[FRIDAY FIRST] Dark Skies by Danielle L. Jensen (Dark Shores #2)

For Friday I have this bookish meme, Friday First, in which I feature my current read and dive into it a bit more. I came across this article over at Tenacious Reader’s blog and fell in love at the spot, so I was excited to write it myself as well. 

| What kind of article is Friday First? |

It will feature the first few sentences/paragraph of my current book and my first impressions as well. It’s meant to be a quick and easy way to share a bit about what I am reading, and I would love to hear others join in sharing their current reads as well.

The format is really simple. Include a quote. Include first impressions, it will not be a long drawn out analysis of the text or grand speculation of what is to come. Just a brief overview of how I’m feeling about the beginning of the book.

| Today’s Book |

Dark Skies by Danielle L. Jensen 
#2 in Dark Shores
Genre: YA Fantasy
Published by: Tor Teen 
Pages: 480, Kindle Edition

About From Blood and Ash:

Unwanted betrothals, assassination attempts, and a battle for the crown converge in Danielle L. Jensen’s Dark Skies, a new series starter set in the universe of the YA fantasy Sarah J. Maas called “everything I look for in a fantasy novel.”

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.

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.

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.

| First Paragraph |

Chapter 1. Killian

Killian dusted sand across the report, taking care not to smear the ink of what was already lackluster penmanship. Not that it mattered.
The correspondence was nearly identical to what he’d sent the week prior. And the week prior to that. All quiet on the wall. No sign of Derin scouts. No defections. Nothing but monotony – broken by the not-so-occasional game of cards- expected in the weeks to come.
It always took a concerted effort not to include the last part.
This was the first command where Killian had been left entirely to his own devices, and it was about gods-damned time. He was nineteen and had been traning his entire life to inherit command of the Royal Army, never mind that he’d been marked by the God of war himself. Killian was born to lead soldiers into battle, and yet every time an opportunity arose, his father found some excuse for him to remain taking orders from someone else.

For three years, that someone else had been High Lady Dareena Falorn. It had only been when she’d sent Killian back to the capital carrying a letter stating he was as ready as he’d ever be that his father conceded on the matter. Killian had all of the space of a day to dream about glory before word arrived that the captin of the border wall’s garrison had toppled off the very piece of architecture he was supposed to be defending, resulting in an opening in his position. It was, in Killian’s mind, a bad bit of luck all around.
The wall blocking the pass between Derin and Mudamora hadn’t seen worse than a skirmish in generations and, in his opinion (as well as that of everyone else in the kingdom), never would. The jagged peaks of the Liratora Mountains and the grace of the Six ensured that while Derin and its Seventh-worshipping inhabitants were a problem, they weren’t his problem. He’d have seen more conflict guarding the entrance to a palace privy.

Killian softened a stick of wax over a candle and was in the process of smaering it across the fold of another letter when a horn blast echoed through the room, startling him.
“The Seventh take you,” he muttered, glaring at the uneven glob of indigo as his good manners briefly warred with his indolence. The latter triumphed, and he pressed his signet ring against the wax, leaving behind the imprint of the galloping Horse of House Calorian, less its tail. 
The horn echoed a second time.
One blast of the horn meant something had been sighted in the pass. But two meant someone.
Derin scouts were occasionally seen, but not at this time of year when the snow was as deep as a man was tall. More likely, one of his men had spirited a bottle onto his watch and was seeing shapes in the swirl of snowflakes. Either way, Killian couldn’t ignore it.
The horn called again.
Killian’s heart slammed against his ribs and he grabbed his sword, not bothering with a cloak as he ran toward the door, the bells already ringing a call to arms. 
Three blasts meant only one thing, and it was the reason the wall had been built in the first place.




| First Impression |

As I’m writing this (Thursday evening, right before I’m going to dive back into this book) I’m currently 21% in , and it’s such a great and gripping read already! Right from the very first page, I was hooked! The writing so far has been as good as I’ve come to expect by Danielle. She’s capable of luring you in with just a couple of sentences. Her stories have a way of lingering in your mind and heart after you’ve read them and I have a feeling that this is going to be such a story as well. So I’m happy to say that so far, this book has started off great and it has me so excitedly looking forward to dive back into again when I’m done writing this article, because it already feels like this book is going to a fantastic read that’ll have me ‘ooh-ing’ and ‘aah-ing’ in no time and is going to give me ALL THE FEELS. 

In this book you read from multiple POV’s. I love reading from multiple POV’s because I think that mostly always it gives the characters more depth and you’ll get aquainted with more story elements this way seeing the characters have mostly always a different kind of presence, as is the case with Killian and Lydia as well. Both come from different backgrounds and live different lives when we first meet them. I like getting these different ‘looks’ into this world. 

Killian has an interesting intensity to him right from the start and I may have fallen in love with him already! Following Lydia is really intersting as well, seeing she lives a really different kind of life than Killian. I’m really excited to see in what way her character is going to develop over time as well and in what way these two characters are going to meet.

Overall, having read what I’ve read so far, I’m just suuuper excited already about this one. It looks like Danielle is going to bring us a book filled with a fantastic balance of world building and politics as well as well developed characters and hopefully a swoonworthy romance. So far, she hasn’t let me down with any of her books, so I feel confident saying that I think this book is going to live up to my expectations as well. Stay tuned because I’m sure there’ll be a review online very soon! 

*Note > This book is a companion novel set in the Dark Shores world. I very much recommend you read Dark Shores as well and preferable before starting this one – it’s not necessary though to follow this story-line. But Dark Shores, book 1, is just such a fantastic first book in this fantasy series. And seeing some characters from Dark Shores reappear in this one, it only adds ‘more’ depth to this already beautifully developing reading experience. It’s always so great to see already familiar characters reappear! 

What are you currently reading and did it start out good?
Love to hear your thoughts about your current read!

Thanks for reading!

With Love, Melissa


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