Alyssa Tyler editor in chief
This past week I accidentally read two books by the same author, Tricia Levenseller. The first being Daughter of the Pirate King then The Shadows Between Us. The first book is part of a duology, and I never got around to finishing the series. However, The Shadows Between Us is a standalone fantasy romance, and I loved every second of it.
Alessandra, an 18-year-old who is brutal, ruthless, and will stop at nothing to achieve her goals. Step 1. get into the castles court. Step 2. Woo the Shadow King. Step 3. Kill the Shadow King. A simple plan for most. The novel opens with Alessandra recounting her first love and how she killed him. Then she lists the reasons for her boredom, her father thinks too little of her, the men around her do not offer enough, and no one knows her name. This is how Alessandra produced this ridiculous plan.
Alessandra forces her father to take her to the palace where she first sees the Shadow King. A 19-year-old who had to step into his father’s shoes after his brutal murder years before. The king is cloaked in constant shadows that protect his every move. The rest of the world doesn’t understand his power, but the world does know that anyone who steps within 5 feet of him will be executed.
Alessandra now is tasked with getting the Shadow Kings attention with hundreds of other girls competing for the same thing. So, Alessandra refuses to get in line to see the king, wears a skintight black outfit (a common theme throughout the rest of the book), to stand out from the other girls wearing the kings favorite color green, and lastly, insults the Shadow King thoroughly during their first interaction.
Somehow the Shadow King (he does give out his actual name, but I will not spoil that) becomes entranced with Alessandra, he invites her into his court and offers her a deal. He will ensure that people will know her name by having her invited to the most important gatherings, if she pretends to be in ‘courtship’ with him. Within one week at the castle, Alessandra has entered the kings court, and has become his fake lover. By being his fake lover, he hopes to get his advisors off his back about finding a future queen to secure heirs.
Throughout the rest of the novel Alessandra will be tasked to make the Shadow King fall in love with her, while also finding the best way to kill him, all while not falling in love.
Overall, this book was extremely entertaining. Alessandra did have consistent ‘pick me girl’ vibes, however, it was warranted at times. The Shadow King’s banter with Alessandra is refreshing and easy to fall in love with. My favorite part of the novel had to be when the Shadow King finds out what happened to Alessandras first lover. I would recommend the book alone just because of that one scene. Overall, I gave this book 4.5/5 stars.