My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Release Date: February 25, 2020
Genre: YA Fantasy, Romance.
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?
ARC provided from Edelweiss and Feiwel and Friends for an honest review. All opinions are my own, and quotes are subject to change on the final release.
Let me just let out a breath that I had been holding in for the last 20% of the book! Thank you Tricia Levenseller. Thank you.
There was literally nothing that I didn’t like in this book. The character development was incredible. I felt as if I could grow into feelings with Alessandra for the king. Likewise, I could feel the king’s guard slowly slipping with every moment he allowed himself to be with her.
Passion doesn’t lead anywhere good. It turned me into a murderess.
I’m not a trollop…I’m a sexually empowered woman, and there is nothing wrong with that.
Alessandra: As you know from the synopsis, she has her own agenda for the king, which the book opens up to instantly. She has lived in the shadow of her too perfect sister, pushed aside by her father and mother (whom died when she was younger). She spent her youth with more freedom, perhaps being too promiscuous for society’s standards. She is a strong female character, making her own clothing, and wearing what she feels comfortable in, even if to their society it is scandalous. She has fallen in love before, and handled it her own way…Let no other man break her heart, he will not walk away alive. She is fueled on the hatred and resentment she holds for her sister, married to some wealthy duke, and her father that never believed in her or thought she would deserve same if not better than her sister. To prove them wrong, she wants to woo the king, convince him to love her, marry her, then kill him and rule his throne. But when the king announces to court her, he reveals to her he has a plan of his own to uncover who killed his parents. They decide to lie to the court and his advisers, convince them they are courting each other, only for her to help him uncover the assassin that may be after him next.
They say the Shadow King has some sort of power, but no one knows what it is. Some say he can command the shadows to do his bidding, that he can use them to kill- choke the lie out of his enemies. Others sat they’re a shield. That no blade can pierce his skin.
I’m not a doll that you can dress up and leave alone until you’re ready to play with me, Kallias. I’m a person.
King Kallias: mmm dreamy. He’s this closed off guy, scared to open himself up to anyone, including his friends, entrapped within his shadowy self for protection, and determined to exact revenge on his parents’ murderer. His shadows are an incredible and unique power that make him untouchable. Should anyone make contact with his skin, he would be permanently corporal in their presence from 50 yards. A gift that could help him live for centuries if he is careful, but also what could be a curse, preventing him from ever allowing himself to love a woman. When he asks Alessandra to be a part of his scheme, he is unaware of her own intentions. He finds it nearly impossible to stay away from Alessandra, though, and slowly allows his walls that he encapsulated himself within to fall.
Leondros: Ugh, he was so sweet, the wonderful gentlemen that I wanted her to be with deep down, because he could touch her, give her the life she wanted, be the perfect gentleman. He spends time with her, trying to win her heart from the king, and is inevitably the helpful push for the king to develop a jealousy and start to actually try to earn Alessandra’s affection.
The friendships that Alessandra develops in the castle are exactly what she and they need. Alessandra helps Hestia find a courage within herself to not copy others, but be herself, express her feelings without worrying what society will say. Alessandra helps Rhoda find courage to take love in her own hands, not worrying about marrying our courting someone with money and titles. Kallias’s friends also treat Alessandra as one of theirs, which literally was so sweet I thought. They allow her to laugh and talk openly with them, not giving two craps about society. And that’s what I loved most of this book too, that it tackles society’s expectations of people and throws the
expectations out the window.
A woman’s worth is not decided by what’s between her legs, but by what is in her mind.
I think that when you care enough for someone, you reach a point where it’s far more painful not to have him at all than to have him and risk losing him. You realize the risk is worth it. Because happiness, however short-lived, is always worth it.
I literally already want to reread this book. The development of feelings between Kallias and Alessandra is just heart gripping. Her strength is inspiring, she fears very little, and I love how outspoken she is. Her personality is a true Slytherin. She knows what she wants, and she is determined to get it, no matter how many people doubt her, or how many men jump in and try to screw her over (and trust me, there’s a few men that I am shocked she didn’t kill, but she dang well got rid of them…). The ending was incredible, not at all who I thought was truly behind the assassination attempts. The plot twist…oh my gosh I am still reeling from it!
I am a bit sad that this is a standalone. I want more, just because I fell in love with these characters so hard, but Levenseller completely wraps up everything where I really don’t have unanswered questions.
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