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Mortal Enchantment #0.5

The Shadow Prince

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Prequel novella to the award-winning YA fantasy series Mortal Enchantment. Discover a world of elemental powers, courage, duty, sacrifice, forbidden romance and a war for the very elements of life.

Sixteen-year-old Rowan is an elemental prince. Banished to the mortal world, he doubts he will ever return to Avalon and claim the fire court throne. Until he receives a challenge from his estranged mother. If he slays Kalin, the half-human, half-elemental, princess of the air court, she will abdicate her throne. Is he capable of completing such a heinous task? And what price will he pay if he refuses?

Perfect for fans of Holly Black and Sarah J. Maas.

"Filled with betrayal and intrigue, The Shadow Prince is a dark and twisty novella from an exciting new author!" Katee Robert, New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author

111 pages, ebook

First published March 25, 2014

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About the author

Stacey O'Neale

14 books846 followers
USA Today Bestselling Fantasy Author Stacey O'Neale lives in Maryland. She spends her time reading, watching anime, and hanging out with her husband and daughter when she's not writing.

Stacey writes young adult fantasy and adult paranormal romance. Her books always include swoon-worthy heroes, snarky heroines, and lots of kissing. Her career in publishing started as a blogger-turned-publicist for Entangled Publishing.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 276 reviews
Profile Image for TJ.
977 reviews118 followers
October 23, 2016
I'm I the only one who didn't like this? Okay i'll be a loner then, sorry but this didn't make me want to read the rest of the series.
Profile Image for Rachel.
1,406 reviews146 followers
October 16, 2019
*thank you to Netgalley, Stacey O'Neale and Xpresso Book Tours for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*

Through it all, I remained focused on my mission. It was time to cast aside the childish prince and become the stone-hearted warrior. I would be the monster they feared— the slayer in the night. I am the shadow prince.

5 stars!

Now I'm not one who easily gives out 5 stars but wow oh WOW did this deserve it! This has restored my faith in YA Fantasy novels. As a Novella it is a short read, but in just over 100 pages I feel that so much happens. I am so glad that this series is a trilogy and I hope that it's just as good as this.

Rowan is an elemental prince. His mother is Queen in a place called Avalon and they both seem to have a huge dislike for each other.

She scanned me from head to toe. “You look ridiculous with that metal pierced into your eyebrow.” Score one for me. “I was wondering when you’d notice. I hope you don’t mind, Your Majesty.” It took everything I had to hold back the smirk growing across my lips. “You will remove it before your coronation,” she said, eyes narrowed. Her tone was all statement, zero requests. Man, she seemed even more pissed than I envisioned . I gave myself an internal high-five.

Rowan is about to become the new king to the throne but before he does, he is set a task which must be completed or face the extreme consequences. He has to kill the daughter of a king. I loved the world building and the characters and the friendship between Rowan and Marcus.

This is a fast read but that's ok because you won't want to put it down once you start.

“Well, this was predictably uncomfortable. We should do it again sometime in the never future.”

I really enjoyed the touch of humor that was in here. Yeah it had a lot of serious moments so this was a great way to balance it all out. If you like Fantasy, Paranormal, Fairies, Royalty, Magic, a touch of romance, action, Alternative World's that have portals between our world and theirs, then I highly recommend this. I also have to agree that this reminds me of Author, Holly Black. So for fans of her, this is a must!

This Novella is currently FREE on Amazon (should be available world wide but don't quote me on that.)
Profile Image for Parajunkee.
405 reviews196 followers
August 12, 2016
PJV Quickie: While only 74 pages, including the preview of MORTAL ENCHANTMENT, the novella, THE SHADOW PRINCE packed one hell of a punch. You wouldn’t believe that so much story could be told in that little amount of pages, but I could not put my iPad down! THE SHADOW PRINCE had me hooked from page one.

REVIEW: In the prequel to MORTAL ENCHANTMENT, O’Neale (shout out to Book Blogger turned author – hoorah!) introduces us to hottie, fire elemental, Rowan. Heir to the Fire Court throne, Rowan is pretty much a loner. His morals keep him away from his mother’s court because of her vicious and violent tendencies and his disagreement with the way the court is run, especially in how the Hounds, half-breed, shape-shifting, elementals, are treated. When Rowan is summoned to his mother’s court, because of her supposed abdication of the thrown, Rowan is at first suspicious, but then he begins thinking about all the changes he can make once he is in charge. When his mother gives him a task to complete before his coronation – kill the Air King’s daughter – Rowan knows he must push aside his morals for the greater good. His reign could end the slavery of hundreds, all he has to do is sacrifice one life…one innocent life.

