The Shadows Between Us Readalong: Day 1

Amazing photo by @pandabooklove

Hello everyone!

It is day 1 of our Readalong of The Shadows Between Us by Tricia Levenseller and I am so excited to get into this one!

Before we jump in though, how is everyone? What have we all been reading recently? Let’s catch up in the comments!

Alright, now that we’re all caught up, let’s get on with the readalong!

Today, we start from Chapter 1 and we will be reading to the end of Chapter 7! Grab a beverage of your choice and some snacks and snuggle down for a reading session and then join me in the comments to chat about it!

Please be warned, the following will include spoilers for The Shadows Between Us by Tricia Levenseller Chapters 1-7! Read only if you’ve finished those chapters!


The first thing we find out about our protagonist is that she buried the first and only boy that broke her heart after stabbing him in the chest. And it seems that was the last time she ever let anyone close enough to hurt her. 

Parks And Recreation Reaction GIF

We can already see how strong-willed and charismatic Alessandra is. The fact that she’s had multiple proposals and has refused them all. I love her already!

We learn that Alessandra’s sister has been at the palace, vying for the affections of the Shadow King but has been unsuccessful. But Alessandra knew this would happen and is planning to go to the palace herself. She’s using the rings her lovers proposed to her with to buy all the dresses and things she’ll need for the palace! It’s a devious move but also genius!

Do we think she’ll be able to pull off not only winning the affections of the King but also getting close enough to kill him and take over his kingdom? She’s definitely smart and cunning enough but how will things change when she gets to the palace?

Alessandra has thoroughly thought everything through, even making sure her attire will help her stand out against the swarms of girls who are there to catch the eye of the King. Will her plan of going against what is conventional work in her favour? 

Oh okay, so the Shadow King is called that for a reason! He literally has tendrils of shadows around him. But nobody knows what powers the shadows hold and what the King can do with them! I’m very intrigued to say the least.

jada pinkett smith thats interesting GIF by Red Table Talk

Alessandra begins catching the attention of the fellow revellers and before long, even the King seems to be watching her dance with her father but she doesn’t give him any attention just yet! She’s playing hard to get it seems.

Her tactics are very ballsy but they seem to have worked! The King makes his way to the dance floor and asks her to dance, two things we have been told he rarely, if ever, does!! Confidence pays off!

Things seem to be going well, they dance seamlessly together until suddenly the King decides it’s time for everyone to leave and he turns away without another word. Could her plan have fallen flat so soon? 

Alessandra thinks she’s failed but just as she’s leaving, a palace servant hands her a note from the King asking her if she would like to join the Kings court!! 

And just like that, she’s in!

Season 2 Support GIF by Friends

Her first court outing comes later the next day, an afternoon tea arranged with the idea of her meeting the rest of the people in the Kings court. Before she can meet anyone else, however, she becomes very acquainted with the Kings dog! 

The King and Alessandra seem to be as devious as each other, always scheming!

Alessandra makes her way over to the two people that seem to be causing the least drama but is soon joined by Leandros, a dashing courtier who grew up with the King! I love her way of thinking! Just cos she plans to marry the King, doesn’t mean she can’t have some fun.

It seems she’s chosen the best two friends as they have all the knowledge and gossip about everything that’s happening in the court! 

Do we think the reason the King keeps himself to himself is because his parents were murdered in the palace? He might be worried the same will happen to him.

Oooo this is turning into a murder mystery as well! The King is keeping everyone who was there the night the late King and Queen were murdered, possibly to find out who did it!

alison sweeney must solve sundays GIF by Hallmark Movies & Mysteries

The King invites Alessandra to dinner in the library, just the two of them! Is her plan working?

Whaaat, he can walk through walls? It may not have impressed Alessandra so much but it definitely impressed me!

The pair seem to be as power hungry as each other, and both want to rule everything. 

The King reveals his true intentions to Alessandra, he doesn’t want to marry like the council wishes him to and so wants to invite her to stay at the palace and be friends, letting others think whatever they like about their relationship. Of course, Alessandra plans to be more than friends but she accepts! 

Alessandra is so offended that he said she’s not pretty enough to tempt him and this just makes her more determined to make him fall in love with her.

Oh no Myron has somehow managed to get into her room! Is he going to cause problems for Alessandra? She gets him out quite quickly but that doesn’t mean he won’t be back!

Wow Orrin is so dull, only talking about the good deeds he’s done, obviously trying to win her favour. But she is saved by Leandros entering with two of his friends. Alessandra is so good at obtaining the attention of the other nobles that soon she is surrounded by them and this does not go unnoticed by Kallias who chooses this moment to announce they are courting!

that doesnt really mean that i uhhh jeremy renner GIF

I love how easily they have slipped into being friends, they manage to talk so casually with one another.

