Book Review: Bride of the Shadow King by Sylvia Mercedes
Book Title: Bride of the Shadow King
Author: Sylvia Mercedes
Published Date: March 15 2022
Number of Pages: 498
Book Rating: 3 Stars
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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?
Passionate and alluring, Bride of the Shadow King is an arranged marriage tale with dual point-of-view (his and hers). It’s perfect for fantasy fans looking for a touch of spice to go with the sweet in their next swoony, slow-burn romance.
* Disclaimer: I start all my reviews with this disclaimer. I might not have liked a book but that doesn't mean you won't. We all read books differently based on personal opinions, personal preferences, personal life experiences, etc. Same goes for me loving a book, you might not feel the same way and that's completely OK! The beauty of reading is that no book will be read the same way. Hell, sometimes even reading a book a second time will make it hit completely differently or make me question why I liked it in the first place. All this to say, I hope that reading my reviews can help you learn more about the book and why I felt the way I did, and then help you decide based on your personal preferences if the book would be a good fit for you or not.
This book was overall great. There wasn't really anything glaringly wrong with it. It was well written, had an interesting plot and world. I had originally picked it up as it mentioned chronic illness but be aware it's not. I mean technically she is chronically ill but it's not rep for chronic illness in any other way that she is often unwell. It's not even explored too too much how being unwell makes her feel. Some mention of resentment but not much else. As someone who is struggling with chronic illness right now I was hoping for more. Especially since it mentions it in the summary. The words chronic illness aren't even mentioned in the book. I think the author perhaps should switch the wording in the summary to "always unwell" or "a god gift that makes her ill more than it is ever a gift" or something along those lines.
I think the main thing which made this book 3 starts (which is still good! Just means it's average, nothing which jumped out at me) is that I didn't really care for the characters? Maybe it was a bit slow? In this case it's hard to pin point what was lacking. I was not a big fan of the ending but again it wasn't bad by any means probably more a personal preference.
I would have liked more explanation on her magical gifts, as well there is very very minimal romance in this. It hints at more but don't go in expecting more than a kiss and light touching (but again this I feel will escalate in book 2), so more romance would have been nice. Even if it was an increase in tension. They were star crossed lovers in some ways (not spoiler you will get it at chapter 1) but the excruciating yet glorious romantic tension was lacking.
I think there is just a lot I would have like more of in this book. More character depth, more explanations, more friendship, compassion etc. For some this might be a fine pace! And again I know it will most likely be explored in book 2 and onward, but there was enough lack of the aforementioned things that I am not so sure I will continue. There is one main thing I want to find out (which I think will be resolved quickly in the beginning of book 2) so I might read just that resolution before moving on.
Overall a solid quick read. Its not high on my recommend list but it wasn't bad.
Until next time,