{Double Review + Giveaway} THE SHADOW PRINCE and MORTAL ENCHANTMENT by Stacey O'Neale

Check out the blog tour schedule now!


O P E N I N G   H O O K:

    A BEACH BONFIRE? Now, that's my kind of party.
    Judging by the football jerseys and the excitement level of the group, I guess they'd just come from a winning game. They made their way to the shore with their coolers and a beer keg. A few of the guys dropped their stuff, found a good spot, and started digging their pit. Another guy left the group, returning a few minutes later with the baseball-sized rocks he used to encircle the hole. Girls showed up with handfuls of leaves and twigs. After one of them arranged the sticks into a pyramid, there was only one thing left they needed: fire.
    They had no idea the flame ignited only because elementals existed in the mortal world. We controlled and maintained the fire element.
(Page 1,  US ARC Edition)

Two things hooked me when it came to Stacey O'Neale's debut this year:
1) She was once Jennifer L. Armentrout's publicist.
2) Elemental magic.
Need I say more?

Normally, I don't like reading prequel novellas before I read the full novel it accompanies. (And then when I DO read it, there's nothing new to be learned. But there also aren't spoilers, so!) With THE SHADOW PRINCE, on the other hand, I DO recommend reading it before MORTAL ENCHANTMENT. (And, hey, it's free as a digital book, so it's worth the read if you're undecided!) There's so much background and story that takes place before the core story ever gets off the ground. A lot of it is never explained or mentioned in the first full novel. I would actually be hesitant to call THE SHADOW PRINCE a prequel novella and rather call it the first book in the series, to be honest. The title is from Rowan's perspective, while the full-length novel is from Kalin's. In the future, I wouldn't mind seeing the books split between the two POVs, since I actually missed getting in Rowan's head.

In THE SHADOW PRINCE, Rowan is the ill-favored prince and heir of the Fire Court. His mother will only abdicate her throne if Rowan kills a half-elemental heir of the Air Court, Kalin, before she ascends to power. Rowan wants nothing more than to stop the carnage and corrupt rule of his mother, but he hates the thought of murdering an innocent girl, too. Rowan sacrifices much in this novella leading up to the start of Kalin's journey.

MORTAL ENCHANTMENT begins with Air Court heir Kalin about to leave the mortal realm and step into her future title as she enters Avalon and learns the rules of the Elementals. Despite being royalty, not everyone at court is happy to have a half-blooded heir to the throne. The day Kalin journeys to her new  home, her father is abducted. It's  now up to untrained Kalin to maintain the peace and stop a war from brewing with the Fire Court.

I love books featuring elemental magic, and I really liked the unique shape and new ideas that Sta.cey O'Neale brought to the table. It feels a little like fae, only not. The magic and lore is seamlessly melded together into something that feels both familiar and new. There's also a lot of action and the promise of a romance that will sweep across the series. I like the fact that romance isn't the focus or the be-all-end-all of the novel: There's actual plot and, for now at least, the romance is a bonus side story. The trope of falling for one's instructor and stealing forbidden interludes reminded me slightly of Jennifer L. Armentrout's novel HALF-BLOOD, and seeing how O'Neale was her publicist, it makes sense to have the two sitting together in my head. If you like one, you'll enjoy the other as well, though both series are wildly different from one another.

I'm also a fan of the way family is at the heart of this series. It's great to see more YA books with this message, especially in fantasy. Kalin may not have grown up with her father, but she's loyal, and she's eager to spend more time with him and make sure he's returned to her. I'd also like to dive more into her mother's secret in future books and see her reappear at some point. There are a lot of things I'm looking forward to seeing in future books, such as interactions with elemental courts so far only mentioned in passing, and, of course, Kalin's journey to step into her destiny and learn how to control her newfound abilities.

I'm excited that the next book in the series, FRAGILE REIGN, is only a couple of weeks away. (Look forward to a blog tour stop!) The wait for the finale in June, however, may just kill me!


Content Ratings: highlight between ( ) for details

Romance: PG13 ( kissing; innuendo )
Language: PG13 ( innuendo )
Violence: PG13 ( War, death, violence )
Other: --

C O V E R   D E S I G N:

Once you read the books, you'll see so much more when looking at the covers. THE SHADOW PRINCE is full of spoilers that I can't comment on, for example. And MORTAL ENCHANTMENT has a model front and center stealing your attention, but if you look a little closer, you'll see a castle hinting at the fantasy lying within. There's also some lightning hinting at elemental magic. 

I think the covers manage to be intriguing. They don't give too much away unless you know what you're looking at!
O F F I C I A   I N F O:

Author: Stacey O'Neale
Release Date: March 25, 2014
Publisher: Phoenix Reign Publishing

This prequel novella is FREE and available on Goodreads, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble!

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?

Author: Stacey O'Neale
Release Date: May 20, 2014
Publisher: Phoenix Reign Publishing

“MORTAL ENCHANTMENT spins a unique twist on elemental mythology. This series is not to be missed.”Jennifer L. Armentrout, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author

In Kalin Matthew's world, elementals control the forces of nature. They are divided into four courts: air, woodland, fire, and water. At sixteen she will leave the life she's built with her mortal mother. Kalin will move to Avalon to rule with her father—the elemental king of the air court. Along the way, she's attacked by a fire court assassin and saved by Rowan, a swoon-worthy elemental with a questionable past.

Worst of all, she learns her father is missing.

To rescue him, Kalin will have to work with a judgmental council and a system of courts too busy accusing each other of deceit to actually be able to help her. But, they aren’t her biggest challenge. With the Midwinter’s Ball only five days away, Kalin must take over her father’s duties, which includes shifting control of the elements—power Kalin has yet to realize.

As Rowan attempts to train her, a war looms between the four courts. If Kalin fails, her father will die and the courts will fall, but the betrayal she’s about to uncover may cost her even more...

MORTAL ENCHANTMENT: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

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/.

Author Links: 
 Website | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest


Enter to win...

$25 Amazon or B&N Gift Card, plus signed books from the Mortal Enchantment series
You must be at least 13 years old to enter or have a parent's permission!

Enter now!
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Thanks for being part of the tour and for your awesome reviews. To answer your question, the last two books in the series are told from Rowan and Kalin's POV. Also, Kalin's mother will be in Fragile Reign. :-)

  2. The cover is to die for! And I never read any of the books in this series before!


Post a Comment

Thanks for taking the time to stop and comment! I appreciate it more than I can say. I try to respond to each one!