If you’ve ever tried to come up with a crazy fantasy world, you’ll know how hard it is, then try to pack all that exposition within 74 pages and make sense…even harder. Then make it read well, without having a forced telling feel, where the author just recites facts, is even harder. THE SHADOW PRINCE is an amazing story, written well, with a unique story and intense plot. O’Neale is one hell of a storyteller. I was instantly drawn into this world of elemental courts and odd shape-shifters that were nothing more then slaves. She kept the world-building simple, choosing to leave aspects up to my imagination instead of describing everything. You are transported to the mythical Avalon with only a few short descriptions, yet it plays out in front of you. Rowan is faced with huge choices, moral dilemmas and life-changing decisions and it all plays out as real and logical. All of it setting the stage for what I can only believe will be a great first in series.

Then I have to go on to describe the unique out-the-box feel of this novella. The novella has both an adult flavoring, but a YA backbone. Much like you find in great authors like Cynthia Hand and Leigh Barduga. Maybe it is the fantasy aspect, but it was reminiscent of sexy Paranormal Romance series starts, like the Immortals After Dark. Rowan was just that much of an Alpha, even though he was only 16 when the story begins. You don’t find many YAs penned from the male POV, so that also had something to do with it. If you are a fan of great world-building, sexy male heroes and young adult fantasy and paranormal stories, you’ll get a kick out of Stacey O’Neale’s THE SHADOW PRINCE.

Recommendations: Recommended for a PG-13 crowd, because of mild violence and some mature themes.
Profile Image for Jen Scicchitano.
9 reviews2 followers
August 12, 2016
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!
Profile Image for Jen.
1,849 reviews159 followers
July 27, 2015
Wow, this novella sure packs a lot in! Rowan's inner conflict got a bit tiresome, but the action got really brutal. It's a great setup to the series. And Zachary Webber is amazing, as always, on the audio.
Profile Image for Britt/Dee Dee Dee.
48 reviews1 follower
March 19, 2014
This was such a well written book, if you begin reading it, thinking you know how it's going to end, you are very wrong! Shadow prince is a very unique book, with twists and turns that you wouldn't think of. The characters relationship is such a relationship that needs to he portrayed more in other books. Through everything that happens, you will know how strong Rowen is, and he's not one to drop everything just for love.

Marcus and Rowen have such a awesome friendship, their banter shows how much time they've spent with each other. A servant and a prince are friends. Normally in the many other books I've read the prince is a guy, and he falls for the servant girl. But no this is another refreshing change. My heart aches for Marcus by the way...rowen too but poor Marcus.

Rowen...^ ^ he's so brave and tough. For all the things he went through. He's still standing for what's right, not what he needs. (Which isn't a romance, thank goodness) the way his part was written makes me want to cheer for him! literally get inside the book and give him either a hug or be like "Everything will be ok! You can do it!"

This book was written so well, with all of the twists and turns I found myself saying "ha! I know what's gonna happen" but then that scene happens in a completely different way.

Congrats Stacy on your novella! That's awesome and I'm kinda jealous hahah
(^ω^)can't wait to read all of the next book!
Profile Image for Margarita.
301 reviews233 followers
October 27, 2019
One of the most intense, and shortest, novellas I have ever read!
Stacey O'Neale really knows how to torture, squeeze and crush my heart in just a few short pages!!!

The writing is amazing! Just enough details to let me picture this world within ours where all the elementals live and hide; enough details to let me know and feel the exact emotions that the main character, Rowan, is going through; enough details to make me hate a character SO much, Queen Prisma! I never thought I could have such anger toward a fictional character, and I always manage to find a way, to find any little reason how and why a character could be so cruel, especially towards their own child, but I really couldn't this time! Pure evil!
Really, Stacey O'Neale, ripped my heart out in a particular scene - one of the most intense scenes I have ever read in a really long time. Such an evil thing to do...

This is a must read! It's free! There's no excuse!

I cannot wait to read Mortal Enchantment!!!
And, this time, I will try to be more prepared, the book is obviously longer and I will have to tread carefully through its pages - or this author will be the death of me!
Profile Image for Jennifer.
122 reviews3 followers
March 17, 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**
Profile Image for Kelly.
712 reviews51 followers
July 29, 2014
The author was smart in putting out this free prequel novella. It sucks you in and leaves you wanting more. If there wasn’t a preview of the first chapter of the next book, I would have jumped off the cliff hanger!

We have the hero, sixteen year old Rowan. He is mature for his age. He is also heir to the fire elements throne in Avalon. His mother requests his presence from the mortal realm because he is to except his place. He is wary, because his mother is nothing more than a bully and has never had any love for her only biological child. She cares for the two adopted siblings of Rowan. Rowan knows there is something that his mother wants from him to give him the throne. He decides he will do whatever it takes to get her off the throne and have peace and not fear that now lives in the Fire area of Avalon.

