Published: February 25, 2020
Read as: US hardcover, owned
Average Goodreads rating: 4.10
My rating: 4
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? (from Goodreads)
“They’ve never found the body of the first and only boy who broke my heart. And they never will.”
For me, Tricia Levenseller became a “must buy” author after I read and completely fell in love with her Daughter of the Pirate King duology back in 2018. I love that she doesn’t shy away from the use of strong voices and making her non male characters the shining beacon of the story.
The Shadows Between Us is no exception.
Our leading lady, Alessandra is so completely and entirely unapologetic. She knows what she wants and she goes after it, all in, with no reservations. What else I loved about her? She is absolutely flawed down to the bottom of her very soul.
Alessandra is no traditionally beautiful maiden with goals of creating a better world and doing good for the people. No, this lady wants power, fame, and everything that comes with it and has no problem dealing out a little death to achieve her aims.
Despite loving her character and how truly unrestrained she is, at the same time she annoyed me off and on. I felt like her sex sells, give me all of the power attitude was very one dimensional. There was no depth to it. None of her actions were surprising, everything ticked along for her exactly as you would expect it. No surprises, she and the plot just trotted along like a well trained animal.
Let us take a moment to discuss the Shadow King. He is painted as this enigmatic, terrifying man who is horribly flawed and needs to be removed from the throne. However, I never really got that from him. The Shadow King was merely a young man whose parents had been murdered and he was trying to do his best for his people while keeping himself from also being assassinated. Not a bad guy, just someone with power struggling to make the right choices.
You know, the more I type here the more I consider lowering my rating of this book from a 4 to a 3. I enjoyed the overall plot of it with palace intrigue, some danger, sexual tension, and clearly defined stakes. At the same time it was utterly predictable and vapid.
I don’t know folks, judge for yourself. The story had some good points and I was satisfied by the ending for the most part. Levenseller’s descriptions and imagery make a lovely story and her willingness to go all in with a variety of different character with their own strengths and weaknesses appeals to me.
I just feel like there was something missing. I needed a little more depth, a little more reason for some of the actions the character’s took. As I read the book I was utterly absorbed and couldn’t put it down and that is certainly a sign of a good book. At the same time, upon reflection, I can see a few things that could have been improved upon. I will certainly continue to read Levenseller’s work in the future.
Since writing this review I have updated my Goodreads rating of this book to reflect 3 stars instead of the initial 4.