REVIEW: Bride of the Shadow King (Bride of the Shadow King, #1) by Sylvia Mercedes

REVIEW: Bride of the Shadow King (Bride of the Shadow King, #1) by Sylvia Mercedes

For fans of The Bridge Kingdom and A Deal with the Elf King, this arranged marriage romance about a human princess forced to wed a dark and desperate Shadow King is sure to entice!

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?

Passionate and alluring, Bride of the Shadow King is an arranged marriage tale with dual point-of-view (his and hers). The first book in a new fantasy romance series, this sweeping tale of love and betrayal is perfect for readers looking for a touch of spice to go with the sweet in their next swoony, slow-burn romance.


There are amazing books that make you feel light and airy and happy when reading them and then there are amazing books that make you feel emotionally eviscerated. This is the latter variety.

I tried to remember the last time a book made me feel this devastated after finishing it. I think maybe Rhythm of War, but I'm not sure. 

I fell in love with Vor and Foraine as characters and as a couple quite easily. Their chemistry is fantastic and they’re both incredibly sympathetic as individuals. Sometimes I’m more a fan of one half of a couple than the other, but not this time. I loved them both!

I’m not always a fan of dual POV, but I don't think this story could have worked without their dual perspectives. The tension between them is off the charts and left me thinking “much sexy, many wow.”

I loved (absolutely LOVED) the emphasis on CONSENT HECKING YEAH and it made those sizzly scenes EXTRA SIZZLY. With the trend toward “alpha-holes,” it was beautifully refreshing to read a hero who’s the noble man of honor. *swoon*

There’s the tension between duty and desire, with both characters experiencing plenty of angst over what the “right” thing is. The best part was that I couldn’t honestly have said what the “right” thing was and those are the best moral quandaries there are. Loved it.

A lot of times the sibling relationships get neglected, so I appreciated that we get to see both main characters' relationships with their siblings. Those relationships are complicated, which made it even better. I caught myself assuming that relationships would play out a certain way because that’s how they’ve played out in a lot of other books, but I found myself being surprised. That was a fun twist.

(Side note: Hael is the bestest girl. I really hope she doesn't turn out to be bad. Also, I am blaming high priest dude for everything that has gone wrong, whether it turns out to be his fault or not.)

I am VERY excited for the next book, Vow of the Shadow King, and can’t wait to see where this story takes us! 

Get Bride of the Shadow King here.

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