On Dark Shores 1: The Lady [NOOK Book]


Trapped in fear and poverty after the death of her parents, the thief Nereia will go to desperate lengths to protect her beautiful younger sister from the brutality of Copeland the moneylender. No-one has dared to attempt escape before; the whole of Scarlock trembles in his grasp. Only Nereia’s cunning and some unlooked-for help give her hope....

In a country still recovering from war, events are stirring, and the little harbour-town will not remain obscure for long; but in ...

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On Dark Shores 1: The Lady

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Trapped in fear and poverty after the death of her parents, the thief Nereia will go to desperate lengths to protect her beautiful younger sister from the brutality of Copeland the moneylender. No-one has dared to attempt escape before; the whole of Scarlock trembles in his grasp. Only Nereia’s cunning and some unlooked-for help give her hope....

In a country still recovering from war, events are stirring, and the little harbour-town will not remain obscure for long; but in Scarlock, right now, Mr Copeland is coming to call - and this time he's not taking no for an answer....

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Product Details

  • BN ID: 2940011234422
  • Publisher: J.A. Clement
  • Publication date: 3/10/2011
  • Series: On Dark Shores , #1
  • Sold by: Smashwords
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 164,415
  • File size: 258 KB

Meet the Author

J.A. Clement lives near London with her partner and as yet, no dogs. She has been writing her fantasy series ‘On Dark Shores’ on and off since 2002, and more intensively since 2009 (thanks to NaNoWriMo). The first novella was uploaded to Kindle in 2011, and it has been mostly lurking on or near the bestseller lists ever since, much to her gratification.The first two novellas, ‘The Lady’ & ‘The Other Nereia’ are available singly in ebook, and packaged together in ebook and paperback form. The third book, ‘On Dark Shores: Mother of the Shantar’ will be full paperback length and is currently three-quarters written. And after that? Well, there’s still a deal of tale to be told, countries to be explored, people to meet or escape from, and a long and exciting road ahead, before Nereia and friends reach their destination. JAC is looking forward to sharing the journey with you...In the coming months she also hopes to release a couple of other short stories and novellas for her accompanying series, ‘Parallels’ (tales and short stories about events, characters or places from the main story).When not commuting or writing, JAC can be found on Goodreads, Facebook or Twitter, or via email at jaclement [dot] ondarkshores [at] gmail [dot] com. She loves to meet readers, so do get in touch and introduce yourself!
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Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 16, 2011

    A dark, gripping novella...

    Without realizing it, I'm discovering myself a fan of novellas. Short stories with wonderfully created worlds and disctinct characters that are very easily imagineable. On Dark Shores is such a novella. This story is set in a grimy little town where it is ruled mercilessly by the moneylender, Copeland. He and his bodyguard, Blakely, keep the villagers cowering with fear, extorting money and doling out beatings on a daily basis. There are two sisters, and one has been forced to become a thief, being a distant relative to Copeland himself. When the older sister realizes she'll be unable to protect the younger any longer, she determines it is time to try and escape from the clutches of her cousin. There's clearly more going on with the townfolk than they let on. The bodyguard, Blakely, used to be a boxer, and has the power to eliminate the moneylender's grip over the town, but instead chooses to hide his emotions in booze and drugs. There's the barkeep, Mickel, who was formerly a medic, I think, and is forced to resume his old profession as the town doctor is afraid to cross Copeland. I won't go into any other details here lest I inadvertently give away a spoiler. Let me just say, instead, that I enjoyed the story. The writing was smooth and flawless in execution. I had no problems imagining I was skulking around in the dark streets of Scarlock. This isn't a story for the faint of heart. There's gruesome scenes of torture and murder and of unspeakable acts of cruelty. On the plus side, the scenes are so well written that you're glued to the pages waiting to see what happens next, much like you would do if you saw an train wreck: you know you should look away, but you find yourself transfixed to the scene. Like that. :) There were a few critiques that I could find. Again, without giving anything away, the skeleton scene. I'm not sure where that came from, but I was confused about why it was there. I think I see where the author was going with it, but just thought it was odd and not really fitting with the rest of the story. I feel as though the story was cut off abruptly, but I'll take that as a good sign, as I'm clearly intersted in learning what happens next, when Karma will finally catch up to those who need it, and what the fate of the older sister is. Ms. Clement, nicely done! I'll definitely pick up the next in the series when it's released!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 16, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Great story but incomplete It took a little while to get into J

    Great story but incomplete

    It took a little while to get into J.A. Clement’s On Dark Shores, the Lady, even though I’d already read the prequel, Parallels. But perhaps I was looking for too many parallels between the stories. Characters do reappear, but the story's set later and the future's more important than the past. The evil Copeland's still ruling the port town of Scarlock and Nereia, the thief, works for him, trying to keep her younger sister safe and fed. Boxer Blakey wounds people in his master's name but might be a much deeper character than he seems. Mickel deals with the outside world. Sailors man the ships and enjoy the brothels. And hope is hard to find.