He is right, she wants him to kill Kalin who is supposed to be a half breed now living in the mortal realm. His mother says she is a risk to all of Avalon. He doesn’t believe it and says he will do it. But Rowan is a good person and cannot do it! Instead, he becomes taken with her. When he returns with failure, his mother punishes him by having his best friend, a shifter, remove his wing which leaves him bleeding and could possibly be death. But his best friend takes him to the air throne where the King there, the father of the girl he was supposed to kill, can heal him. Rowan tells him everything.

The king talks with the council and leaves a death sentence on Rowan’s mother. She does die but not by guillotine as was ordered since her adopted children rescue her and Rowan ends up killing her instead.

Rowan is supposed to be king. But he abdicates it to his aunt because he knows that Kalin is in danger and since the king won’t listen to him, he will watch her himself until she is sixteen and ready to return to Avalon to take her place as Queen of the Air Realm.

But the end is a cliff hanger. Go get your copy and see what it is. It’s free. But beware; it will suck you in wanting more!

If you like mythology or Aprilynne Pike’s Wing’s series, heroism, good vs. evil, righteous heroes, sword play, paranormal, then this is for you.
Profile Image for Sarah.
3,326 reviews1,017 followers
April 26, 2014
3.5 stars

The Shadow Prince is a prequel novella to Stacey O'Neale's new Mortal Enchantment series and it is currently available as a free ebook from Amazon (I'm not sure if that is the permanent price so download it to your ereader now just in case!) or if you prefer you can also purchase a paperback copy. While the story is fairly short it is a great introduction to the series, one that is full of action and definitely leaves the reader wanting to know more.

The story is told from the point of view of Rowan, a fire elemental who is next in line to control the fire court. Rowan has spent most of his life in the human realm but has now been summoned home by his mother Queen Prisma because she has decided to abdicate her position and hand him the crown. To say Rowan is surprised by this move is an understatement, he has never been close to his mother as she favours his older, adopted siblings, and he is very wary of her motives. He suspects she is planning something and that turns out to be true when she insists that to prove he is worthy of the throne he must complete a challenge - he must kill Kalin, the half-human daughter of the king of the air court. Although Rowan is horrified with his task he knows how important it is to get his people out from under Prisma's tyrannical rule and he feels there is no other option but to agree. Can Rowan really go through with killing an innocent girl though and if he doesn't how much will his failure cost him?

I don't want to say too much more about the plot because you should just read it for yourself. After all it's free and it's only around 70 pages long so you've got nothing to lose by giving it a try. The author has done a great job of introducing her main characters and the world she has created without overwhelming us with too much information and I'm looking forward to continuing the series.
Profile Image for Donna.
1,045 reviews559 followers
October 17, 2019
3.5 Stars!

**Free on all major eBook sites!

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.
Profile Image for Christina Marie.
411 reviews371 followers
September 30, 2014
WOW. What an introduction to a series!

I seriously am reeling from the emotional journey that O'Neale has taken me on in less than 150 pages! This novella is the perfect start and introduction to what promises to be a great series and also fantastic character development.

The Shadow Prince introduces one half of our protagonist team in the Mortal Enchantment series, Rowan. He is a prince in the Fire kingdom. He's very skilled, very attractive, slightly cocky but fiercely loyal and good-willed. I loved him right off the bat. His story is probably the most interesting for me in the ME series right now, because of his history.

This novella tells us how he get to be the person that he is by the beginning of ME and why he's even involved in the ME plot. And I loved it.

Stacey O'Neale made me feel so much for him and not just attraction, because yes Rowan IS an attractive fictional character. But I felt myself wanting to hug him and console him by the end of this story. There was a lot of baggage here, especially for a novella.

We learn about other characters that impact not only the plot of the story, but also the trajectory of Rowan's life (from friends to family members). It's just an all-around well written, highly involved story.

I am SO excited for this series and cannot wait to experience the adventure Rowan involves him in!

Great start to an epic tale.
Profile Image for Bella.
527 reviews223 followers
March 25, 2014
I love this one, it was short and too short at that I needed more. It was different but thats what i think I loved so much about it. I needed something different it had an awesome story line and had some intense stuff going on. I will write a little more soon !
Profile Image for Izzy.
113 reviews16 followers
May 23, 2014
So this is a prequel for Mortal Enchantment, which was published on the 20th May!
The story centers around Rowan, the estranged son of Prisma, who is the Ruler of the Court of the Fire Elementals. He never thought his heartless mother would abdicate her throne, since the mists of Avalon keep her immortal, so it came as a shock when he hears that she wants to step down and make him king, especially since he has two much older adopted siblings that she favours well above him. But of course there's a catch. She wants him to murder Kalin, the halfling daughter of Air Elemental King.

