I’ve really enjoyed the previous books I’ve read by this author so when I got this stunning edition in a Fairyloot box a few months back I was so excited to read it.
So the blurb for this book (taken from Goodreads) is:
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?
I went into this book not really knowing what to expect, when I first heard about the book it went straight on my anticipated reads, then when it was released I saw loads of people slating it so it put me off reading. Fast forward a few months and I decided to just read it and see for myself, and I’m so glad I did because it’s now become by second favourite book of the year. There was a point about 50ish pages before the end where I almost threw the book because I didn’t think it was going to end how I wanted it to, but that was short lived and I was more than happy with the ending.
I absolutely loved Alessandra, we definitely need more characters like her in young adult books. You don’t get many teenage girls in books who know their body and is open about sex and getting what she wants both sexually and generally in life. She’s independent, determined and doesn’t let a man tell her what to do, no matter what the law says (the law states that girls cannot have sex before marriage, yet that law does not apply to boys – eye rolling was happening here because there’s always double standards, just like in real life).
I really enjoyed the dynamic and the growth of the friendship between Alessandra and Kallias. And also between Alessandra and the other ladies, especially Rhoda and Hestia, it’s always so great to get strong female friendships in books, because a lot of the time it’s all just backstabbing and that’s not realistic at all. So the friendships in this book being positive was a breath of fresh air.
This is a stand-alone and I think it works really well as one, but if the author ever wanted to just do a little novella of what happens next I would not be sad, in fact I would be literally jumping for joy. So if you didn’t already know by now I highly recommend this book. In fact I recommended it to Liv who has since read it and loved it so much it’s her favourite book of the year!