Gilded Serpent

Tor Teen. (Dark Shores: Bk. 3). Apr. 2021. 576p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781250317797.
Gr 9 Up–This novel continues the stories of Teriana and Marcus and Lydia and Killian, introduced in Dark Shores and Dark Skies, respectively. The Celendor Empire continues its plans to conquer the Dark Shores, once only known by the Maarin sea traders who were tasked with keeping the West and the East a secret from one another. Lydia and Killian team up again to face the Corruptor, the Seventh god who is causing blight and chaos. Armed with her healing power that was given to her by one of the Six gods, Lydia desperately seeks a way to heal those who have been corrupted without killing them. Despite their feelings for each other, Killian is still promised to the Mudamora Princess who is alive and being used by the Corruptor. A revelation of Lydia’s true identity, however, changes things. Marcus and Teriana continue their relationship in secret while being forced to find viable ways for the Empire to cross into the Dark Shores or risk having Teriana’s family harmed. While the two are not on the same side—one a military commander for the Empire, and the other a Maarin captain—they find themselves drawn to each other and to the idea of creating a new future for themselves. Steamy romances, epic battles, an array of memorable characters, and vivid worldbuilding make this series stand out. A cliffhanger ending will leave readers eagerly awaiting more.
VERDICT A first purchase, along with the other two in the series, for all young adult collections.

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