Title: The Shadows Between Us
Author: Tricia Levenseller
Synopsis: 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?
4 stars: Aphrodite – Goddess of love and beauty. That means that I really liked the book, whether it was the writing style, plot or characters. It means it was an amazing book that I would completely recommend for the beautiful piece of art it is. However the book is not a Persephone because something keeps it from making it one of my favourite book ever.
Iris– Goddess of rainbows. Nothing new here, we all know that rainbows represent the LGBTQ+ community so this Goddess will be featured whenever a queer relationship or character appears.
I haven’t been feeling too well this week and this was the perfect dose of escapism. I’m usually wary of fantasy standalones because the story and characters are sometimes underdeveloped and even though some things could have been dealt with in more pages this was an overall satisfying book.
I have a soft spot for morally gray female characters and Alessandra Stathos just joined the list of my favorites. I love love love her ambition. She’s cunning, manipulative and ruthless and the beat part is that’s she’s unapologetic about it. But she also learns to care for her new friends and the ones she loves and that was beautiful. I really appreciate how multi dimensional she felt. She wasn’t just cunning or just loving but a great mix of both. That’s how women should be written. I love how sex positive and confident she was. She knows her skills and assists and she isn’t afraid to use them. This could have been a “I’m not like other girls character” but she strayed from that default by learning to care about her friends, by seeing women as friends rather than rivals. I loved her cunning brain.
I mean, the book opens with:
“They’ve never found the body of the first and only boy who broke my heart.
And they never will.”
How could you not like her?
Then there’s the story. I rather liked the quick pace; I was actually surprised by how much I liked it. I don’t mind when things are slow in fantasy because I understand that the author has to build a new world but the author managed to do that in a few sentences and explanations here and there. It surprisingly worked! I liked all the intrigues at the court and the big reveal to them ruder mystery. That was a nice and unexpected subplot.
And then there’s the love story. It was so great to read about the two main characters falling in love as they spread lies and tried to avoid doing just that. Kallias was looking for a friend and Alessandra for a king she could murder to become the queen. It was so nice to see how their vision of each other shifted; they were magic on screen.
Overall this is a nice story about ambition, love and friendship. It wasn’t groundbreaking but a lovely story all the same. I will be reading more form this author!