“Break the decrees. Potentially start a war between the courts. Murder. Treason.”

There's the mortal world.....as in, our world, and then there's Avalon. Yup. That's right, Avalon! ;D *tries to decipher if this 'Avalon' is related to the King Arthur stuff* XP Unfortunately, I don't know much about King Arthur *pouts and sighs* So I'll just have to go with da flowww! *giggles*
Anyyhooo in this world the elementals control the elements fire, air, etc. And without them none of these elements would function. Yippyyy! XDD *shivers from cold* Stop it you darn elementalssss *crosses arms* :P

“Two bare-chested, burly knights moved out of the way as we came to stand in front of a golden entrance.”
Why the hell are knights bare-chested? *smothers laughter*

MC aka Rowan:
At the start of this novella Rowan is 16 years old, which is a baby age in comparison to his mother and adopted siblings. I think that, in his heart, he yearned to get his mother's approval, even tho she's, like, cruel and evillll XD And she seems to hate or at least dislike him :/ Pooorr thingggg XP He's lived in our world while training his elemental powers with other elementals......maybe there's some wicked elemental boarding school somewhere *waggles eyebrows*......probs not in Montana tho, folks over there already have their hands full with a ton load of fledgling vamps that are who are all too happy to get up to........rose-y mischief *winks* Heheh baaack on topic! XDD
Rowan starts off really.....idk, immature? Why do I say that? XD Okayyy, so for one he fancies himself to be a player......apparently human girls just can't help themselves from falling at his feet *rolls eyes* And he was alway going on and onnn about how good he looked with his radiant blue eyes and sultry brown locks *snorts* That's his best friend Marcus's description mind youu *cracks up*
Ohhh, and he has wings!!!! :O Black wings!!! *gapes* Bewareee!! Here comes the better looking Fang with a fire controlling superpower o.O *falls over laughing*

“Regardless of how I felt, I had to kill her. It wasn’t right. It was wrong on every possible level.
Like a mantra, I kept reminding myself what her death would mean to my court.
It would remove my mother’s constant threat.
It would free my best friend.
No matter how much I will hate myself, I have to end Kalin’s life tomorrow.”

(1) Firstly, the way the dialogue was laid out was a little irritating. You know when you read a book, and at one point there's a really simple question or problem to be solved amongst the charries? And there's those few books where not only will the charries take aagesss to some to the most obvious conclusion, but they also ask obvious questions out loud until they figure out the answer? As if either they're dim witted, or the writer thinks we need a slow step-by-step explanation for the most obvious thing?! *moans and facepalms* Well that happened a few times in this novella, which was annoying.
(2) While the writing wasn't bad most of the time, the writing lacked finesse. Also Rowan's POV seemed a bit forced. And his constant I'm so hot and awesome, no girl can resist me! attitude *rolls eyes* was overdone. It needed to be more subtle and less cheesy.
(3) I found it just a bit weird that Rowan kept saying that he'd learned not to trust his mother a long time ago, but from my understanding he hardly ever even traveled to Avalon during his meagre 16 years, and his mother certainly never left.....o.O
(4) Also, I didn't understand when Rowan would say that his mother had on purposely made Marcus, who's a Gabriel Hound, his servant to hurt Rowan o.O Surely he should be glad! So what if, in the presence of his mother, he had to order Marcus around occasionally? It's better then if Marcus had been appointed to some other elemental who treated him the same as the other Hounds! So in my opinion, Rowan not wanting Marcus to be his servant was him being selfish, because he just didn't want to witness Marcus being treated lower than him, even tho it seems he'd be treated worse if he wasn't assigned to Rowan! :/ Anywaayyy XD *shrugs*
(5) Lastly, I have to admit this reminded me a lot of The Iron Fey series.
In The Shadow Prince there is a world outside our own with portals of sorts between the two. Plus, this other world–Avalon–is ruled by courts with their own king or queen and the inhabitants happen to have glamour and be susceptible to iron. Furthermore, King Taron of the air elementals has a half-blood daughter named Kalin who lives in the mortal world.....on a ranch might I add o.O And she's suspected by Prisma to be the next akasha, who is a rare elemental possessing all four elemental powers.
Plus by the end I could even almost compare Rowan and Marcus to Ash and Puck in some aspects.
See the similarities? *frowns* I mean, it's not the same by any means, but it had quite a few similarities, and I'm sure other's who've read The Iron Fey would surely notice as well......

