{Review + $25 Amazon GC Giveaway} THE SHADOW PRINCE by Stacey O'Neale

Follow the tour for excerpts, guest posts, reviews, and more!

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)

This review was first posted October 28, 2014 and has been updated and modified after reading the new, revised edition of the book.

Stacey O'Neale, you might be thinking to yourself. That name sounds familiar. This book sounds familiar. But it also sounds...brand-new?

I read THE SHADOW PRINCE when it first came out, as well as the first book STORM BORN (Previously titled MORTAL ENCHANTMENT), but never went on to finish the series, I don't think. Re-reading THE SHADOW PRINCE made me want to dive back into this world and re-acquaint myself with all the characters.

Plus, if I had never read the series before, I would have wanted to anyway. The series was recently re-packaged, and now features all-new, fierce, kick-ass covers, and a brand-new, more intriguing title for the first novel in the series. I will always pick up a book in the store if it is called something like STORM BORN because I have a huge weakness for elemental magic! And I seriously can't stop staring at these beautiful covers!

If you've read the series before, you're still going to pick up the brand-new box set because it features new chapters, POVs, and more -- AND it's on sale for 99 cents through November 8th!

Two things initially hooked me when it came to Stacey O'Neale when I first discovered her:
1) She was once New York Times Best-Selling Author 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 SHADOW BORN. (And, hey, it's free as an e-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 STORM BORN is from Kalin's. I'm not sure if the rest of the series splits the view or not, or if these new chapters in the box set have more of his perspectives, but I really hope so, because when reading STORM BORN, I actually missed getting in Rowan's head. (ETA: Reading it the first time as MORTAL ENCHANTMENT. I haven't re-read it since it's re-birth, but didn't want to be confusing here! ^^;)

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.

SHADOW BORN 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 rest of the series is finally available and I can binge it at once. When it first came out, I didn't have time to go back and re-visit the world and it slowly fell from my radar. There are always so many newer books begging for attention, and older TBR titles that I am genuinely excited for sometimes fall off the pile, especially if they're e-books, because I can't see everything on my nook at a glance the way I can a physical book, you know? I'm very excited for this second chance!

THE SHADOW PRINCE is part of the
Mortal Enchantment box set: https://amzn.to/31vk2WN


Content Ratings: highlight between ( ) for details

Romance: PG13 ( kissing; innuendo )
Language: PG13 ( innuendo; language such as dick and damn )
Violence: PG13 ( War, death, violence; Most graphic scene is the shredding of one's wings; there is also a fighting scene where two characters are pitted against one another for amusement and sport )
Other: PG13 ( There is a mention of the main character being "the product of a rape." )

C O V E R   D E S I G N:

I love these new covers so much. The first round of covers were ordinary, with people on the covers, and didn't stand out that much to me. Plus, IDK, people on covers just makes a series feel instantly more paranormal, don't you think? These covers are true fantasy, and they are gorgeous! I would pick these up blind in a bookstore!
O F F I C I A   I N F O:

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

Purchase Links:


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

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

Book #1 in 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.

Kalin Matthew's never had a choice. An unbreakable contract decided her destiny at birth. Live in the mortal world with her mother until the stroke of midnight on her sixteenth birthday, then leave the only life she's ever known and move to Avalon, the land of Arthurian myth and legend, to rule at her father's side, the king of the air court.

But before she enters his powerful and dangerous world, she's attacked by a fire court assassin and saved by Rowan, who is equal parts terrifying and alluring.

Not long after, she learns her father is missing. Now she must take over his duties, which include shifting control of the elements -- a power she has yet to harness. As Rowan attempts to train her, war looms between the four courts. If she fails, her father will die, and the courts will fall, but the betrayal she's about to uncover may cost her even more.

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

"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


Award-winning author, 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 fantasy 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, Instagram, Pinterest, and Tumblr. You can also visit her blog at 

Author Links: 
 Website | Twitter  | Facebook |  Instagram | Pinterest




a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

This giveaway is International!

You must be at least 13 years old to enter or have a parent's permission!