Title- The Shadows Between Us
Author- Tricia Levenseller
Genre- fantasy romance
POV- first person, present tense
Trope- enemies to lovers
Steam level- 1/5 (clean)
Cover– I wished it was matte instead of glossy, but the image is pretty. It looks very similar to another fantasy book I recently saw, and mixed/confused the two covers
Comps– King of Battle and Blood, Crown Duel, and The Selection (kind of)
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?
OMG! I love love love the start to this. Who doesn’t want a cunning, manipulative, & witty heroine who plans to seduce the king, murder him & rule as queen? Alessandra is already borderline villain but I’m completely hooked. She’s relatable because we see she has always come second in her father’s eyes, has been used in her youth, yet changed her path and took control of it in her own hands.
Character Development- Allesandra needs to learn to love again and allow herself to feel deeply for someone.
Best part- the shadows swirling
What I would change- Around page 300, I was thinking more power could’ve been written into the emotion of these big scenes. It fell a little flat with so much great build up
“Have you ever seduced a man before?”
Father’s cheeks redden. “Of course not!”
“Then I don’t see why I should need you to weigh in on anything.”
Setting- castle- all mostly in one place except for the lake scene
Character goals/motivations- she wants to kill the king to have the power in her hands and change society’s rules regarding how women are treated.
Theme- opening your heart to love again, who to trust?
Vivid sensory descriptions- average
Dialogue- I loved the olden style/formal dialogue, making it feel like the story took place in the past, but they had automatic guns
Diversity- two side characters were gay, MM relationship and nothing was brought up about it being “different” or “controversial,” which was highly refreshing. This was the norm and accepted, which was great. Sometimes
Ethics/morals- murder, betrayal, men’s club scene
Conflict/tension/obstacles- The Robin Hood could’ve created more problems
Thoughts while reading-
Page 17- ah! Excellent mini cliffhanger, “Accept my invitation and you will find out.”
Page 34- this is going to be a book where I keep telling myself “just one more chapter.” Kallias is an awesome name. kuh -LIE-us.
Page 57- why can’t anyone touch him? Does it have to do with his shadows?
Page 98- ooooh, I’d be PISSED
Page 144- game changer!
Page 159- I love the Robin Hood side plot
Halfway- I’m wishing there was a little more to the plot then “courting,” but I’m still intrigued. It’s a character driven novel and relationship/conversation based (Looking back after finishing- I wish more was done with this. It had more potential than what the author used it for)
Page 170- usually fashion in books bores me but somehow the way it’s shown here feels like empowering the heroine. I love that she’s standing for equal rights for women, especially regarding sexual standards.
Page 212- I’m a little tired of the gossip
Page 220- for the first time, I no longer trust the king to be telling all truths to Alessandra. Is he setting her up somehow?
Page 245- I just have no idea who the antagonist is and that’s super exciting
Page 263- that was way too easy And anti-climatic
Ending- Page 326- abrupt ending but I’m glad it’s a happily ever after.