Book Review: Gilded Serpent (Dark Shores #3)

Title: Gilded Serpent

Author: Danielle L. Jensen

Pub. Date: April 27, 2021

Pages: 576

Pub: Tor Teen

Genre: YA Fantasy Romance

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️



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.


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.

This will be a spoiler free review. Thank you to NetGalley and Tor Teen for the free copy in exchange for an honest review. It’s been about an hour or so since I finished this book and I’m still processing…but basically –

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Do I have words?

What are words?

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Actually, I really don’t know if I can process.

I’m still mourning the fact that there’s at least a year until the next book, and I don’t know or understand how I’m supposed to wait that long after the events that transpired in this book.

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I fucking loved this book.

I probably should have started with that.

I loved it so much and I’m utterly blown away by the journey Danielle took us on in this book. I mean so much happens.

So much.

Fuck, I legit cannot think of words.

I’m still reeling.

I’ve been sitting here for like 30 minutes trying to put into words my thoughts and feelings and it’s not working. Beyond saying I loved this, I don’t know what to say.

I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of this book. I loved that it was told from all their POVs – Marcus, Teriana, Lydia and Killian.

I will say that I’m a bigger sucker for Lydia and Killian, but the journey that Marcus and Teriana go on…omfg. Talk about intense. Teriana is a fucking badass. The shit she pulls off in this book – it’s incredible.

Also, that reveal about Lydia – I never would have even thought to guess.

So much has changed, so much is changing, and I have no idea what to expect from the next book except epic-ness.

This book had so many good moments, a few funny ones, some really sweet, tender, heart wrenching ones. It was cinematic as fuck. Like, I need HBO to pick it up and adapt it. It would do so well on screen. Between the lush world, political dynamics, the Roman inspiration, the high stakes and the incredible characters – a show would be an automatic hit.

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Gosh, I loved this book.

Killian and Lydia are perfect – their journey in this book is Top Tier. It’s basically pining, with them going from friends, to rivals, to friends to, pretend married + one bed, to omfg, and back to rivals.

There was an interaction between the two of them towards the end of the book that had me absolutely terrified for how this book was going to end. It was so sweet, adorable, touching and lovely and it honestly made me fear for the worst.

But the chemistry between the two of them – you can’t get much better.

Their journey was important, and they grew so much as characters as things are revealed. Every moment I got to spend with them, I thoroughly enjoyed it. They complement each other so well. Danielle knows how to write really wonderful characters.

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Marcus and Teriana are like so intense – he’s so broody and she’s a flame. Their journey was – I have no words. They don’t have it easy at all. I felt for them – and not going to lie, I chuckled at the one moment that Marcus was little more than a doll…and that scene – I was so tense. If you’ve read the book, you know. But I’m like Marcus, not a fan of heights, so I felt his fear quite keenly. I don’t even think I could have talked myself into half the stuff he does on their journey. It’s impressive.

Then there’s the return of a familiar face! I loved him, though his outward allegiance in this book is highly questionable. But sometimes you gotta do whatever you can to survive. I wonder what’s going to happen with him in the next book. I also can’t wait for *hopefully* everyone to come together finally, to take on the blight and the empire that wants nothing more than to take over the Dark Shores. I can’t wait for understandings to occur, the inevitable fights to break out, and then for everyone to come together Avengers style.

I feel like this review is all over the place. I can’t seem to really formulate my thoughts. I just know I loved this book and I have a lot of thoughts and feelings about it. I could probably sit here all night talking myself into circles, ultimately telling you to pick up this series and read it.

And I’m telling you to pick up this series. It’s epic, cinematic and just good as hell. The world is amazing, the stakes high, the political maneuvering intense and the characters amazing. You end up caring so deeply for them. Danielle has a way of utterly sucking you in and captivating you.

I’ll link my reviews for the other books in the series – Dark Shores, Dark Skies, Tarnished Empire – and I seriously highly recommend you checking it out. Fall in love with Marcus, Teriana, Agippa, Killian and Lydia. I promise you want them in your life.  

I’m just going to go curl up in a ball and suffer until the next book is out. I have no idea what to do with myself now. I need more.

2 thoughts on “Book Review: Gilded Serpent (Dark Shores #3)

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