“The extra time in the mortal world did have one advantage. Aging another year had gotten rid of all my baby fat. My shoulders had widened and my muscles had mass. Thanks to the daily sword training, my body had morphed; I had become a lethal weapon.”
A lethal weapon? XD Sorry, but that sounded funny for some reason *smothers laughter*

It was an interesting read tho! So what will happen to Rowan, Marcus and Kalin in Mortal Inchantment?!
2 stars.

—MissBloodsucker™ All Sucked Out!
Profile Image for Shanice.
247 reviews407 followers
June 26, 2020
2.5 - 3 stars. This arc was provided to me by the publisher and all thoughts and opinions are my own,

This novella is a fun & informative start to the series. We get to know the world, the magic system, and the characters better. The main character who is now known as the shadow prince reminds me slightly of Cardan from The Cruel Prince, so I think fans of Holly Black will like this. The magic system revolves around elemental magic, and there is even a special person who can control all of the elements which is very reminiscent of one of my favorite tv shows, Avatar the Last Airbender. Overall I did enjoy this book, however, I felt it tried to do too much for such a short book. It is only a short novella but the author did a lot of info-dumping and so many things happened that I did feel rather detached from the characters and wasn't as shocked by the events near the end of the book.
Profile Image for ReadingDiva Book Reviews.
495 reviews84 followers
July 26, 2016
**Originally posted @ReadingDiva's Blog

REVIEW: The Shadow Prince has a great premise, the story itself is different and it is the perfect book to re-introduce me to YA again. The story begins by introducing us to Rowan, the prince and only heir to Queen Prisma a vicious and cruel woman who enjoys bloodshed regardless of who gets hurt in the process. Rowan lives among mortals until the time to return to his kingdom arrives, and it is while he is among the humans that he receives the visit of his best friend and now slave companion Marcus.

It is once Marcus reveals to Rowan his reasons for visiting that the story takes a turn. Rowan is one of those characters that bring so much more to the story than just his charisma and charming ways, he also brings trust, loyalty and most of all he brings strength. While Queen Prisma is cunning and cruel, Rowan is loyal and caring. No sooner after Rowan arrives in Avalon he is brought into a deceitful plot by the Queen Prisma that would cause chaos and a unavoidable war. It is then that Rowan understands why Queen Prisma needs him and it is up to him to put a stop to her plot but not before suffering agonizing consequences and not before his life and that of Kalin & Marcus get undeniably tangled. Once Rowan sees the reality of what would become of him and his people he decides that following his mother’s mandate can only bring chaos and death, it is then that he pays a hefty price for disobeying his mother.

I really enjoyed this story, Rowan is a very mature and level headed character. He is courageous and overall he has the qualities I enjoy in male characters. The author did a nice job crafting these characters and their story, while maintaining a certain level of complexity that seems to surround these characters and their world. It isn’t until Rowan’s punishment that we get to see the level of complexity and how it didn’t quite made it out in the open until punishment was being administer. However, it was nice to see that there is a lot more to the story than book 1 was able to expose.

The story continues slowly, while it developing the plot which clearly seem to be accumulating an explosive turn of events. Though the story moves slowly between characters, it doesn’t take away the essence that each of them brings to the story, we get to see an array of characters from very mature to extremely young and how each of these characters have a story on their own that must be told. The story is compelling as it is filled with interesting aspects of treason, deceit, kingship, exile and personal wars. Fans of Julia Kagawa will feel at home when reading The Shadow Prince. If you are looking for an interesting story that does more than just drag young teenagers into a senseless war then you want to read The Shadow Prince (Mortal Enchantment).
Profile Image for Carrie Mansfield .
392 reviews16 followers
March 26, 2014
Review can also be found on my blog: http://gildedlady.wordpress.com/2014/...

I've made it no secret that I'm not a generally a fan of Young Adult novellas. Generally speaking, I find them too short, too expensive and too lacking in worthwhile content to ever recommend.

I am happy to say I have finally found one that I can recommend, because The Shadow Prince is none of these things.

I think the author is to be commended her, because instead of using a novella as a means of milking more money from fans, instead they're using the novella as a way to create fans of the series by giving it away for free. It's a brilliant idea and I would love to see this approach from other authors in the future. Why? It gives fans a sense of the world that's been created and the characters that inhabit it, without being a simple chapter sampler which seems to be the preferred method of introduction in the industry today.

And what I really like here is that not only is this a meaty introduction (the novella itself is a whopping 74 pages - nearly double the length of the average YA novella) but she uses the opportunity to give us the backstory on a character who isn't actually narrating the main story. So while we will inevitably get some kind of recap in the first book, it shouldn't feel like a simple rehash because our actual narrator Kalin will be learning it from Rowan. We will get to experience both her reaction to the story and possibly get insight into Rowan based on how and what he chooses to share. It could really be a great way to further his character.