Okay so not only is Kallias looking for the person who killed his parents, he’s also trying to figure out who is trying to kill him! Being King is hard!

I am already so excited by what is happening! What are we thinking so far? Do we think Alessandra is going to succeed? Let me know in the comments and we can have a chat!

See you tomorrow!



51 thoughts on “The Shadows Between Us Readalong: Day 1

  1. I wasn’t sure if this book would be for me but I love it so far! I like how Alessandra knows what she wants and is determined to get it. She isn’t a typical protagonist at all. I’m intrigued by the King’s shadows, I wonder what powers he has and whether that will hinder her plans!

    1. Alessandra is so headstrong and I love it! Yess I wanna know what powers he has as well!

  2. Hi! I’ve just finished reading ‘Mortal Engines’ by Philip Reeve before reading the first chapters of this months book. (Loved it by the way)

    I’m so curious about the shadows!! And I LOVE Demodocus and hope he’ll often appears in the story ;-).
    I also like Alessandra, I think the correct word is spunk, she’s got spunk.
    Can’t wait to read more soon!

    1. I love Demodocus as well!!
      Yess I definitely agree!

  3. I just finished chapter 7 and damn, I want to read all the rest! I’m so in love so far!
    Alessandra is stunning, she is not the usual female main character: she know what she wants and she is not afraid to do everything to reach is goal. I think that in a few moments is a little to unreal, as when she understands in a blink what the king is trying to do pushing his friends away and keeping there who was in the castle the murder night, but I like her anyway. About Kallias I don’t have any words, I love him! He is so cute. I fell in love. The ball scene, the library dinner… Do you see my heart eyes? ?
    Parts with them together are my favorites so far. I can’t lie.
    I really want to know what is going to happen next, but I’ll wait tomorrow. I think that Leandros will play a important part in the book as friend, but also as a love enemy for the king (when he will admit that he is interested in Alessandra). About Myron he will be a thorn in the side for Alessandra, he will take a revenge somehow: maybe revealing her secrets or using her sister? After all she was only names. I’d like if during the story she will appear and bring some problems to Alessandra.

    1. I have heart eyes as well! I just love Kallias! Ooo that would be interesting!

  4. I really like Alessandra! She’s so different from all the female leads in the books I’ve read in the past, she’s so determined and she knows what she wants and she won’t stop until she has it and I love that about her. She reminds me a little of Jude Duarte. I am super intrigued by the Shadow King and his shadows, I want to know more about it, and if walking through walls is the only power he has. I think he and Alessandra are perfect for each other, they both seem devious and schemeing and up to no good!

    1. yeah the walking through walls is really cool but I wonder if there is more!

  5. I like the book so far and Alessandra is such a good character because she is so confident and so sure of what she wants.

    The king intrigues me by being handsome and yet mysterious, but most of all his shadows I hope we will find more about them they seem awesome saving his life and letting him walk through walls

    oh I sooo love the scenes between her and the king they got a connection neither of them yet knows about and I love how he trows her of her game in certain moments like telling her he does not want to marry her and telling her she is no appealing to him ( rude much but i love how it gave her even more motivation to reach her goal)

    But mostly their dance scene so intense, emotional and exciting my favorite of all the scenes with them together

    Cant wait to find out what will happen next

    1. Yess the scenes with Alessandra and Kallias are my favourite!

  6. I loved the beginning of this book although I was also kind of disturbed. Alessandra is very intense. I love that she is kind if a villain but you also understand her. It is definitely a great new original story and I cant wait to see where this is going.
    I am also curious to see what will happen with the two friends she made? Is that one girl in love with her servant maybe…???? (I always forget the names sorry). I might just read some more chapters tonight ?

    1. Oooo I’m glad you are enjoying it! I wouldn’t blame you for reading on!

  7. I just LOVE the fact that Alessandra likes dogs! Demodocus is the best character ;)! Okay but seriously; a murder mystery, a dark, yet entertaining romance AND court intrigue!!? This is seriously what I’ve been looking to read for months! Also, Alessandra and Kallias are amazing characters, both unapologetically going for what they want. I think I might read a few more chapters, this is too exciting haha!

    1. Right! I am loving every aspect of this! I’m so glad you are enjoying it!

  8. So far, really enjoying this one!
    Alessandra is so cut-throat, and almost an unlikeable character? But love her for it

    I do also rather like the Shadow King, and really excited to learn more about him… especially with the added mystery of his murdered parents.

