The Shadow Prince: The Prequel to Mortal Enchantment

Rated 4.64/5 based on 11 reviews
Before sixteen-year-old Rowan can ascend to the throne, his vengeful mother insists he must first prove his loyalty to the fire court by killing the half human, half elemental daughter of the air court king. 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? More
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About Stacey O'Neale

Stacey O'Neale lives in Annapolis, Maryland. When she's not writing, she spends her time fangirling over books, blogging, watching fantasy television shows, cheering for the Baltimore Ravens, and hanging out with her husband and daughter.

Her career in publishing started as a blogger-turned-publicist for two successful small publishers. Stacey writes young adult paranormal romance and adult science fiction romance. Her books always include swoon-worthy heroes, snarky heroines, and lots of kissing.

Stacey loves hearing from readers. Follow her on Twitter @StaceyONeale, look for her on Facebook, Pinterest, and GoodReads. You can also visit her blog at http://staceyoneale.com/.

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Reviews

Review by: Kate Grove on March 30, 2014 :
Posting again, because, as embarrassing as it is, I forgot the stars...
(review of free book)

Review by: Book Passion For Life on March 29, 2014 :
3.5 Stars!
Fast paced, intriguing and enchanting, Stacey O’Neal’s introduction to her new series, Mortal Enchantment is definitely right up my street.

The Shadow Prince follows Rowan, the son of the fire court Queen. Rowan has spent most of his life living amongst mortals, while trying to learn to control his fire element. Rowan’s never been shown any love from his mother, who believes love is a weakest, but when she announces she will be stepping down from her throne and he she wants Rowan to take her place, he’s surprised. But he knows his mother and he knows she will not give up her throne without wanting something in return…and she does. She wants Rowan to kill, the half-human, half-elemental daughter of the air court king. But can Rowan complete a task that goes against everything he believes in?

I really enjoyed this prequel novella. At only 76 pages, it’s short, but definitely leaves you wanting more. I thought it was a great introduction, to which I believe will be a very promising series by a talented debut author. The Shadow Prince gives you a lot of insight of what’s to come and I can’t wait to read more.

I really liked Rowan. I found him honest, loyal and very open, plus he’s pretty tasty so that helps a lot too. I enjoyed the whole set up of the courts and found myself enthralled by them. It kind of reminded me of how I was when I first read Julie Kagawa’s Iron Fey series. One thing I would like more from the first book, is a little more mystery….especially from Rowan. I love mysterious guys, so I’m hoping we get that from Kalin’s point of view.

In all, Stacey O’Neal has proven this series has a lot of potential with The Shadow Prince and I can’t wait to read more in Mortal Enchantment.
(review of free book)

Review by: Kate Grove on March 24, 2014 : (no rating)
Fortunately, I had the opportunity to be able to read this novella before it became available to the wide public, and I'm very grateful for Stacey for this chance, because it was a really enjoyable read! Shadow Prince is a prequel to Stacey's upcoming series, Mortal Enchantment.
The concept of the story is very intriguing, and you can feel Rowan's struggle and defiance throughout the novella, and he feels real. Sometimes I felt he was just going in circles, repeating himself, but if I think about it, we, too, do that sometimes, especially when confronted with such huge, life-changing decisions.
Every character was unique on their own way and I was (am still!) curious about what happens to them.
I really liked the ending, because it was believable and realistic. Bittersweet. The whole novella made me want to read more of the story, so I'm looking forward to the first book of Mortal Enchantment!
Truly a very exciting read! Good luck with the series, Stacey, you already have a fan! :)

PS.: Perfect grammar.
(review of free book)

Review by: Jennifer Sipes on March 16, 2014 :
This was a fantastic glimpse and set up to the series!! I absolutely cannot wait to read more! It's a great read and it leaves you wanting way more! I'm so stressing until May! WTG, Stacey!! It's AWESOMESAUCE smothered in AWESOMESAUCE!!!


**received an ARC copy in exchange for a fair and honest review**
(review of free book)

Review by: Lura Wilcox on March 09, 2014 :
I liked Rowan from the first, despite his arrogance. This story had the potential for more development, more action. It could have been longer, but I doubt it would have made a full novel. But it served its purpose and made me want to read Mortal Enchantment when it releases. The concept intrigued me and now that I know the characters, I want to know more of what happens to them. I'm extremely curious about Kalin, more so after reading the preview for Mortal Enchantment.
(review of free book)

Review by: Brenda Parsons on March 09, 2014 :
WOW! JUST! FREAKING! WOW!

First I'd like to thank Stacey for making this novella free.

This is a awesome start to what I know it going to be an amazing series. I did not want to put it down, and when I did finish it left me aching for Mortal Enchantment.
The male characters are swoon worthy which is always a plus. I encourage everybody to read this, you will not be disappointed.
(review of free book)

Review by: emroo92 on March 08, 2014 :
Thank you Stacey for providing me with a copy of this novella!