    Despite its darkness, this story’s infused with the promise of something more. Mysteries lurk on the edge of revelation as Nereia and her sister make a bid for freedom. The author spares nothing in portraying the cruelties and hardships of life, but adds a pleasing human kindness and the promise of more. I was just sorry the novella finished before the “more” was revealed, giving this reader a feeling of having read only part of something really good. I hope there’ll be a sequel soon, but I guess I wish I’d held off reading until the sequel was there.

    The story’s highly recommended—just a pity it’s incomplete. More please!

    Disclosure: I was lucky enough to get a free ecopy from the author in a promotion. Now I’ll just have to look out for more. These characters demand it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 10, 2012

    Good book

    This was a little slow at first but the author really weaves a good tale. you can actually see what is going on and the characters. Recommend.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 28, 2011


    On Dark Shores is a tale that is just that, dark.
    J.A. does a wonderful job in her descriptions of weather and scenery so much that I actually almost shivered.
    That should say a lot since it is over a 100 where I live.
    She gives such life to her characters that I could see them as real people and found myself even feeling their own emotions, even the most awful of villains!
    Her main character in this book is a very headstrong and stubborn girl by the name of Nereia.
    She will do anything possible to save her innocent little sister Mary, including swallowing her own pride and giving into the horribly oppressive and vicious Copeland who is in short, the town dictator.
    I found this book to be an engaging read.
    On Dark Shores is a tale of mystery, intrigue and despair.
    The suspenseful ending will leave you with a ray of hope and excitement to get your hands on the second installment.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 14, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Wonderfully enticing, an appetizer to prepare you for more - HIGHLY recommended, DON'T MISS IT!!!

    I have to start out by saying, this is an incredible novella and I hope Clement writes many, many more stories in this world. It is a dark world, a somewhat grim place, and there are threads and branches to this story that are barely touched in this initial entrance to the world - but there is no doubt that it is going to be a crazy ride, and one with which any dark fantasy fan will fall in love.

    I can't think of a way to summarize the plot very well without giving away large bunches of information, as this is a novella, which means it is not terribly long. We are briefly introduced to the Shantari, whose Mother (leader) begins a mysterious quest based upon dreams she is having. We spend a great deal of time in Scarlock, a dirty and depressing town that is firmly under the thumb of the rich and malicious moneylender, Copeland. We meet Nereia - a thief, forced to steal to pay Copeland a tithe, although she is a distant cousin - and her sister, Mary. They were left in Copeland's care after their parents' deaths at sea. We also meet various denizens of the town - prostitutes and smugglers and sailors and fences, almost all of whom have some secret they are keeping to themselves. We witness a most unusual birth from the waves of the Dark Sea. The amount of plot that Clement has managed to pour into such a short story is amazing, and a sign of a true talent. I, for one, am looking forward very eagerly to seeing more of these stories. You should definitely get this novella, and anything else Clement has written if this is any indication of quality - trust me, you will not be sorry!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 2, 2011

    A dark and eerie fantasy that keeps you guessing and wanting more!

    "On Dark Shores: The Lady" is a three part series that begins by introducing us to the thief, Nereia, and her much younger sister, Mary. They live in Scarlock, a tiny Harbor town dominated by a weasel of man named Copeland. Nothing gets past him, and the inhabitants of Scarlock live in fear of him and his bodyguard, a prior boxer named Blakey who spends his days roughing up the poor and unlucky who are unable to pay their debts.

    Nereia and Mary are cousins of Copeland, but unless you had read that little bit of information you wouldn't believe it by the way he treats them. Nereia is driven to steal and give what meager treasures she finds to Copeland in order to keep herself from being made to work in his brothel, and save her sister from a similar fate. Although forced to live a life she would not have chosen given the chance, Nereia is one of the only characters we meet in "On Dark Shores: The Lady" with enough courage to stand up to Copeland and fight back. Unfortunately that fighting back gets her, and Mary, in more trouble than any one person deserves.