As for the story itself? It seems genuinely promising. I enjoyed the concept of the four courts, I thought the characters we were introduced to all seemed interesting in their own ways and it seems like there will be some good intrigue here. While this book will surely have a fairly heavy romantic component to it (Rowan is crushing pretty hard in this), I'm not so concerned about it because while Rowan may not be a White Knight, he does genuinely seem like a good guy which (bizarrely, might I add) is actually a bit unusual in Young Adult where the trope normally dictates that the guy be "bad" and find redemption thanks to our heroine. Rowan has an attitude, but I don't think he needs it. It's a nice change.

All this combined, if you like Young Adult, there is really is no reason to not check it out. You may just find a book to add to your To Be Read list.
Profile Image for Jennifer.
69 reviews1 follower
March 17, 2014
Great teaser for the series!

Great introduction to the Mortal enchantment series with this novella. It definitely left me interested in getting Book 1 in the series when it comes out. In the short 74 pages Stacey packs in: Introduction to the main characters, lots of action, courage, mystery, and sacrifice.

The Characters:


Heir to the Fire Court Throne. Strong and loyal. I really liked hearing things from his POV and being introduced to the world of Avalon from his eyes. Rowan finds himself with a choice: kill an innocent and take over as King of the Fire court -- rule as fair and just ruler (thus sparing countless innocents in the future) or do the right thing, stand up to his mother. What will this cost himself, Marcus and the rest of the fire court if he does?


A Hellhound and Rowan's best friend. Also loyal and strong like Rowan. Their friendship was GREAT! Nice to see a strong male/male friendship in a book.

Queen Prisma -- Rowan's Mom and Queen of the Fire Element Court. Ugh, Could not stand her! Heartless, cold, and vicious. What more is there to say?

King Taron, - King of the Air Court and Father to Kalin. From what we see of King Taron - he is a fair and just ruler and a loving father.

Kalin - Daughter of King Taron of the air court. We only get to see Kalin from afar. Her father King Taron has kept her in the mortal world with her mother until her 16th birthday. I am anxious to hear more about her and see how her story unfolds!

How the story unfolds
Rowan has kept himself away from Fire court due to the way his Mother rules the court -- She is heartless, vicious, and violent. Rowan gets called to the court by his mother in the guise of him taking over as King. Rowan is suspicious as he never thought there would be a chance his mother would even think of abdicating her throne -- and of course there is a hitch to him being King -- kill the Air King’s daughter, Kalin. Can Rowan push his morals to the side and take an innocent life so that he can rule the fire court and make great change in how the Fire Court is ruled.

Summary: Great prequel that ends with a bang! I am excited to start the series and see where it goes!
Profile Image for Marlene Moss.
40 reviews12 followers
March 7, 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 fantasy/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 paranormal aspect was Elementals. I enjoy the concept of elementals, either in living, breathing form or in a source of one’s power, which is why became interested in 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.
Profile Image for Natalia.
Author 7 books79 followers
April 29, 2017
I was given a copy of this novella by the author in exchange for an honest review, and in anticipation for the release of the final book of her Mortal Enchantment series!

The Shadow Prince by Stacey O’Neale had been on my to-read list for quite some time, and I wasn’t sure when I would end up getting around to it. So when Stacey messaged me asking if I would like a copy to review, I was all for it and am excited to continue her series.

The Shadow Prince is the prequel novella to the Mortal Enchantment series, and is a perfect size for just starting out the series. It will give you the perfect idea of what is going to happen and set the stage for the rest of the books.

Sixteen-year-old Rowan is the prince of the Fire court, and his mother the demented Queen Prisma has finally decided to give up her throne to her only biological son, Rowan. And trust me when I saw that Prisma is demented as hell. She is like the wicked witch of fire, but about a hundred times worse. She forces beings to battle to the death for her, and supposedly her court’s, enjoyment. Trust me, she’s a couple colors short of a whole crayon box. She’s absolutely mental, and Rowan was right not to trust his mother for suddenly wanting to hand her crown over to him.

But there’s a catch to Rowan’s taking the throne. Prisma will only hand over her crown once he has killed the Halfling daughter of the king of the Air court. Oh boy, massive dilemma there. Rowan is desperate to save the Fire court from his tyrant mother’s reign, but is it worth killing an innocent?

This novella is a must read. It is really good and fast paced. You’ll devour it before you even know it—I certainly did. You may even need to know what happens in the next book.

Definitely check it out! :)
Profile Image for Kayleigh {K-Books}.
1,005 reviews9 followers
July 10, 2015
The Shadow Prince Review on K-Books <- Review goes live August 1st 2015

I have been a huge fan of mythology novels for so long so when I heard that Stacey O'Neale was releasing a series with mythological influences I could not wait to get my hands on it. I was right to be so excited. The Shadow Prince was absolutely phenomenal. I loved every single moment of it.

