark Skies
3. Gilded Serpent
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My immense gratitude goes to Tor Teen for granting me an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review (you brought joy to a bleak 2020/21!)
First thing first, it took me a whole month to start this book, mostly because I was too excited and – at the same time – too scared. Well, I’m quite happy to report that Gilded Serpent is, hands down, the best book I read this year.
If possible, I loved it even more than Dark Shores and Dark Skies put together, that’s a feat considering how much I loved those two! Gilded Serpent is, to me, a dream coming true as we can finally read Marcus’s, Teriana’s, Lydia’s and Killian’s POVs all in the same book (yay!). Even though four different POVs can be difficult to manage it is not the case here, more like the opposite. The different POVs are beautifully done and the writing flows easily and smoothly making it a real joy to read.
Danielle L Jensen managed to craft such achingly complex characters that’s impossible not to love every single one of them. I might have a soft spot for Marcus but it doesn’t mean I don’t adore the others as well. It was wonderful and, at times, heart-wrenching, to be inside the head of these four.
I practically drank in every word, even tried to read as slowly as possible to make the book last longer. I always have a case of separation-anxiety where these characters are concerned! I’m not going to lie, for once, I really liked the romance and I cheered when both couples grew even closer. Of course, some kind of heartbreak and inner conflict/turmoil is always behind the corner but, in truth, it adds to the beauty of it.
MarcusHe was and confirms himself to be my favourite (behind his impassive mask, he’s such a cinnamon roll!). It was insanely good to see him more off-guard and I adored the way he started to emotionally open up to Teriana.
TerianaI have always admired -and still do - her strength of character. She’s, simply put, kick-ass.
LydiaMy quiet but extraordinary bookworm! What’s not to like? I wish she could see herself as Killian sees her: a strong, independent and beautiful woman. I have always loved her quiet strength.
KillianWhat can I say? He's wonderfully and fiercely loyal. The devotion he shows for his country and for the people he loves is… everything.
Mention of honour:
-Agrippa! If you have read Tarnished Empire you might understand my excitement.
- Deerena! I love the woman!!
Gilded Serpent’s plot turned to be more far reaching and twisted than I had expected, it even managed to shock me a few times (OMG, the secrets, the twists!!)! The threads are finely woven and masterfully crafted. This is a book that keeps you constantly on your toes, with rarely a dull moment. It’s a terrific and perfect blend of complex characters, intrigues and otherworldly meddling… I’m in awe!! I can’t tell if I loved Gilded Serpent because it tore my heart out or in spite of it, probably both.
I’m keeping this review spoiler free but THE ENDING—THE ENDING (well, the last handful of chapters, really)! How in the name of Hell am I supposed to survive until the next one??? I can’t, I just…can’t!!