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Read a full The Shadows Between Us summary, book #1, in Tricia Levenseller’s The Shadows Between Us series. This page is full of spoilers, so beware. If you are wondering what happened in The Shadows Between Us, then you are in the right place to read a recap!

Tricia Levenseller

4.3 stars on Amazon
3.84 stars on Goodreads
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The Shadows Between Us Series:
#1 The Shadows Between Us (this page)
#2 The Darkness Within Us (synopsis)

***** Everything below is a SPOILER *****

What happened in The Shadows Between Us?

Here’s your The Shadows Between Us summary: 

Alessandra is an eighteen-year-old secondborn who killed the first boy who ever broke her heart. She’s known to hop between men and has been proposed to several times, always saying no. Her annoying older sister, Chrysantha, was recently at court but was dismissed by the Shadow King, even though she is described as a “rare beauty.” But lucky for Alessandra, Chrysantha was recently proposed to by an aging duke. This means, according to the law, Alessandra is eligible to be married, and her father, a widower, is determined to get a large bride price for her. Alessandra will go to court and meet the Shadow King. She decides that she will win him over, become queen, and then kill him, claiming the crown as her own

Alessandra wears all black against her father’s wishes rather than the king’s favorite color. She claims that none of her father’s suggestions helped Chrysantha with the king, so she will do things her own way. They meet a man named Orrin Eliades, who had hoped to win Chrysantha’s hand. He seems to want to pursue Alessandra now, but she is not interested in anyone who wanted Chrysantha first. She dances and completely ignores Kallias, the Shadow King, until he finally comes to her and asks her to dance just as she’d hoped. 

They dance, but when it’s over, he abruptly leaves, and everyone is sent home. Just as she’s about to drive away, one of the king’s men hands her a note asking her to stay and join his court. She accepts. The next day, Alessandra meets Kallias’s advisors, who warn her to fall in line and dress more conservatively. Alessandra then befriends two ladies, Rhoda and Hestia. She also meets Leandros, who seems interested in her. He shares that he was once childhood friends with the king, but when Kallias’s parents were murdered, and he became king, he pushed everyone away. The culprits were never found, so Kallias lives in solitude.

Alessandra realizes that Kallias may be trying to ferret out those who killed his parents by forcing everyone who was there that day to remain at count indefinitely. Kallias joins Alessandra for dinner and arrives by walking through the wall, assisted by his shadows. He explains why Alessandra is here. He wants them to fake a courtship to appease the council. They are pressuring him to marry, but he has no intention of doing so. He explains that if he touches anyone, he will lose his shadows and his immortality. She is more determined than ever to win him over and steal his throne.

Myron, who previously proposed to her, shows up, and she sends him packing. She announces to Leandros and others that the king is courting her. She makes a show of flirting with everyone. But she starts to get frustrated because he won’t spend time with her because he’s so busy running the kingdom. He’s currently dealing with a bandit who continually steals from the wealthy and distributes it to the poor. At dinner that night, Kallias reveals that someone has made attempts on his life.

Alessandra receives a letter telling her that people are looking into Hektor’s disappearance (her first love, whom she killed in a rage). Kallias sends her gifts to keep up the charade that they are courting, but this does not satisfy Alessandra. When she receives gifts, she embellishes his attention, implying that they may have touched. This makes him angry, but they work it out. 

Things start going poorly when her ex-lover, Myron, reveals that she no longer has anything over him, and he now holds all the power. He threatens to tell the king exactly what kind of girl she is if she doesn’t help him along in society. He starts inserting himself into her life. 

Kallias reveals that the latest kingdom he conquered (Pegai) is engaging in open acts of rebellion. Alessandra comes up with a plan to squash it, and Kallias is impressed.

Kallias seems a bit jealous of Myron’s presence at her side. Alessandra decides to join Kallias in between meetings. He is surprised to see her. She joins him and the other council members and even offers advice on trapping the bandit using stamped coins.

Vasco, a council member, reveals that he thinks Alessandra and Kallias’s courtship is fake. Her father even wonders why they don’t spend time together, yet she is seen with Myron often. Her father has secured a marriage to Eliades for her. She is livid and sends her father from court. 

Alessandra covertly enlists Rhouben’s help to start her plan to get rid of Myron. She will help Rhouben get rid of his fiance, whom he doesn’t like, and he will loan her money. She buys Myron’s debt and holds it over his head. He will leave her alone or go to debtors’ prison. 

Alessandra confronts Kallias to tell him he needs to court her properly, but he says no. She receives a letter from her sister, Chrysantha, in which Chrysantha says a constable came to the house asking about Hektor. Chrysantha tells them that Alessandra is a “trollop and undoubtedly slept with the man” but surely did nothing more. The fact that she divulged this information enrages Alessandra.

Leandros takes Alessandra on an outing dressed as a peasant. They go to a boxing match, and she fights and gets knocked out. Afterward, Kallias confronts her about it, and she convinces him that he needs to pay attention to her more, though they still can’t touch.