The Shadow Prince was everything that I have been waiting for wrapped up in a cocky but swoonworthy main man. I loved Rowan... and I mean LOVE him. He is sweet, protective and kind wrapped up in a typical bad boy exterior. The more I read of this prequel the more I absolutely adored him.

My one issue with The Shadow Prince is that it was far too short. I got to the end of the book and kept trying to find more pages to read because I never wanted it to end. It was perfect and amazing and made me so excited for the first book in the series Mortal Enchantment. I cannot wait to read it, though I want more Rowan goodness.

If you like Covenant Series by JLA then this is the new series for you. It has intrigue, romance, magic and mythology. It was the perfect introduction to our elementals and left me dying to see where the story would take us. It was utterly perfect for me... just too short.

"Every sacrifice has consequences."

Profile Image for Ana.
887 reviews22 followers
January 16, 2016
I’ve had this novella on my kindle for ages and, for some reason, I hadn’t gotten to it yet. I’m very glad I finally dived in. This is a prequel to the Mortal Enchantment series and it definitely is a great beginning. I loved Rowen immediately. He’s a fire elemental who’s the heir apparent to the fire court. However, before his mother will abdicate and allow him to take the crown, she has a job he must accomplish. Rowan’s heart, however, is torn. His desire to create a better world for his people battles his willingness to accomplish the goal set out by the Queen. This story definitely brought about many feelings!

For such a short story, the author was able to paint a picture of this world, so different from ours, while still not overwhelming the reader with unnecessary descriptions. I felt like I could see this world but didn’t feel like it took up too many of the precious few pages of the story. I’ve already told you I loved Rowan but I must also let you know that I loved his best friend, Marcus. Their relationship is so strong even though they’re not from the same class and their banter is often humorous, providing lightness to juxtapose the darkness of some of the situations they find themselves in.

It’s hard to believe how much story was packed into so few pages. The author managed to tell me so much and prepare me for the series quite well. The writing was great and I really enjoyed that the story was told in the male POV. This is definitely a wonderful beginning to this series. I’m looking forward to seeing where the author takes us next!
Profile Image for BookHookup.
1,403 reviews110 followers
January 16, 2016
I’ve had this novella on my kindle for ages and, for some reason, I hadn’t gotten to it yet. I’m very glad I finally dived in. This is a prequel to the Mortal Enchantment series and it definitely is a great beginning. I loved Rowen immediately. He’s a fire elemental who’s the heir apparent to the fire court. However, before his mother will abdicate and allow him to take the crown, she has a job he must accomplish. Rowan’s heart, however, is torn. His desire to create a better world for his people battles his willingness to accomplish the goal set out by the Queen. This story definitely brought about many feelings!

For such a short story, the author was able to paint a picture of this world, so different from ours, while still not overwhelming the reader with unnecessary descriptions. I felt like I could see this world but didn’t feel like it took up too many of the precious few pages of the story. I’ve already told you I loved Rowan but I must also let you know that I loved his best friend, Marcus. Their relationship is so strong even though they’re not from the same class and their banter is often humorous, providing lightness to juxtapose the darkness of some of the situations they find themselves in.

It’s hard to believe how much story was packed into so few pages. The author managed to tell me so much and prepare me for the series quite well. The writing was great and I really enjoyed that the story was told in the male POV. This is definitely a wonderful beginning to this series. I’m looking forward to seeing where the author takes us next!
February 14, 2015
Rowan, a fire elemental and the only blood son of Queen Prisma has lived his life in the mortal realm awaiting the day his mother would step down from the throne so that he may return to his home in Avalon. To his surprise his mother sends for Rowan. Before he's crowned king, she demands that he prove his loyalty by killing that half-mortal air elemental princess. To kill her would be treason and start a war, but to let her live may prove to be the highest cost. Stuck between two no-win situations, which will Rowan choose and what price will he have to pay as a result?

