The Shadows Between Us by Tricia Levenseller

Title/s (In Order):

The Shadows Between Us 

Author: Tricia Levenseller

Genre: YA Fantasy Romance, Fantasy Fiction, Fantasy Romance

Stand Alone/Series: Stand alone

Hardcopy/Kindle: Both, however I have it on Kindle.

Memorable Quotes: “Because happiness, however short-lived, is always worth it.”


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?


This is a conflicting review for me. I wanted to really, really love this book. I had such high hopes for it, and unfortunately it fell flat for me. There was nothing that gripped me here. I tried so hard to get something, anything, to do so.

I feel as though it was mainly the main character, Alessandra, that I struggled with here. She didn’t have that spark for me that is usually there in these types of worlds. Whilst Alessandra was intended to be an evil, manipulative character, I personally didn’t find her that at all. 

Usually a badass, fierce character is something that really puts a fire in my brain. If you make that character an independent feminine-type hero, all the more so. I just love those types of books – for example, the Throne Of Glass series. There was so much promise here for Alessandra to be that, and yet she felt quite bland for me.

The summary looked fantastic, and I remember being so excited to purchase this and dig into it. I expected trickery, betrayal, but also a deep bond between them that kept Alessandra from fulfilling the original deed. Strangely, I had almost Mr & Mrs Smith hopes.

I envisioned Kallias (The Shadow King) to be dark, mysterious and threatening. I did not feel that at all. I didn’t feel that grip on my heart that I expected, I was met with, eh. Not captivating. His weaknesses, which you find out early-ish, really take away from the threat of his presence. He doesn’t appear that hard of a challenge as I thought there would be. I expected him to be wise beyond his years, and yet he felt merely childish and unaware of his potential. It was not really ‘Shadow King’ material, if you understand where I am coming from.

It was intended to have a ‘sleep with one eye’ feeling with it, as there was a plot line of Kallias conquering numerous kingdoms that were falling to rebellion. Unfortunately there was not much here, it felt as if it was never truly touched on properly.

The world building was lacking. There was little to no time given to description, not only for the kingdom itself, but for the world it was set in. I struggled to place what was going on outside of Alessandra, and the continuous mentioning of her fear about her secret being revealed (Finding the body of another partner).

In this genre, there should have been a lot more emphasis on the land, and of course, the kingdom. I feel as though it could have been thought out properly. For example, there were guns in this world, yet also heavily mentioning swords. What good use would a sword be to a gun? That was poor judgement. There also could have been more consideration around the form of technology she was aiming for, in use of the timing she set this world within. Moving forward, I would have liked to have seen more interactions with other characters, too. 

One thing I did love to read was the respect in regards to women, and their rights. There were quite a few parts in this book that impressed me with that. It isn’t common that you cross those kinds of things, so it was a nice take.

Unfortunately it just didn’t hit the mark of being fantasy for me. I guess, my version of fantasy is strong world building, and those kinds of things that didn’t feel targeted in regards to importance for this book. 

Overall Verdict: It was a good read, but unfortunately this will not be a book that I revisit in future. I’m glad I read it, as there was a lot of fuss over this story. However, it was just not for me.

Rating: 2/5

Reviewing Next: From Blood And Ash – Jennifer L. Armentrout

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