You would think that at age 43, one would stop fangirling over smexy young adult couples. That seems to not be the case, however. As long as authors like Tricia Levenseller keep writing novels like The Shadows Between Us, I will keep fangirling and gushing and devouring such books as the book candy they are.
The Shadows Between Us truly is book candy. Not only did I fly through the story, but I finished it crushing on both Kallias and Alessandra. Kallias smolders with the best of them, and his vulnerability makes you want to comfort him. Meanwhile, Alessandra is my favorite type of heroine. She does not play by the rules. She lives the way she wants without apologies. Once again I’m left to wonder where such characters were when I was a teenager.
I also adore the feminist nature of the story. Alessandra spends the entire novel flouting the patriarchal rules, and we all need more examples of girls and women just not giving a fuck anymore about such rules. The only note of discord I found in the novel is the fact that while the story is very much all about equal rights between men and women, it is not very egalitarian. There exists a hierarchical society that Alessandra sees no need to change. After all, when one of the main characters is a king, there is bound to be class distinctions, and Alessandra wants to be queen not to get rid of servants but to get rid of harsh constraints against women and their rights.
I love The Shadows Between Us and its tremendous powers of escapism and diversion at a time when we so desperately need them. Alessandra is a formidable character; think Scarlett O’Hara without her inability to read people and without her selfishness. Kallias is mysterious and sensitive and all sorts of sexy. When they are together, the pages practically ignite. If this is an example of Ms. Levenseller’s other novels, I need to read her backlist immediately.