A short glimpse into what promises to be an action-packed, entertaining, and emotional series. The story draws me in and I can't wait to see what happens. I loved the plot and I'm already emotionally invested in the story. I want to see more of this beautifully crafted world and of the intriguing characters that fill it.
Profile Image for Kel (Faerie-bookworm).
773 reviews65 followers
August 17, 2017
Title: The Shadow Prince
Author: Stacey O’Neale
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
Format: Ebook
Pages: 111
Rating: 5
Heat: 0

Thoughts: OMG I could not put this down! And ARGH....cliffhanger from hell! This was an awesome tease of what is to possibly come and I can't wait to read the next one. This story is told from Rowan's point of view and boy is it easy to fall in love with him. You can't help but feel bad for him as you get to know his mother, yikes she's horrible. I love the world that Ms. O'Neale has created and look forward to visiting it again as soon as I possibly can. This quick read will have you engrossed until the very end where you will end up screaming and scrabbling to get the next book. I've already got my hands on it and can't wait to start it!
Profile Image for Steven.
31 reviews5 followers
June 3, 2014
Am interesting take on the mortal/mythical world with plenty of room for expansion of other elements. It sets the stage for the following novel and it will be intriguing to see how Rowan develops along with his relationship with Kalin.
Profile Image for Katherine Paschal.
2,133 reviews57 followers
October 28, 2019
**Come visit me at https://smadasbooksmack.blogspot.com/ for more book chats!

Rowan has been exiled by his mother, the evil queen of the fire court, to exist in the human world but not be able to interact. When the queen sends his best friend Marcus to deliver the news that she will abdicate the throne to Rowan, her hated son, Rowan knows that there is more to this story, and it will not be easy to claim his birthright of the throne. And he was right...

I am such a sucker for anything having to do with the Arthurian legends so when this popped up on my radar as being set in the mystical land of Avalon with a touch of the Arthurian background I was instantly interested. It also doesn't hurt that the cover is gorgeous and that the trilogy this is a prequel to has great reviews. I figured I would jump right in and hope for the best. Rowan was a strong, honorable character who had a rough choice to make and I like that this is his story, where as the trilogy is told from another point of view.

This was a really fast novella, roughly 100 pages, giving me just a taste of this supernatural fantastical world the author created. I usually avoid novellas like the plague but this one sounded intriguing, and since I knew it is but the start to a series, that it would be possible to have more if I liked what I read- which I did and I am desperate to grab the first book in the series because this was different, exciting, dangerous and brutal, and I need more. I feel like this was the perfect set up for the first book, just enough to gab my attention and not let me go. There is no doubt that I will read the series, the only question is when.
Profile Image for Reader of Books.
Author 2 books49 followers
November 18, 2020
I have mixed feelings about this one. On the one hand I liked it but on the other it was just a bit too brief. I may continue with the series, as I did compare it to a weaker version of the Iron Fae series by Julie Kagawna.

3 ✨
Profile Image for Cranky - The Book Curmudgeon.
2,087 reviews149 followers
October 3, 2019

The cover says this is “A Mortal Enchantment Novella”. It is a prequel in a box set of books. “Storm Born” is now book 2, “Fragile Reign” is now book 3 and “Eternal Sacrifice” is book 4. Please order the box set so you can read these books in order. The story will make so much more sense then. I loved this series as it contained references to magic, mythology, elementals, were-animals, castles, kings, etc. What can be better than that?

The story revolves around a sixteen- year-old halfling/princess and the elementals she is meant to protect. Along the way there is a sixteen-year-old handsome prince and his guardian. Such a simple well written concept yet it turned into a page turner full of action. Good versus evil is always a great story. In this prequel, the handsome prince has been banished to the mortal world to kill the princess, but he cannot do it. He returns and is severely punished and disowned by the Evil Queen. He is named the Shadow Prince. He disappears from the world of the Elementals. You’ll have to read this story of how he meets the Princess and tries to save her. Loaded with twists, turns and betrayals. Once read, you’ll be dying to learn the rest of the story.
Profile Image for Mikky.
758 reviews171 followers
September 4, 2014
Originally posted at:

This was an awesome opening to a series! I was intrigued from the first chapter. It's an interesting world Mrs. O'Neale has built and I can't wait to see what's in store for everyone! I can already feel a plot twist sneaking up on me C:

Even though the cover should have warned me and I didn't bother to read the synopsis it took me reading the first 10 pages on my iPad to realize the character telling the story was actually a guy. I had to put down my iPad and actually think through all that had taken place for it to make more sense.

Other then the initial mix up, I started to like Rowan. When his punishment took place I found myself cringing with pain right along with him. Even though I didn't agree with his actions by the end of this prequel I'm still rooting for him.

We barely get to see Kalin. Even though Rowan is enamored with her from the first moment he lays his eyes on her, we only meet her through his eyes. She looks sad most of the time when she's alone, she likes her privacy and she puts on an act for her friends. That's the sum of what Rowan (consequently the reader) knows about her as a person.

I can't wait to pick up the first book in this series. It seems promising!

My Favorite Quotes:

"Could saving thousands justify the death of one who deserved to live?"

"After I was brutalized I didn't think any of them were worth saving."

"I know there's at least one girl out there capable of seeing through your bullshit and I can't wait to meet her."
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