The next day, Kallias takes her on an outing, during which she discovers that she can move through him as if he’s a ghost. He shares how one of his ancestors once prayed to the gods for strength to destroy his enemies, and they did not answer. Finally, the devil of shadows granted him the shadow gift along with immortality. 

They also go skinny dipping, which quickly becomes a topic of gossip at court, though they don’t touch. While they are in the water, the bandit Kallias has been searching for steals their picnic. 

Kallias kills one of the guards in front of Alessandra. They rush home and find that the stamped coins are finished, and they allow them to be stolen. Alessandra receives a note from Hektor’s father demanding she visit him to discuss his son’s disappearance.

When Alessandra goes to the gardens to sketch, Kallias finds her there. While there, someone makes an attempt on his life, but Alessandra steps in the way, and Kallias heals himself with his shadows. They deduce that the attacker was from here but was trying to make them think he was from another country. After this, Kallias has Alessandra move into the queen’s old rooms so they will be near each other. 

He grants her permission to arrange a ball, and she and her two closest friends begin preparing. 

Alessandra discovers that Orrin is the masked bandit. She tricks Orrin into visiting Melita’s rooms, making it look untoward. Rhouben’s father sees them and calls off Rhouben and Melita’s engagement. Alessandra receives an anonymous letter telling her that the writer knows who is trying to kill the king. They ask her to meet them in two nights.

Kallias and Alessandra disguise themselves and go to the brothel, where they are to meet the mysterious letter writer. It’s a ruse, though, so that whoever it is can force someone to touch Kallias. And they do. He takes off for home when he realizes he cannot call on his shadows. 

He doubles his guards, and Alessandra revisits the reasons she is here. Emotions are getting in the way. She procures a vile of poison from someone, but when she gets back to the castle, she realizes that she doesn’t want to use it and stuffs it in the bottom of her trunk. 

Leandros declares his love to Alessandra, but she turns him down. Kallias overhears and is bothered by the things Leandros can offer her that he can’t because of the no-touching law. He changes the table arrangement so she can sit by him and her friends. He proposes an arrangement where they marry but never touch, and she will be involved in the decision-making of the kingdom. This is when she realizes that she does not need to kill him at all. To have power. Before she can make her decision, though, Hektor’s father shows up with a constable and accuses her of murder. Chrysantha has told them that Alessandra carries a knife.

Kallias thinks it’s funny and pardons her. He proposes, but she insists on a public proposal. 

At first, Alessandra’s ball is going well: she makes a grand entrance, Kallias proposes, her friends have fun, and Alessandra sends her father away. 

But then Lord Ikaros Vasco proposes a toast. The wine is poisoned, and the young girl who touched Kallias at the brothel is there. Kallias’s shadows disappear. Alessandra picks up the girl and carries her outside and away from Kallias so that he can heal. They learn from the girl that Lord Vasco and Lady Zervas (a woman scorned by Kallias’s father) are to blame. 

Kallias finally professes his love for Alessandra. He has decided he wants a mortal life with her. They kiss, breaking his shadow curse around her. They visit the two new prisoners. Vasco says only that the late king was not who Kallias thought he was. Lady Zervas claims she’s innocent, and they’ll know when another threat is made on Kallias’s life.

How did The Shadows Between Us end?

A few days later, guards apprehend Alessandra and drag her to Kallias in the library. Those who were moving her things into his room found the vial of poison she’d hidden. Kallias sends her away. Before she leaves, Leandros visits her. He tells her not to worry. He will have her back at court as his very soon. 

Alessandra is heading to an Inn when she realizes that a stain on her hand is hair dye. She finally puts it together that Leandros is really Xanthose, Kallias’s older brother, who he thought was dead. Leandros/Xanthose and Lord Vasco are behind everything. 

Alessandra rushes back to the castle and finds Kallias and Xanthose talking. Eventually, Xanthose confesses and explains how their father beat him nearly to death. He is the oldest but does not possess the shadows and was an embarrassment. Vasco found him, cared for him, and swore to help him regain his throne. He also admits to killing their parents. 

The brothers fight until Alessandra has Xanthose at knifepoint and kills him. 

While Kallias is tended to, Alessandra flees the castle and goes to Rhoda’s estate. She begins selling things to save money and isn’t quite sure what to do with herself now. She can’t go home, though her sister Chrysantha sends a letter urging her to return and claims that she should have been a better example to Alessandra so that maybe she wouldn’t have turned out so wild. 

But then Kallias shows up. She thinks he’s there to execute her for treason, but instead, he apologizes and asks her to come home and be his wife. 

There you go! That’s what happened in The Shadows Between Us by Tricia Levenseller. We hope you enjoyed this The Shadows Between Us summary with spoilers.

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What to read after The Shadows Between Us

When you finish this series, try these: To Kill a Kingdom, Kingdom of the Wicked, Once Upon a Broken Heart, and Powerless.

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