Book Review: The Shadow Prince

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: The Shadow PrinceThe Shadow Prince by Bree Despain
Series: Into the Dark #1
Published by Egmont USA on March 11th 2014
Pages: 512
Buy on Amazon

Haden Lord, the disgraced prince of the Underrealm, has been sent to the mortal world to entice a girl into returning with him to the land of the dead. Posing as a student at Olympus Hills High—a haven for children of the rich and famous—Haden must single out the one girl rumored to be able to restore immortality to his race.

Daphne Raines has dreams much bigger than her tiny southern Utah town, so when her rock star dad suddenly reappears, offering her full tuition to Olympus Hills High’s prestigious music program, she sees an opportunity to catch the break she needs to make it as a singer. But upon moving into her estranged father’s mansion in California, and attending her glamorous new school, Daphne soon realizes she isn’t the only student in Olympus who doesn’t quite belong.

Haden and Daphne—destined for each other—know nothing of the true stakes their fated courtship entails. As war between the gods brews, the teenagers’ lives collide. But Daphne won’t be wooed easily and when it seems their prophesied link could happen, Haden realizes something he never intended—he’s fallen in love. Now to save themselves, Haden and Daphne must rewrite their destinies. But as their destinies change, so do the fates of both their worlds.

thoughtThere are books that you just know after reading exactly where they fell with you. You loved it. You hated it. You just felt meh. Then, there are books like The Shadow Prince that fall into this weird middle ground. Parts you loved. Parts you felt meh about. Parts that, heck, you have no clue how you feel about it.

A Wicked Twist

The Shadow Prince centers around Daphne and Haden. Daphne is from our world. Haden from the Underrealm. If you haven’t heard already, The Shadow Prince is a retelling of sorts of the Persephone myth with lots of neat twists. While I was originally on the fence about this title, I will be honest and say, probably the only reason I wanted to and did read The Shadow Prince is because of the retelling. There is enough based on the original myth to pull fans of the myth in; however, it is also different enough to leave you feeling like you experienced something new and original come to life. While some aspects of the twist on the myth are not exactly perfect, it was completely worth sticking around to see how everything unfolded.

Not a Perfect Love Story

Right from the beginning, I knew, as with most YA romances, our two characters would probably get together at some point. I knew it may not all come together in this first installment, but I was sure it will happen eventually. With The Shadow Prince, I feel like I got lucky. No insta-love. The romance took time to develop. Plus, with Haden from the Underrealm, and having very little experience with normal human life, there got to be a bit of humor added in, which was very welcomed by me.

Now for the Not So Good

This is one of those times that I wish I had a magical machine that could put my feelings into the exact words to make you understand how I feel.

When I think about The Shadow Prince, I think… well, the story itself was fine. Bordering on great even. I loved the twist on the Persephone myth. The romance was tolerable, which can be saying a lot depending on the book. Plus, some extra things here and there that I will leave as a surprise for those who haven’t read it yet.


When I think about the book as a whole… everything just comes up blah. It is not to say that I didn’t enjoy The Shadow Prince. I did, I swear. But, as can happen with the first book of a series, it just wasn’t that exciting of a read. Everything is a set up it feels like for the next phase of the series. The Shadow Prince focuses on getting to know everyone. Their past misdeeds and how it is now effecting their present. Just the basic groundwork. Which is fine. I liked it… but I also wanted more. Something exciting or action-ish. But I didn’t exactly get that, which, in the end, has caused a bit of a problem.



A great twist on the Persephone myth. Despite feeling overall pretty blah about The Shadow Prince in general, I have hopes that the second installment will give this series the kick it needs.

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