    I really enjoyed J.A. Clement's debut novel. At first confused by the opening chapter, I eventually understood where she was going with her story and looked forward to turning each page. I was so engrossed in the novel that I found myself getting angry when I had completed it! There was a dark and eerie element in the story and I kept finding myself caught up within the web of words that Clement wove around her characters. I can't wait to read the second part of the series and find out who exactly the Mother of the Shantari is and what her role in Nereia's life will be. I also look forward to seeing Copeland get what he deserves but as I am not the author I can only hope that she finds a way of putting him in his place!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 23, 2011

    Loved the story--looking forward to book 2!

    I loved this book! It had all the appeal of a novel of historical fiction, but a bit of fantasy is also thrown into the mix. It's the first in a series of three I do believe. I will most definitely be getting the next two novels to read and review. I loved the characters and their stories. The evil Copeland is a great antagonist, and the grip he has on the fictional town of Scarlock is intense. His "muscle man" Blakey grows as a character in the novel, and at the end it's hinted that there is much more to his story than meets the eye.

    I adored the main character Nereia. She is a woman who is full of strength and determination, and I cannot wait to find out more of her story. Her fight to protect her sister is admirable, and it's obvious that their story is going to be a mainstay throughout the series. Vansel is another great character that the reader is able to learn more about as the first book goes on. He comes across as a roguish character with a good heart. However, he does seek vengeance for the murder of his father.

    I believe this is going to be a great series of books, and I am definitely looking forward to the other books. I am looking forward to see where the story line with "The Mother" of the Shantari people, the book begins with her going on a dangerous journey, but then she is rarely mentioned again throughout the book.

    I honestly wish the book had been a lot longer! It was a pretty quick read, and I would have loved to keep reading and learning about the characters and the different cities and lands that the story takes place in. Obviously I would recommend this book to anyone.

    I definitely give this book 5 out of 5 stars!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 25, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A Good Beginning, but needs more.


    On Dark Shores: The Lady is an odd little story of the town of Scarlock and it's many battered residents trying to make their way though life. They live in a land that's apparently in the middle of some sort of war between the Shantari and the Mardon which I think are neighboring races but could be just neighboring countries. It's not really completely clarified within the text itself.

    The biggest issue with this story is that even though it's part of what will be a series of books it doesn't have it's own individual story arc. It is the beginning of what looks like it will be an amazing story but just that, the beginning. You have the build of getting to know each character, learning the plan of the villain and learning individual character motives which is great, but it's leading to something that even at the end you aren't sure what. Don't get me wrong, the story shows promise, but this looks like it's one of those books where it's best to wait to have all the pieces before you read it. When you reach the end it's much the case of what happens now? From what I've read it's my personal opinion that this story might have been better served as a really long book similar to the Historian in length than to have been broken up into individual pieces to what I believe is going to end up being a trilogy.

    The beginning is a little hard to get into because it opens jumping from dream to dream in what seems like random characters and tends to leave you a little confused. From there you get a a short introduction to the Mother of the Shantari, but it doesn't really give a full explanation of what she does, who she really is. Yes we know she protects her people and that she has some gifted abilities to do so. We learn that there's something out there called the Dark Waters that's a danger somehow to the people but it's still a bit confusing. I think this scene would have better been served with a bit more background. I realize that some explanations were provided within a glossary at the back of the book, but most readers, myself included never look at glossaries or appendages unless there's no other choice. It's too reminiscent of school. Also a part of this scene included the daughter telling her mother what she should do, and to me that was a little realistic. It was only one line and then the interlude faded back to the norm of the mother being that all-knowing and the daughter asking the questions, but it's a bit jarring. Also the narrative style voice at the beginning leaves the reader at a bit of a distance wondering if you're really going to be able to connect to the characters. That being said the opening still has an interesting flow to it. Clement's words are almost like poetry as she opens this book, and it's almost reminiscent of I'd say and Irish lilting lullaby in flow.

    Once you've passed the opening you start to get a real introduction the characters. You root for poor Nereia, an orphan uprooted from her home and mistreated by her awful cousin, while she struggles through dangers trying to protect her young sister Mary from the harsh truths of their life. You wish that Blakley would get a backbone and save the entire town from Copeland instead hiding in his drugs and booze while following his cruel employers orders. And you grow more and more curious about just what Mickel is doing in Scarlock because it's made very clear there's more to Mickel than meets the eye. Towar

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 25, 2011

    Good Read

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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