Feb 17, 2020

ARC Review--The Shadows Between Us by Tricia Levenseller

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 received this ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest and voluntary review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

The incredibly talented Tricia Levenseller has done it again with The Shadows Between Us! She has written yet another novel filled with lush descriptions and amazing characters that will completely sweep you away on a fantasy tale filled with love, deception, and MURDER!!!

Alessandra is a very headstrong young woman, she knows what she wants from life and will do whatever it takes to get it. After having her heart broken by the man she loved three years ago, she killed him…even says this in the beginning of the book, so no spoiler there! She has high ambitions and after entertaining a few paramours, she sets her sights higher…on the Shadow King himself. Her plan is simple, woo the king, marry the king, kill the king and then rule the lands herself. Should be simple enough. Insert evil grin from the author.

Alessandra comes to the castle and instead of trying to do her best to woo him with her looks and presence like all the other girls in line to vie for their chance at a proposal, she ignores him completely. Which proceeds to get his attention rather quickly and after a chance encounter, Alessandra finds herself with an invitation to join his court and she finds she’s one step closer to her goal.

But things aren’t quite as simple as they seem, for the Shadow King believes someone is trying to kill him, like they did his parents a few years ago. He’s ordered his entire court to stay at the castle until the murder can be solved and it’s there Alessandra finds herself in the midst of a mystery but she doesn’t let it consume her attention completely as she has her own goals in mind still.

Alessandra makes friends among the nobility at court and shockingly enough finds herself growing attached to the Shadow King. He even offers her an opportunity to play his “intended” so that the council who has to help him rule until his twenty-first birthday gets off his case. Alessandra agrees to the ruse and naturally, a real relationship starts to form between her and the Shadow King who reveals his name is Kallias. A true friendship seems to be growing between them and it’s honestly a marvel to see, for we get so used to that insta love when pretending to be in love trope, I enjoyed that Tricia had her characters take their time.

I wasn’t sure that I would like Alessandra when you know from the start that she has murderous intentions, but after a while I grew to adore her. True, she has a vicious streak, but so does Kallias in a way, since he is the Shadow King, but even his character was surprising. He was built up to be this dark man of mystery and as Alessandra got to know him better, well, let’s just go back to saying it was a surprise. I also enjoyed that Alessandra developed real friendships with two other ladies at court. At first it seemed like they would be her friends by proxy, but a real bond began to form between the three.

I was also a little surprised to uncover a line here and there that lead me to wonder if this book wasn’t as high fantasy as I thought, things such as electricity, indoor plumbing, the mention of a handgun. It only happened periodically but it made me wonder if this wasn’t entirely set off in another land far far away. There are no other clues or hints to give this theory any validity, it’s just a suspicion I had, and really in the end, it didn’t detract from my enjoyment. Just something I picked up on when reading that left me in a whirlwind of other thoughts.

This was a very much action packed kind of read with a multitude of court scandals going about, think of them as mini mysteries alongside the greater one at large. The Shadows Between Us kept me thoroughly entertained and all the while I was dreading the end because I knew the magic would be over. I initially thought this was going to be another duology, but everything was perfectly wrapped up in a neat little bow and I am honestly thrilled by this prospect! There are so few standalones in the fantasy world that finding one that’s so incredible as this one is like finding a gem in and of itself!

The ending was another shocker! Just as you think things might be headed towards a cliffhanger kind of ending, we get a dramatic twist and reveal and it was ultimately thrilling! I didn’t see this one coming, though I admit to thinking something about the character at first, but then dismissing it as the story went on! Let’s just say he came as a complete surprise but one that wasn’t out of left field! At the end of the book, I was completely smitten with the story!

The Shadows Between Us is a page-turning fantasy that you will not want to let go of. It held me riveted from the very beginning and I never wanted the story to come to an end. But as they say, all good things must end. It was a refreshing fantasy read with characters who don’t conform to any norms, complete with flaws and all, and I think that is what made them so appealing and had me smiling through its ending! This is not a fantasy read you will want to miss out on!

Overall Rating 5/5 stars

The Shadows Between Us releases February 25, 2020


  1. Okay, now I need this book in my life after your review! I love twists and endings that shock me too. I read her debut book and need to read more of her work.

  2. I love fun adventures with lush descriptions! This sounds like a great read!


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