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Title: The Shadows Between Us
Author: Tricia Levenseller
Published: 25th of February 2020 – Feiwel and Friends
Format: Hardback (Fairyloot Exclusive Edition) – 326 pages
“They’ve never found the body of the first and only boy who broke my heart. And they never will.” – The Shadows Between Us
Hello Hello! How are you all today?
I was going to post my monthly bullet journal post today BUT I don’t have time to finish all the spreads that I need for that post today and I want to take my time on them, so instead, I thought I would post my long-awaited review of The Shadows Between Us by Tricia Levenseller.
I got my copy in my February Fairyloot and ended up reading it as a buddy read with Candyce from The Book Dutchesses. We had such a great time reading it and discussing it, we had so many thoughts and It was just such a great reading experience. I always want to rant about stuff in books, so it was great to be able to rant together. Keep reading for my thoughts!
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?
The Shadows Between Us by Tricia Levenseller is a standalone (unfortunately) YA fantasy that I got in the February Fairyloot! It was described by the author as the Slytherin girl getting her vengeance and that just drew me in so fast! The cover is also absolutely beautiful and I think it’s one of my first purple books! Do you see that quote at the top of my review? It’s the first line of the book, isn’t it just fantastic? I was instantly hooked, I’ve never been shocked by a book from page 1 but this one shocked me the whole way!
This follows Alessandra through her own perspective as she goes to the castle of the Shadow King and tries to woo him in order to become his Queen and then kill him and take his kingdom. Now I don’t know about you, but that’s all I needed to know to want to pick this book up.
I read this book quite a while ago so I can’t for the life of me remember what this place is called but it’s definitely a very fascinating fantasy world. The Shadow King rules over a few kingdoms, but the majority of this book is actually set in his own castle.
I really love reading fantasy books set in castles, there is just something very whimsical and mysterious about a royal homestead in fantasy novels and this one did not disappoint. I can’t remember that much detail about it, but I do remember that the rooms and their décor described as very lavish, beautiful, full of silk and flowers. I also remember that the garden was described as being stunning and I loved the chapters we had when Alessandra and Kallias were outside.
There weren’t that many characters that I remember from this book, but what I do remember is the instant chemistry between Alessandra and Kallias. There are some really sneaky characters in this book and both Candyce and I guessed that one character was a bit fishy, but I think we were both surprised by the reveal at the end.
Alessandra: I got some very strong bad girl vibes from Alessandra, she is definitely a Slytherin, she knows what she wants and how to get it, not taking no for an answer. I loved her from page one, especially with that opening line and I really adored learning more about her character and personality. She isn’t very girly in her attitude but she wears the most gorgeous clothes that she makes herself and I really enjoyed reading all about how she made her clothes and the fashion behind them. She is also very sassy and witty, just the type of character that I adore. She is the epitome of the modern, empowered woman and it was great having her strong character contrasting with the apparent ancient times in which the story takes place. It was also great to not have a swoony damsel for once in a YA fantasy, she was so determined right from the start and just an incredible female lead!
Kallias: I would like a slice of Kallias, please! I absolutely fell in love with this character, he is so moody, he is cloaked in his shadows and no one can touch him least they get arrested and killed if I remember correctly. I could never have guessed everything he has gone through, but it was such a lovely experience to read about him and see him open up to Alessandra. The story is obviously more of a romantic one, but there isn’t that much romance actually, which is a shame but I definitely loved these two characters.
I’m really rather sad that this isn’t a series because I would have adored having more of an insight into the characters. A lot happens in only 326 pages, but I feel like the ending was just a bit too convenient and I would have preferred an epilogue longer into the future.
I probably don’t really remember enough about themes to be able to say much but I will say that there are a few instances where Alessandra describes how she killed Hektor, so if character death and descriptions of body disposal is not your jam, I would probably stay away. It didn’t bother me in the least, but I just thought I should mention it.
One thing I did adore in this book was all the fashion and how Alessandra made her dresses, how they were described as compared to flowers, it was so interesting reading about this because it’s not something you generally read in books, so it was a lovely addition to the story and I think it really helped me get to know Alessandra.
MY THOUGHTS AND RATING
I absolutely adored this book and I honestly can’t think of anything wrong about it, it just had that 5-star feel so I didn’t hesitate. I know I’m definitely going to need to do a reread of this but it was so good that I’m going to devour it again and again in the future.
It’s quite a short book for a fantasy, even more so for a standalone, but this is a very well-developed and executed fantasy story and it totally captivated me from start to finish. I would highly recommend to anyone!
That’s all for now, I hope you enjoyed this post, see you soon, stay safe,
If you would like to purchase this book, you can find it here: Amazon UK (affiliate link) – Amazon FR (affiliate link) – AbeBooks (affiliate link) – The Book Depository (affiliate link) – Audible FR (affiliate link) – Amazon US – Waterstones – Barnes and Noble – Audible UK – Scrib’d – Kobo