The Shadows Between Us by Tricia Levenseller (Book Review)

Hi Blisses,

TITLE: The Shadows Between Us
BY: Tricia Levenseller
GENRE: Fantasy, Young Adult
PUBLICATION: February 25th, 2020

TWO – SENTENCE REVIEW

This book with its heroine who is unabashedly true to herself screams girl power without justifying or embellishing her flaws and ruthlessness. This is indeed a refreshing and intriguing concept that will make you like the unlikeable and will show you what mere will power can achieve.

REVIEW

I loved the author’s previous works, Daughter of a Pirate King duology and Warrior of the Wild, so it was no surprise I was too eager to read THE SHADOWS BETWEEN US right away. I rarely read newly-released books but there’s always an exception. I must say, I’m not disappointed.

The premise of this book is so intriguing and will definitely hook you even before you start reading. It involves King Kallias who is known as Shadow King and whose life is threatened since he became King and a girl, Alessandra who is too tired of being overlooked as the second daughter that she desires power and she has a plan to have it.

1) Woo the Shadow King.
2) Marry him.
3) Kill him and take his kingdom for herself.

Alessandra will do everything, use everything she’s got, including her beauty, to take what she wants. But how can she do that when she can’t even touch Kallias and that there are other people who want the king dead?

Like I said, the premise is so intriguing, you can’t help but find out how it will play out. But no matter how intriguing the plot is, I’d say this book is definitely character-driven. This book has the most fascinating main characters I’ve read so far this year. With the Shadow King, it’s a no-brainer. He’s a king who has shadows shrouding his body and there’s a rule in the kingdom that no one must touch him. Everyone should remain a certain distance from him. How cool is that?

Then there’s our heroine, or should I say antiheroine. This book is definitely one of the most Slytherin books I’ve ever read, which says a lot because I just read Serpent and Dove last week and that was definitely a Slytherin read. I rated that one 4.5 stars, so now you can guess how many stars I would give to THIS book. 🙂

Our antiheroine Alessandra is undoubtedly a villain. She’s cunning, she’s ruthless and she’s unlikeable. Scratch that. She’s supposed to be unlikeable but like I said in my 2-sentence review, the story will make you like the unlikeable. You see, Alessandra might be wicked but she’s always true to herself. She’s unapologetic for who she is, and I find that so empowering.

She’s so bad but she does it so well, you will love her.

Aside from that, I admire her dedication to her purpose even though it seems impossible at times. She sometimes doubts if it’s doable but she never really wavered. If there’s a conflict, she finds a way to extract it. She’s a very active character. MOST IMPORTANTLY, she remained herself till the end. That makes me feel joyful because it’s so amazing to see a woman, or a character in general, who wasn’t magically changed just because of love.

Most fiction gives us this idea that love changes a person. I say that’s not really how it works. Sure, our intentions might change because of love but it must not necessarily change us. That’s what happened with Alessandra, and that’s why I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this book. Alessandra’s intentions changed but I didn’t see Her change. The thing that makes her for who she is, the thing that makes her unique, the thing that made me love her from the start despite her villainous plans – that thing remains.

Until the end, she’s cunning. Until the end, she’s ready to kill. Until the end, she’s not apologetic for who she is. She acknowledges her identity and loves herself. And seeing her getting closer to people, not only to Kallias but to other characters as well, while still having her plans, just broke me. The friendships she made were truly treasures — especially with Kallias. I love how smooth but interesting their friendship develops. They literally help each other with pure intentions of helping. I love that they both accept each other for who they are.

But it’s heartbreaking because Alessandra never lets the reader forgets about her plans. There’s this one scene where Kallias just laughed instead of judging Alessandra for something evil that she did — it showed how their relationship already is. Though their relationship develops very slow. In fact, Alessandra spends more time with others than Kallias in the first 40% of the book. But for me, that just made me crave for the two of them together, and I love that because when they really became close, they didn’t disappoint.

So far, all I said about this book are great things but I’m afraid it is not without its flaws. There is a bit issue of show vs. tell or more like the narration speaks a lot of what’s in the character’s mind. This is told in Alessandra’s point of view and of course, she’ll tell us what’s in her mind but there are instances that she doesn’t have too. Like when Kallias does something, she’ll say (to the reader), he is jealous, even though it’s already obvious to me. Their actions already show it, there’s no use of telling it. I didn’t really mind that but others might.

Aside from that, I think that thing involving Alessandra’s very first ex is resolved so quickly, considering that it’s been one of Alessandra’s biggest worry throughout the book. I was expecting more from that element. But still, I love Kallias’ reaction to what Alessandra did.

RATING: 5 blissful pages with lilies

Yes!!! This is my second 5-star read of the year and I couldn’t be happier. Yes, I have little complains about the book, still I LOVE it. Alessandra as a main character just made this book perfect.


How about you, have you read this book? Or planning too? What do you think of it?
Let’s chat.

7 thoughts on “The Shadows Between Us by Tricia Levenseller (Book Review)

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