Book Review

Book Review: Bride of the Shadow King (Bride of the Shadow King #1) by Sylvia Mercedes

Rating: ★★
Audience: Fantasy Romance
Length: 498 pages
Author: Sylvia Mercedes
Publisher: FireWyrm Books
Release Date: March 15th, 2022
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads


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?

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.


First off, really shouldn’t compare a book to THE BRIDGE KINGDOM and then it have ZERO qualifying reasons for the comparison. There’s an arranged marriage and that’s it. That’s also in plenty of other books too. I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN BETTER.

The love interest, Vor, was just too nice. I don’t think I’ve ever said that about a love interest either. It was like he couldn’t say one tiny banter like comment without immediately apologizing. There was no angst, heat, passion, zilch. Zero. I don’t mind a sweet romance, but you can still bring some kind of passion to it. Not to mention, Faraine hardly has a personality herself. *sigh*

For the last 15%ish, that was intriguing. Predictable based off of where things were going, but I liked the pick up in action. There were actual emotions by all parties and some of the world building and magic system finally started to make sense.

Unfortunately disappointed with this one and won’t be continuing the series.

Overall audience notes:

  • Fantasy Romance
  • Language: very little
  • Romance: one brief open door
  • Violence: mild
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: loss of loved ones, poison, small battle scenes, near death experiences

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