    I do think that Myron won’t let Alessandra get away with things so easily though… keeping an eye on him >.>

    1. Oh I don’t like Myron! He means trouble for Alessandra.

    2. yeah she’s definitely very severe! I’m really loving the Shadow King and I so wanna know more about him!

  9. I love this book and Demodocus is by far the sweetest dog ever! Besides my own…

    I am also get major The Selection vibes from this book anyone else?

    1. Yass! The palace setting!

    2. I love Demodocus!

  10. The first scene of this book captured me instantly! I looove Alessandra. She is so sassy and she knows exsactly what she wants. Just like Captain Alosa! Tricia writes wonderfully!
    I am still a bit confused by the world. I imagined it to be medieval but then there were rifles and shootings mentioned.
    I love the palace setting. It reminds me a lot of The Selection .
    I bet the mysterious Robin Hood guy has something to do with the murder at the palace. And I hope that real feelings will get involved and I bet there will be some intrigue going on.

    1. Oooo yeah it does remind me of the selection!

  11. Alessandra is such an interesting character: unapologetic, cunning, fierce and ambitious!

    I’ve read here and there on Instagram that some people do not like her because she’s “rude and ill-mannered”, but so far we’ve only see her being “rude” to her father, who treats her (and her sister) like cattle to be sold for profit, and that guy at the beginning who has proven himself to be arrogant and possessive. Dude, no means no!

    Also I’m curious about this “Robin Hood” situation, I guess it may be important for developing her character later in the story?

    1. Yeah true! She’s been treated as a second class citizen! I would be a bit miffed as well!

  12. I am absolutely loving Allessandra! I mean, ok, yes, she’s a murderess, and appears to have very few morals, but she’s certainly a girl who knows her own mind!!

    The instant connection between her and Kallias is so intense. And I adore Demodicus!! He definitely needs to be a main feature of this book!

    I’m looking forward to seeing the story progress, to find out who killed Kallias’ parents, and whether Alles-sassypants manages to gain the Shadow King’s heart without losing her own

    1. It’s funny how easily you can overlook the fakt, that Alessandra is a murderess. It feels so natural that she killed Hektor.

    2. I can’t help but love her even though she’s a murderess!
      Yess their connection is amazing!

  13. I wasn’t sure how I would feel about this book, as I’m not always a big fan of romance and haven’t really been in the mood for reading because life, but this book has literally made me laugh out loud. Let’s face it Allessandra is a complete psychopath but she’s a loveable psychopath and the King is clearly off his rocker and I don’t trust Orrin (anyone who has to tell everyone how amazing they are all the time???) but damn, talk about a good time.
    TSBU really was a bright spark in what’s been a really lousy couple of weeks. Easy and quick to read, funny dialogue, impossible, utterly ridiculous characters, great choice fairyloot, can’t wait to see what happens. XX

    1. I’m so happy to hear the book has brought you some joy! Its a good one for a bit of escapism!

  14. I started out with the attention to only read those seven chapters, but alas, as it always does with a good book, curiousity got the better of me and I devoured the book in less than a day.

    But I gotta say, I knew Alessandra would be an interesting character straight away, not because of her earlier failed love, but with the way she caught the Kings attention by wearing black clothes and appearing as if she couldn’t really be bothered by him.

    And her father! Such hidiousness in trying to use her like that, only doting on Chesen…Chisen… I’ve already forgotten her name xD

    Remarkably surprised as always, so far I’ve liked every book in the box. Good job Fairyloot team!

    1. I’m so, so happy to hear you enjoyed it! And I can’t blame you for wanting to read on!

  15. I must say that I was super excited for this book and I really hoped it would be the book featured in the February box and luckily I was right!?

    As a Slytherin, I just couldn’t pass on a Slytherin romance, so I decided to join my first ever Fairyloot readalong and I’ve just finished reading chapter 7!

    So far I think it’s a very nice story since a romance featuring a mysterious (slightly arrogant) handsome king will always be my cup of tea, but I’m not sure if I am totally loving it yet.

    Some things seem to go really fast and therefore feel a bit rushed, in my opinion. I would have loved a bit of a slower start in which the reader gets to know a bit more about Alessandra, her family, the kingdom she lives in, what era the story takes place (I got some medieval vibes but there are rifles and stuff so I wasn’t sure) but perhaps more background information about all those things will come up later in the book. I’m very curious!

    For now, some things feel a bit cliche in my opinion and things seem to go just a bit too easy for Alessandra which make some things feel a bit unrealistic (it’s a fantasy book so I guess it shouldn’t really be realistic but you get my idea?) However, I am a sucker for cliches at times and romances featuring a sexy, devillish king always turn me into a happy girl so I am very curious to see what the rest of the story will bring and I’m hoping on lots of dark, wow-ing plottwists.