As a member of the fire court, Rowan is ruled by Prisma, who happens to be his mother. Rowan is summoned back to the court after living in the mortal world for 16 years, but things don't seem quite right. Prisma claims that she is giving up the throne to Rowan, but he must accept her request to break one of their most sacred laws. Rowan agrees to her request, but will he be able to follow through and take over the throne?

I enjoyed Rowan's voice, and there was enough wit and humor to keep me smiling. This promises to be a series full of action, surprises, and romance. Looking forward to book one! Team Rowan!
(review of free book)

Review by: Marlene Moss on March 07, 2014 :
I received a free ARC of The Shadow Prince, which did not affect my opinion of this novella in any way.

The Shadow Prince is a prequel novella for the author’s upcoming novel, Mortal Enchantment.

First, this isn’t the type of book I normally read, so if there are things I don’t “get” that’s why! I do like some paranormals, but with a lot of grounding in our normal world. So for me, The Shadow Prince was a bit too removed. Yes, our world exists, but doesn’t play much of a part in this particular story. I also am not a connoisseur of faerie stories (I know, shoot me!) and because of that, I couldn’t tell if this was truly a faerie world or just used some fae aspects like glamour and allergy to iron. There were also wings and hell hounds and I didn’t know if that fit. So now you know my comfort zone wasn’t here!

But – and this is a big but – I loved O’Neale’s characters and that the primary fantasy/paranormal aspect was Elementals. I love the concept of elementals, either in living, breathing form or in a source of one’s power, which is what drew me to The Shadow Prince in the first place. I was totally pulled in by Rowan’s character – yep, I’d love to have him watching over me at night, or the day! He cares about his people and those who serve the royal court, he’s strong and duh – hot!

The Shadow Prince introduces the reader to how Rowan ultimately (I expect) becomes protector and hopefully much more to Kalin, a young wind elemental whom others fear and want to kill. The novella left me wanting more, fae and all, and concludes with an introduction to Mortal Enchantment, which is written from the POV of Kalin. Given that, I thought it was a great idea to give us more about Rowan in the prequel. And yeah, I wanted to keep reading beyond the excerpt. Now I have to wait until May for that. Thanks a lot. Great job, Ms. O’Neale, it took some good writing to convert me.
(review of free book)

Review by: Monika MacFarlane on March 06, 2014 :
Well wasn't that awesome! I'm excited to see what happens next for Rowan and Kalin. Can't wait for Mortal Enchantment to come out!! Great start to a very promising, exciting series :)
(review of free book)

Review by: Jessica R on March 06, 2014 :
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.
(review of free book)

Review by: jscicchitano on March 06, 2014 :
First of all, the story line of this Novella has me thirsty for more. The characters have a great depth that really involve you from the beginning. Rowan is such a strong personality, and the telling of this part of the story from his point of view was very refreshing. He is also smoking' hot and that doesn't hurt! I can't wait for some romance! I am ready to see who Kalin is going to be! Excited for More!
(review of free book)

Review by: Camille Marie on March 05, 2014 :
This novella was amazeballs!

I was so pleased with Rowan. He's hilarious, witty, loyal, strong…overall perfect. I really liked hearing things from his POV and being introduced to his world from his eyes, since he's already very familiar with it. I also liked his best friend, Marcus, and their relationship. Seriously, they're so great. Their friendship reminded me a lot of all the great friendships I have, which was just awesome!

Rowan's mom, Prisma, is absolutely the most heartless mother in the history of heartless mothers. Ugh. It's just awful that Rowan had to put up with her. I mean, despite the fact that she's his mom, I would've been done with her BS a looong time ago. So, yeah, didn't really like her. I liked King Taron, Kalin (even though she was only briefly mentioned, I liked how she was described and what she brought out in Rowan), and Ariel, a character that is not explored in this book but will hopefully appear more in Mortal Enchantment.

Man, characters aside, the plot of this novella was definitely compelling. Rowan has to kill the daughter of a very nice king, therefore not only breaking the rules (decrees) set in Avalon, but also questioning his own morals in the process and what he's willing to do to free the people from his mother's tyrannical leadership/authority. It was definitely interesting to see how it played out, 'cause Rowan wanted the throne, sure, but he didn't want it for materialistic reasons or anything. I liked seeing him question his actions. Despite being a badass, he also has morals, which is refreshing.

And the ending. Oh my gosh, the ending. There was a sneak peak of Mortal Enchantment in there, thank god, or I would've been freaking out all over the place. It ended in a cliffhanger, but definitely a good one that sets up the plot of ME.

There was only one thing I didn't love, and it was how abruptly time passed at one point during the story. Like, ten months passed, and it was only briefly mentioned at the beginning of one chapter. It didn't take away from the reading experience for me (obviously, seeing as I'm still freaking out), but I would've liked the transition to go a little bit more smoothly.

Also, a note on the writing: I adored the descriptions. And the dialogue was amazing, too. It was SO GREAT.

Welp, this is definitely a very long review. To the point now, though: I really, really, reallyreallyreally enjoyed this novella a whole lot, and I can't wait for Mortal Enchantment to see how the story unravels!
(review of free book)

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