I flew threw Tarnished Empire by Danielle L Jensen like the Concorde on the way to England.
Though Tarnished Empire is a prequel, I’m not a novice to the Dark Shores world and couldn’t get enough of this book. Danielle L. Jensen’s world sucks me in every time and doesn’t let go until I finish.
I was fortunate enough to get an ARC from Danielle and appreciate her kindness in offering it to me.
Tarnished Empire Review
Tarnished Empire follows Marcus, Agrippa, and Silvara. The former should be familiar to anyone who read Dark Shores, and the latter two are new to this story.
The story opens with Marcus and the other soldiers of the Thirty Seventh Legion camped outside a city that I can’t remember how to spell which is the heart of the final country that has yet to bow the knee to the Celendor empire.
Of course, it’s Marcus’s job to take the city, which he could easily do if left to himself, but things cannot be so easy for our beloved hero.
No, the legatus for the Twenty Ninth Legion, Hostus, hates Marcus and treats him like gum stuck to the bottom of his shoe.
Hostus has been taking credit for Marcus’ genius for years as the Thirty Seventh is a Legion of 17 year olds that are still in training.
Combine Hostus’s aggression towards him, the lazy Senator Grypus who wants Marcus to grovel at his lazy feet and do his lazy bidding, and the rebels that seek to thwart Marcus’s plans, and it makes for a very interesting book indeed!
Who is the star in Tarnished Empire?
If you’re going into to Tarnish Empire thinking that you get more of Marcus. You’d be right, and you’d be wrong. While Marcus is a major part of the book, Agrippa is really the center of attention.
Agrippa is Marcus’ primus and chief rival in Lescendor, the training academy for the legions. Despite their past, Agrippa is fiercely loyal to Marcus, as is all his men.
That is until a certain girl sweeps him off his feet and causes him to frequently rebuff Marcus’s orders so that he can be with her.
What Agrippa doesn’t know is that Silvara is a rebel spy meant to twist secrets from him so they can thwart the advances of the empire. The reader is in the know from the start, which leads to a lot of really intense scenes throughout Tarnished Empire.
I quickly grew to love Agrippa and Silvara. Which truthfully put me in a bit of a pickle. Agrippa is so lovable, and yet you know Silvara is deceiving him. And even though you want to like her, you can’t help but hold a grudge against her because she’s tricking your boy.
Even if I am still Team Killian…
The tension, drama, and action are all phenomenally done, and if you’ve read either Dark Shores or Dark Skies, just know that this book reads as well as either of them and deserves your attention.
Even if you don’t do prequels, I still strongly recommend you read Tarnished Empire because I have a sneaky suspicion that a brewing tension and a few new characters introduced here will make appearances in Gilded Serpent, Book 3 in the Dark Shores world which is out in April 2021.
Looking for more reviews?
Check out my review of The Princess Trials by Cordelia K Castel.