    Ps: how adorable is Demodocus??

    1. Can’t help but love a sexy, devilish King! I can’t wait to see what happens!

  16. Absolutely love it! At the beginning it felt like I was dropped in the middle of a story because of the abrupt start, anybody else felt like that?
    But I realised that it works well with the writing style, the way the narrative and the plot work so all is forgiven!
    All I can think about is the SHADOWS! Are they enslaved to them or is he enslaving them? Argh, I can’t wait to find out!
    I think Alessandra will succeed in seducing the king but not before she falls in love with him head first! *inc slytherin malicious laugh*

    1. I know! I need to know about the shadows!!

  17. I knew I wanted to read that book the moment I read what it was about and I am so so happy it was the february fairyloot book (another amazing pick guys as usual)
    I’ve wanted to read a book where the main character is more on the villainous side of things instead of being the typical good guy/girl

    Personally I really loved the way the story started and even though I always enjoy backstory and worldbuilding I’m happy with the way it is right now.

    I’m suspecting a good mystery out of this book, a lot of plotting and second-guessing.

    I really like most of the characters (although I’m forgetting their names) mostly though the King and Allesandra, can’t decide who I like better.

    I’m really looking forward to trying to figure out who killed the kings parents and who is trying to kill the king, I’m hoping for a good plot-twist though

    1. I looove a good mystery! Really looking forward to finding out more!

  18. When I first saw the book, I thought “Oh this is beautiful”, but after reading the synopsis I was not sure if I would like it. However I have to say the first few chapters taught me better.

    The first introduction to Alessandra was her killing her love and then ending the relationship with her the next lover. She is shown as someone who has lost trust into love. She knows what she wants and does really everything to get that. Everything she does is planned. She plays with people perfectly. I am interested where she will go. As someone who was always overseen because of her sister, she had enough time to plan and become excellenet in observing people. I think her sister will keep haunting her. Even if she will not appear, it will be her name and the constant comparison. (After all because of her and Hektor she wants to prove herself)

    I love how her realtionship with the Kallias started. At first I was worried if it was a bit rushed, but it seems that their chemistry just fitted, which can happen. Therefore their talk was just cute. Also it shows another character trait of her. She is confident enough to talk to the King the way she does. I do not believe she will kill him (at least I hope so). Kallias is really sympathic, I like him. I hope we can see more of his thoughts. The only thing which felt a bit strange is him telling her that he wants a friend. I can understand that he wants to trick the council, that he is looking for a wife, but for a friend? That felt a bit strange. But maybe it is just to show another side of him. The side which misses his friends and family after fleeing in loneliness so fast as he became king. His only companion is Demodocus, his dog. (Which I personally think is very cute and is one of the reasons I think he is sympathic) Or does he have another sheme? Maybe Alessandra is not the only one with ulterior motivations.
    Btw I think part of Alessandras true personality is shown when she plays with the dog. She is more friendly. In this moments it feels that she is only playing the villian and actually does not want to be bad, but rather looks for someone who heals her broken heart and to prove that she is not less worth than her sister, that she is not forgotten.

    It feels a bit cliché here and there. So I think she will succeed that he will fall in love with her. But I think she will fall in love with him too. There are a few situations in my mind which could happen. They both try to find the murderer of Kallias family for sure, and because of that they grow close.
    1: Kallias falls in love with her and she does not realize that she also fell in love with him. She really does try to kill him, but does not in the last moment, because she realizes she loves him and tells him everything. He is hurt and maybe this confusion is used by the real murderer of his family to try to kill him, but she saves him (very cliché I know )
    or he forgives instant her because he realizes he loves her too and they try to catch the murderer together. (but this would be unrealistic. Who is not hurt of the person you like tries to kill you?)
    2. She realizes while they grow close, that she falls in love with him and decides to never try to kill him, but rather helps him finding the murderer of his family.

    There are a few other things which I believe play a bigger role, but I cannot tell how yet.
    First her ex lover Myron. I think he will give her a few problems.
    Second Leandros and his friends. Either he will fall in love with her too or because of his friendship with the king. Maybe one of them is the murderer?
    Last the shadows around the king. We do not know much about them yet, but they seem to reflect some of Kallias (hidden) feelings. Maybe this is also a hint to his loneliness? Or is it a curse?

    The more I think about the story, the more I want to continue the book. It was quite hard to pause after chapter 7 and write this comment. I am looking forward to how the story will unfold. Have a nice reading time everybody!

