The Shadows Between Us is a young adult fantasy novel written by the immensely talented, Tricia Levenseller. The pitch for this book is a Slytherin-romance, and that’s spot-on in my opinion! This book also features funny side characters, a gripping mystery, and a strong, badass female lead.
“They’ve never found the body of the first and only boy who broke my heart. And they never will.” This is the start of the book I’m telling you about today. This first sentence is quite a striking one and hopefully enough to convince you to pick up this gorgeous book.
Read more to know the answers to some frequently asked questions about the Shadows Between Us as well as a glimpse of some of the characters.
I’ll have spoilers clearly marked, so you are free to read on if you’re still deciding whether you should read this book or not!
What is The Shadows Between Us about?
The Shadows Between Us tells the story of a focused woman named Alessandra. She plans to marry, kill the king, then make herself the only ruler of the kingdom.
The Shadow King is quite a mystery since no one seems to know the extent of his dark and swirling power.
However, it seems that Alessandra is not the only one trying to kill the king. She finds herself struggling to keep him alive long enough for her to marry him–all the while trying to keep her heart intact.
After all, who better for a Shadow King than a cunning, villainous queen?
Is this novel a fantasy?
Yes, the Shadows Between Us has fantasy elements, though they are not in-your-face present. Thus, if you aren’t a huge fan of fantasy, this story might just get you into the genre.
Is there romance in The Shadows Between Us?
Yes, there is! And it is swoon-worthy at that.
The romance is to die for, and therefore this book is great for any fantasy-romance lovers out there.
Also, this romance is a slow-paced one, and Tricia Levenseller knows how to write those. The romance isn’t too rushed but you won’t be annoyed how long it is taking either.
Is there a sequel to this book?
Unfortunately no. The Shadows Between Us is a stand-alone, meaning there is not a sequel, and so it is not a series.
However, Tricia Levenseller recently announced a companion novel, The Darkness Within Us, which is currently expected to come out in 2023 according to her Instagram. This novel will focus on a different character but is still going to be a dark fantasy romance.
While you wait for the Darkness Within Us, make sure to check out Tricia Levenseller’s other books!
Is the Shadows Between Us LGBTQ+?
The main couple we follow is a heterosexual relationship.
However, there is a gay side character who is very funny and will become your favorite side character, I’m sure.
Is this novel enemies to lovers?
The romance between the characters is not really an enemies-to-lovers one.
Not to worry though, they are both very witty and the tension is definitely there. The banter is so much fun, and the characters are a bit villainous you could say.
Is The Shadows Between Us sad?
While this of course is up to everyone’s own interpretation, I would say the Shadows Between Us is not sad.
There may be some moments that can be a bit sad, but those will be over quite quickly.
The book isn’t long, with only around 320 pages, so this book is quite a fast and light-hearted read.
Is this book smutty or spicy?
There is no smut in the Shadows Between Us. There are a couple of scenes where the sexual tension between the couple is very prominent but the scenes are not described in detail.
The actual love-making scene is a fade-to-black one.
Is The Shadows Between Us appropriate?
As mentioned above, there are some mildly mature scenes and some heavier topics (like death) that might be worth considering before picking this book up yourself or recommending it to others, especially younger readers.
What are the themes in this novel?
Some themes included in this book are female empowerment, love, friendship, loneliness, and finding one’s own place.
What trigger warnings are there for The Shadows Between Us?
Some topics featured in this book that you want to be mindful of are death and murder as well as alcohol consumption.
The age range recommended for this story is 13-18 years.
What tropes are in this book?
Some absolute favorite tropes by the book community are in this book.
For instance, there is the ‘who did this to you?’ trope, along with the ‘character A is set out to kill character B, but then falls in love with them.’ And of course, my personal favorite, the ballroom scenes!
When does this story take place?
It is quite difficult to pinpoint when exactly this book takes place, but I would say around the early 1900s.
Where does The Shadows Between Us take place?
The Shadows Between Us takes place mostly in the Shadow King’s castle and court.
Who is the love interest?
The love interest in this book is the Shadow King AKA Kallias.
The Shadows Between Us presents an extensive set of characters. Here’s a bit of information on some of them, so that you can get to know them a bit better.
Who is Alessandra?
Alessandra Stathos is the protagonist in this book.
