Title: On Dark Shores: The Lady
Author: JA Clement
Publisher: Weasel Green Press March 2011
Format: E-book (Paperback, coming soon)
In the tiny harbor town of Scarlock, the residents are dominated by fear. They live in trepidation of when the next visit from Copeland, the town moneylender, will come. Copeland takes pride in the fact that he ‘runs’ the town and is increasingly demanding in the money and goods he collects. Blakey is Copeland’s bodyguard and the man that does all the dirty work around town-such as beating people up when they don’t pay on time.
In order to pay Copeland’s demands for money, Nereia has chosen the life of a pick pocket. In order to protect her sister, Nereia must get bolder every time she steals. Unfortunately, Copeland has decided he has a new way for Nereia to pay her debts, and this way means that Nereia must sacrifice not only her pride and honor but her body and soul. To save herself and her sister Nereia, must make some tough choices and change her life forever.
Let me start out this review by talking about the cover. It is gorgeous! I love the shades of blue and the images. There is something still and eerily beautiful about it. I could sit and look at the cover image for an hour and never be bored.
On Dark Shores: The Lady is a quick read that introduces you into the small town of Scarlock and to the people who live there. It gives you the beginning of what I think will be quite the tale!
Nereia is a very strong character that I admired quite often throughout the book. This woman has a real backbone! She was the only person that was ever confident enough to stand up to Copeland even a little bit. Sure, she had to do what he demanded, but at least she told him how unhappy she was about it while she was doing it. Everything she did was to protect her young, innocent sister, Mary, who she tried desperately to keep away from Copeland. It was touching to me how she could go out by day, square her shoulders and steal and be quick lipped with anyone who challenged her but then go home to their very modest home and be soft and kind to her sister.
Copleand was another character that I found fascinating. I have to say, I didn’t like him (and you probably won’t either-considering the heinous things he does against people), but I was drawn to figure out why he was so controlling, uncaring and without conscious. It was almost as if he had two people living inside of him. There was personality number one, who wanted power and money, but needed Blakey to be the enforcer. Then there was personality number two who was sick and very violent. Copeland tried to maintain a very tight control over himself, so it was personality number one that we often saw….but then sometime number two would come out, and boy was it ugly!!
Blakey was a washed up boxer with a shoulder injury who seemed to have no problem doing Copleand’s bidding…at least that’s what the reader thinks at first. He is a character that probably should have been unlikable, yet, I liked him. Getting to know him, the reader gets to see another side of him-the more human side. This Blakey fellow might actually be my favorite character of the book.
While the characters in this story were very good and always managed to evoke a strong reaction from me I have to say that while reading this book I was sometimes confused. I had a hard time following the beginning, and I still am not quite clear on what the Shantari’s role is in any of this. There are a lot of characters in this story, and I have yet to discover exactly what role each of them play. However, JA Clement did include a glossary of names and terminology at the end of the book. It did help to understand a few things, and I wished I had the glossary at the beginning of the book and not the end.
This reviewer has it on good authority (it was in the back of the book-hehehe) that two more “On Dark Shores” books are in the editing stages with plenty more to come. In these future books I am sure that the things I am left wondering about will be answered, and I will be left saying, Ahh -Hah!
Review is written by Cambria Hebert
(reviewed 7 days after purchase)