1) Woo the Shadow King. 2) Marry him. 3) Kill him and take his kingdom for herself.
Partial synopsis provided by Goodreads.
The Shadows Between Us
Author: Tricia Levenseller
Publication Date: February 25, 2020
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Page Count: 336
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Cover Artist: Liz Dresner
My Rating: ★★★
Dazzled by Books – Review + Favourite Quotes
Alessandra is tired of being overlooked, but she has a plan to gain power:
1) Woo the Shadow King.
2) Marry him.
3) Kill him and take his kingdom for herself.
No one knows the extent of the freshly crowned Shadow King’s power. Some say he can command the shadows that swirl around him to do his bidding. Others say they speak to him, whispering the thoughts of his enemies. Regardless, Alessandra knows what she deserves, and she’s going to do everything within her power to get it.
But Alessandra’s not the only one trying to kill the king. As attempts on his life are made, she finds herself trying to keep him alive long enough for him to make her his queen—all while struggling not to lose her heart. After all, who better for a Shadow King than a cunning, villainous queen?
I’m excited to be a part of THE SHADOWS BETWEEN US blog tour with The Fantastic Flying Book Club from February 19th – February 25th, 2020!
I received an ARC of this book from the publisher, Feiwel & Friends via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! In no way does this affect my rating or review.
All included quotes have been taken from an ARC and may not match the finished publication.
Content Warning: Premarital Sex, Prostitution (Brothel), Murder & Attempted Murder via stabbing and poisoning
The rebel in me loves to throw dirt in the face of decorum.
I find myself sitting at the barren crossroads with yet another Young Adult book. Sigh. I must admit, the first thing that drew my attention to The Shadows Between Us was it’s cover. This cover is one of the most beautiful things I’ve rest my eyes upon. It’s unfounded to judge a book by its cover, but when the cover looks like this…? Throw anything dark, high Gothic Victorian at me and you have me at “cover.”
Besides the cover, this book’s synopsis had also stirred my interest. Above all else, the Shadow King’s ability made me want to know more about what exactly about the shadows were important. When I got into the first portion of this book, I knew right away that Alessandra, the main character and not-so-protagonist, would have to work a lot to gain my backing. Morally grey, narcissistic characters do not easily win, if ever, my favor. Unlucky Alessandra wasn’t on my good side from the introduction. However, the introduction clearly depicts The Shadows Between Us as a Slytherin romance, which removes me from the targeted audience.
My smile is radiant as I leave his rooms. I only have control over one man, and yet, the power of it washes over me in intoxicating waves of heat. When I am queen, will I experience it a thousandfold, knowing I will command tens of thousands?
The synopsis given sums up this book very well. Alessandra’s plan is to gain the attention she has always wanted by catching the Shadow King’s attention, court him, kill him, and become queen of the world. Realm. It’s not really ever given a clear idea as to how big the realm is that the Shadow King rules over as the world-building is nearly non-existent besides clothing and general decorum. Reflective of a time set in or near the 18th century, references to attire, status, and general culture during that time frame is assumed. (Except for the very random appearance of a high-powered weapon that still has me befuddled as to how it slipped into the pages at all.) Central to all of this, are the laws of woman being meek, innocent, and contrite for any form of wrong-doing being heavily at play. Alessandra is an advocate for women being able to do what they want, when they want with their bodies, and practices her beliefs freely.
Alessandra is eighteen. Kallias, the Shadow King, is nineteen. This book shouldn’t be in the Young Adult genre 1) because these characters are legally adults. 2) Seeing how a large portion of this book discusses sex, and how one goes about pursuing their sexuality is just too over the top for young readers. Despite all of the talk about how one can do what they want with their body, this book does hold a quality that makes it an easy story to fall into. If you are looking for a slow-burn romance with morally flawed, ambitious characters, that settle into a quick read, this may be a good selection for that. Not being a Slytherin, I didn’t care much for this take on a relationship, but I’m sure many will love this plot.
Sexual content: A lot. I would not recommend this book to younger readers.
Violence: Moderate (see content warning).
My Rating: ★★★
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Tricia Levenseller is the author of the Daughter of the Pirate King duology, Warrior of the Wild, and forthcoming The Shadows Between Us. She likes to describe her books as young adult alternate–world historical fantasies with heavy romantic subplots. Initially from a small town in Oregon, Tricia now lives next to the Rocky Mountains with her bossy dog, Rosy. She received her degree in English Language and editing, and she is thrilled that she never has to read a textbook again. When she’s not writing or reading, Tricia enjoys putting together jigsaw puzzles, playing volleyball, playing Overwatch with her siblings, and watching shows while eating extra-buttered popcorn.
Want to win a copy for yourself?
Prize: Win a copy of THE SHADOWS BETWEEN US by Tricia Levenseller (US Only)
Giveaway runs February 19th – March 4th, 2020.