Review – Bride of the Shadow King


Bride of the Shadow King


Bride of the Shadow King #1


Sylvia Mercedes




A shunned princess. A reluctant king.
A marriage that could save both their kingdoms . . . but destroy their hearts.

Though she is the oldest daughter, Princess Faraine lives in the background, shunned from court and kept out of sight. Her chronic illness makes her a liability to the crown, and she has learned to give place to her beautiful, favored younger sister in all things.
When the handsome and enigmatic Shadow King comes seeking a bride, Faraine is not surprised that her sister is his choice.
Though not eager to take a human bride, King Vor is willing to do what is necessary for the sake of his people. When he meets the lively Princess Ilsevel, he quickly agrees to a marriage arrangement.
So why can’t he get the haunting eyes of her older sister out of his head?
When disaster strikes and the marriage alliance is compromised, Faraine suddenly finds herself forced to take her sister’s place . . . regardless of her new husband’s desires. Can she find a place at Vor’s side as his queen? Or is his heart forever closed to the woman who deceived him so cruelly?


4stars rating

In a war-ravaged land where humans battle the fae and the human king is desperately searching for an alliance through marriage to his second daughter and a new army to aid him against his enemy, he may have found a worthy party, the Shadow King. Unfortunately, well, not unfortunately, otherwise we wouldn’t have a story, King Vor meets the other daughter, and well… on with the show!
Scenes and environments were well described and clear. There is no information dump as we start this journey. Faraine left her father’s court a few years ago, so we learn alongside her the ins and outs of who is who and what is happening in the world.

Character development:

Faraine is unlike her sisters; she doesn’t have a gods-gift that wows and bedazzles everyone. Instead, hers gives her endless pain from feeling all the emotions of people around her. After a disastrous courtship, her father deems her useless and ships her to a convent. Out of sight, out of mind. Only when her younger sister rebels against a forced marriage is she led back to calm her sister. Not much more than a servant to her father and the kingdom, she bows and does what is expected.
I love Faraine. She is a wonderful woman who has been hurt and treated unfairly for so long. Nobody understands her or what she feels or is going through. I mean, it’s not like it’s her fault the gods have granted her her particular gift! I’m rooting for her to find peace and the love she deserves!

Vor, the Shadow King, half-human king of the trolde, is on his way to claim his bride and forge an alliance his people desperately need. Strange things are happening in the Shadow Realm, and only magic that the king’s Misphates possess can aid them. He loves his people fiercely and would do anything to protect them, even if that is not marrying the princess he wants.
Vor has my heart beating overtime! I mean… gentle and caring but still with the skills and presence of a king. Sign me up!
The whole situation in this book is… well, I won’t spoil anything, but it could have gone so differently! AAARRGGHHH! I feel for both Faraine and Vor, actually, for everyone except a certain king and a certain stepmother…
I hope fate will be kinder to our couple in the next installments.

Of course, many other side characters are essential to the story, and I’m delighted to say that every single one of them felt real and alive, with his (or her) hopes and dreams and reasoning of what they did or did not do throughout the book. Will Yok finally get to go on a mission and return unscathed? Will Hael get her wish and get it on with Sul? (I’m rooting for you, Hael!).
I look forward to reading more about them in the next book.

Pacing & Flow:

The story starts fast, mellows out quite a bit with a few nail-biting chapters here and there.. and then, that end… It’s not a cliffhanger per se, but very nearly.
The book kept my attention throughout, and I didn’t want it to end. There is a great balance between the conversations and all the action.

The book itself:

The book was well written with no (noticeable) errors. There is no sex described, though there are several heated scenes (if that is important to you).
The book has 498 pages with points of view from both Faraine and Vor.

Final Thoughts:

I voluntarily read an advanced reader copy of this book courtesy of NetGalley and the author, and I have to say I can’t wait to read the next installment; my heart hurts… but the next book is out, so I’ll be diving into that one and have my fingers crossed.