Mar 6, 2014

The Shadow Prince by Stacey O'Neale Review

The Shadow Prince by Stacey O'Neale
(Mortal Enchantment, #0.5)
Release Date: March 25, 2014
Publisher: Phoenix Reign Publishing; 74 pages
Every sacrifice has consequences.

Sixteen-year-old Rowan has spent most of his life living among the mortals—learning to control the element of fire, impatiently awaiting the day his vengeful mother, Queen Prisma, will abdicate her throne. When he finally returns to Avalon for his coronation, his mother insists he must first prove his loyalty to the court by completing a secret mission:

Kill Kalin, the half-human, half-elemental daughter of the air court king.

Willing to do anything to remove his mother from power, he agrees to sacrifice the halfling. He returns to the mortal world with his best friend, Marcus, determined to kill the princess. But as he devises a plan, he starts to question whether or not he's capable of completing such a heinous task. And what price he will pay if he refuses?
So, I did things a little backwards here; I read an early manuscript of Mortal Enchantment and then I read this amazing novella. Now, I'm being told a lot of things are going to be changing in the first book from what I read and I'm really excited about it. The first book was really good but I think these changes are going to take up a whole other notch and I'm excited for that. But this isn't a review for the first book, this is a review of the novella.

I must comment on this cover first because I'm obsessed with it. Even before reading this novella, I knew how significant and how perfect this cover was to the story, especially Rowan's story. But just the overall feel of this book and the orange/red color of it so perfect, I can't even stop gushing over it. I bow down to the creator of this cover.

In the short time we are inside Rowan's head you can see such a vast change with him. He starts out in the mortal world, so he can age and then return to Avalon once he hits 16. His return is unexpected to him because his mother is giving him her crown. His mother would never do that so he needs to find out what the conditions are. The conditions are far worse than he could've imagined. Breaking all the decrees and killing a child of the king of the air court. He agrees to do it so he can be a better ruler than his mother is. He also does it for his best friend, Marcus, who is a Gabriel Hound and a slave to the fire court.

Marcus, I'm going to start with him. I loved him and I was so excited to meet him in this novella. He compliments Rowan perfectly. His history is dark and his future is rather bleak. His friendship with Rowan is frowned upon since people like him are there to serve the royal court, not become friends with the Prince. But I think he keeps Rowan grounded and more importantly, keeps his temper and inappropriate sarcasm to a minimum . . . most of the time. These two are like brothers and they have the love like two brothers would have and I truly love this connection they have between them.

Rowan, while I'm already a fan of him, I've become a bigger fan of his after having read this. He's fantastic, strong and so unlike his family. Betrayal of your own court is just about the worst thing one could do and he contemplates doing just this many times but thinking it and going through with it are two different things. Watching him stalk (yes, that's exactly what he's doing . . . they may say spying but it's totally stalking) Kalin and seeing how he reacts to her and the back and forth he goes through it just . . . I have no words, really. Killing someone isn't an easy thing (not that I'd know, personally, but I imagine it's not lol) and then top that off if it comes back that the fire court is responsible for killing this princess, the war that will come out of it is just devastating. That's a lot of weight on his shoulders and he takes it all. I have much, MUCH respect for him.

I love that this novella gives you a glimpse in to the world of the different elemental courts. Especially the fact that you get to meet King Taron and see a few different sides of him. We also get a closer look at the fire court, which I find to be one of the more interesting and rotten courts that there are. Seems like the ideal place to have villains, right? I also got a huge kick out of the Queen of the water court. I still laugh over how perfect her name is.

My heart hurts after having finished this but for many reasons. None of which I can talk about because it spoils this novella but once you read it, I'm sure your heart will hurt, too.

I may have squealed a little bit to see my name in the acknowledgements. Seriously, I love Stacey! But I also want to point out the fact that even though she is my friend, I read any friend's book honestly and judge it based on that. I tell her my thoughts and I'm honest. So, thank you, Stacey, for sending me this novella and letting me read it in exchange for an honest review. I'm so rooting for you and you know you have my support! <3

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the awesome review, Jess!


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