The Shadows Between Us by Tricia Levenseller

A cunning, ambitious young woman who refuses to kowtow to the patriarchy reigns supreme in The Shadows Between Us by Tricia Levenseller, a dark and delicious new standalone YA fantasy.

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?

Tricia has a knack for writing fierce female characters, but Alessandra may be my favorite one yet (and The Shadows Between Us is easily my favorite of Tricia’s books to date). She embraces her ambition, her sexuality, her femininity, and her cunning. She is fabulously unapologetic, and exudes the kind of energy I want to put out in the world (although maybe a little less murder-y).

The Shadow King is not a good or noble king, and Alessandra is not a gracious, good girl. The two are wickedly and deliciously well-matched, and I loved seeing their “Slytherin romance” (as Tricia describes it) unfold. They’re not “good” characters, but neither are they wholly evil or wicked. They just simply are, and their union is one that my dark little hard rooted for so strongly.

I’m also a sucker for a strongly written, standalone fantasy — and Tricia has really outdone herself with The Shadows Between Us. Her world-building is clear and concise, and it’s easy to get an understanding of how this world works. It’s familiar, with a touch of magic — and deeply enchanting to read about. Even in this fictional world, women have their “expected” roles to fulfill, and Alessandra just refuses to accept that lot. It’s an attitude I think a lot of us can relate to, and that’s part of what makes her character so easy to relate to and root for.

Discover this dark and captivating world when The Shadows Between Us hits store shelves on February 25th.

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