She is a headstrong and independent woman with clear goals in mind. First, she’s going to woo the Shadow King. After that, she is going to marry him. And then, she is going to murder the king and take his kingdom for herself.
Alessandra is cunning and tired of being overlooked. She knows how to get what she wants and will not hesitate to take drastic measures to achieve her goals.
Despite being a little devious, Alessandra can be friendly and kind. She is talented in many things, such as problem-solving and making the most exquisite–if not somewhat inappropriate–outfits.
Who is the Shadow King?
The Shadow King’s name is Kallias Maheras. He is one of the most important characters in the book.
Kallias is very private and careful. He seems a bit cold but he is truly a good person towards those he cares about the most.
Kallias has a happy-spirited dog named Demodocus who is his most trusted companion.
The Shadow King also has magical abilities. He has access to these shadows that can protect him and make him intangible, hence the nickname regarding his title.
Kallias is very young to be king and has to rely on his council most of the time despite his lack of enthusiasm for it.
Alessandra and Kallias
Alessandra and Kallias are the characters whose romance we follow.
They are both very similar to each other so they understand what drives the other. This leads to deals being made that might lead them where they do not want to end up.
The romance is so adorable and fluffy. You just have to keep on reading to know what happens next between them.
Who is Leandros?
We soon find out that Leandros Vasco is a handsome and quite flirty courtier. He grew up with the king but they have since grown apart despite Leandros still residing in his court.
Leandros’ uncle–Ikaros Vasco–is the head of the king’s council.
Who is Myron?
Myron is a hopeless romantic, and he is very much in love with Alessandra. At the beginning of the book, we find out they have been having a frisky affair.
He just wants to love her and is desperate to make Alessandra his. He has good intentions but can cause some unwanted trouble.
Who is Orrin?
Orrin is another gentleman staying in the Shadow King’s court. From the moment he met Alessandra, he is quite enamored with her. Orrin tries to impress her with tales of good deeds he has done.
Who are Rhoda and Hestia?
Rhoda and Hestia are ladies staying at the king’s court. They quickly become Alessandra’s friends there.
Hestia is not very confident in herself and often mimics Alessandra’s outfits to appear favorable. She also knows most of the gossip going around especially about Alessandra making her a useful asset.
Rhoda has been married once before and is now seeking more passion in her life. She also holds knowledge about all the men at court through observing from the sidelines.
Who is Chrysantha?
Chrysantha Stathos is Alessandra’s sister. We do not actually get to meet her in the book. But the author mentions her a handful of times.
She is described as an overall proper daughter. She already tried to catch the eye of the king but was sent home from the palace.
According to Alessandra, Chrysantha is a very beautiful woman, however, she is also dumb.
Does The Shadows Between Us have a happy ending?
As you might expect from a stand-alone novel, yes, the Shadows Between Us has a happy ending. It is also a satisfying one at that and does not leave any lingering questions.
How does the Shadows Between Us end?
We find out that Leandros is not who he says he is and is actually Xanthos, Kallias’ brother. Xanthos has been the one trying to kill Kallias all along.
Kallias and Xanthos launch into a fight. Alessandra steps in, sure that Xanthos will kill his brother given the chance.
She kills Xanthos by stabbing him in the throat with a sword. Kallias blacks out and Alessandra calls for the guards.
When she knew that he was safe and taken care of, she left the palace. Alessandra goes to stay in Rhoda’s estate.
Alessandra is feeling resentful and alone. While she is composing a letter for her sister, a knock sounds at the door. It is Kallias.
Alessandra thinks he’s there to kill her. He explains that this is not the case.
Kallias confesses his love by reading a letter he wrote to her. Alessandra tells him why she loves her and how she found her match and her equal. They kiss and start their new life together.
SPOILERS END HERE
“Waiting. Not waiting. One lover. A hundred lovers. There should be no judgment either way. A woman is not defined by what she does or doesn‘t do in the bedroom.”
“He swallows the bite in his mouth. “Alessandra Stathos, that’s positively despicable.” He says the words like they’re the highest compliment he can give me. “You are an absolute gem, do you know that?”
“Because happiness, however short-lived, is always worth it.”
“Don’t you think you will forget how to be human if you push away all the mortals in your life?”
Thank you for reading!
I hope this has answered some of the questions you may have about this book.
And if you have more questions, feel free leave a message in the comments below!