Like many readers, I hate finishing good books. It’s not just about not wanting the book to end, but also because I can never pick what to read next. What on earth is going to be better than what I’ve just read? How can anyone create characters to rival those I’ve just spent the past week with? Will any villain be able to live up to the expectations I now have? I become the person that chooses one book, puts off reading it for a week, replaces it with another, puts off reading that too, and keeps going until at least a month has gone by.

Every once in a while, however, one of my reading buddies will take the decision out of my hands and force me to read something they assure me will have me hook, line and sinker. May was one such month. Ginny and I were paired together by FairyLoot’s Reading Buddy scheme and they couldn’t have made a more perfect pairing! Seeing how much I was struggling to settle on a new adventure to go on, she forced me to read Beyond A Darkened Shore by Jessica Leake. Hook, line and sinker may be an understatement for this one. I finished the book in three days and Ginny was bombarded with text messages the entire way.

When it was finished, I was in instant withdrawal. Thankfully, Ginny had my back a second time and covered the review for me. Over to her:

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I received this book in my April FairyLoot box and as soon as I read the blurb I was excited about it. Usually, when I get excited about a book the end product does not live up to expectations. This was not the case with Beyond A Darkened Shore.

I was NOT disappointed!

Within the first chapter I fell in love with the characters and I especially clicked with Ciara, the heroine. I was absolutely captured from the beginning. The world building, mythology and character development were entrancing and I really loved how Leake paced the romance between Ciara and Leif.

I loved how the mythology was intertwined within the plot. It was very unique and the types of mythology were things I haven’t read before. The terminology used really entranced the reader and immersed them into the Norse-Irish environments which were detailed beautifully.

It is a very imaginative piece of work which I would recommend to any avid reader – it had something for everyone. What upsets me about this book is that it’s a standalone novel. The ending was tied up nicely and I felt there were no loose ends, but I feel we need more from this universe whether it be with these characters or new ones. I never wanted it to end. I couldn’t put it down!

All in all, I would give this book five stars and I look forward to more from Jessica Leake!

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Update: Conversations with the author, Jessica Leake, herself, have confirmed that although her next book Through The White Wood, will be set in 11th century Russia, Ciara and Leif will make appearances as secondary characters.  The book’s set to release on April 9th2019 so add it to your TBR lists, readers!

State of Sorrow Review