    1. Ooooh! The shadows are a curse… I hadn’t thought of that! I thought it was so weird that Kallias is the only one with magic, but a curse makes more sense. It’s why Alessandra and other characters doesn’t really know a lot about them. Could be why he won’t touch people… maybe he’s afraid of the curse spreading.

    2. Oooo you have some really good theories! I’m excited to see if any of them are right!

  19. Alessandra is a refreshing main character to read. I love how ambitious and how unapologetic she is. But also at the same time how she’s not perfect or all-knowing. There are things at court that she didn’t know about and that she needs to adjust to. And when she isn’t the center of attention or her plan isn’t going like she wanted it to she gets petty and a little whiny. Not the most endearing character traits in a person per se, but all together makes her an interestingly written character.

    The Shadow King doesn’t interest me that much, yet. I want to know what his shadows do and who murdered the late King and Queen, though.

    Leandros, Hestia, and Rhoda are definitely growing on me

    1. She’s definitely a refreshing protagonist!

  20. Oh this book is superb!
    First time for me to participate in the readalong and I’m soooo happy I decided to read this book streight away.
    Allessandra is such an intresting character! And i love the shadow king! (And his dog!) I hope they both fall in love with each other. But there is a long way to go. Hopefully Alessandra gives up her ‘kill the king to become queen’ plan soner or later. I hope Alessandra can deal with Myron… I don’t like him… he means trouble… but I can understand that. I would hate Alessandra too ?

    1. Welcome to the readalong!! I really hope you enjoy it!

  21. I was looking forward to this book, and I’m so glad it did not disappoint!

    Alessandra is so terrible, but you can’t help rooting for her. She is so focused and ambitious and determined. I feel like the fact that she opens the book by telling us about the murder means that the murder will be something that will trip her up in the future and/or it will keep coming back up as she reminds herself why she’s got to shut herself off from love and ‘soft’ emotions like that. I also think she has the potential to be a good leader, so I want her to be queen.

    Kallias not wanting an heir seems really weird. I mean, that’s a pretty important thing. The kingdom will feel unstable if there is no clear succession if something happens to him. I mean historically speaking, kings not having an heir led to problems, Kingdoms have gone to wars as potential heirs fight over the throne, and some kings went to extremes to get an heir (Remember Henry VIII?) So is it that he can’t have an heir? And if thats the case, why?

    For some reason, it really weirds me out that so far Kallias seems to be the only one with any magical ability. Is that people used to have magic but now don’t? Like, why does no one mention that its weird for him to have magic in what seems like a non magical world so far?

    And like Robin Hood came out of nowhere! I love it, but it’s most likely a throw away little plot line that won’t affect the story in general, I think.

    Personally, I think a love triangle is building between Alessandra, Kallias and Leandros. Which I am here for! But it’s going to cause some issues for Alessandra for sure.

    1. Yeah true, I wonder if anyone else has some sort of magic!
      Oooo I do love a love triangle!

  22. I’m really liking this book thus far! I was into it from the moment I saw the epigraph was a quote from Damon Salvatore, to be honest! I’m really excited to read more.

  23. I’m enjoying this so far! Sometimes I feel like the characterization of Alessandra is a little silly and just over the top making her seem like a bad person. I’m really love Kallias, he’s got a big dog how could he not be the perfect man? 😛 His powers are very interesting but why does he have them? He seems to be the only one with any kind of magic. I can’t wait to continue reading more and finding out what’s going to happen!

  24. I absolutely loved the intro to this book! I think Alessandra is such a great character I love that she has a unique taste in fashion. The king is so intriguing I wonder why it’s just him that has powers? Really interesting to read a bit of a murder mystery here I have a few suspicions about this

  25. I finally got to reading the first part of the readalong! I’m so behind! ?? not sure I’ll have enough time to finish the entire book tomorrow as it’s the last day, but what I AM sure of, is that I’m already in love with this book!
    It’s dark, with a strong female character who knows exactly what she wants and she also knows how to GET what she wants. In that aspect she reminds me so much of Jude from the Cruel Prince and I love it. All the devious long-term planning and ahhh? the shadow king also seems like a super interesting person. He want to use her for his own advantage and I’m sure he won’t be easy to woo, but I think Alessandra is definitely going to manage. So far the king has no suspicions of her true motives and I am very excited to see where this will all go!

    I might go and read for a bit more before going to bed. ?

  26. Wow that introduction hooked me straight away. I think Alessandra is a great character and I want her to win the kings heart but I don’t want her to kill him. I am also intrigued by the kings shadows and also who murdered his parents….I need to know!

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