A forgotten princess.
A deadly quest.
A threat that hides in shadow…
Sixteen-year-old Cora is a princess with a dark past. Exile has kept her safe. But when she rescues a dying unicorn from a mysterious band of hunters, her identity—and her life—are in danger.
Prince Teryn has the perfect plan—win the quest, marry his betrothed, and become king. But his mission goes awry when he faces a feisty young woman in the woods. Although they meet as foes, she shares a secret that bonds them.
Teryn and Cora’s fates are entwined in a plot far deadlier than they ever imagined. Can they face the threat together? Or will a terrifying enemy destroy the land they love?
Shadows of Lela is Book One in the Lela Trilogy. If you like swoon-worthy romance, adventurous quests, breathtaking magic, and surprising twists, then you’ll love Tessonja Odette’s epic fantasy tale.
Tessonja Odette’s writing reminds me of E. D. Baker’s a little, and a bit of Gail Carson Levine’s too – both authors I loved when I was younger and still enjoy. What I like about Shadows of Lela is how clean it is – my younger self would’ve loved it. Clean, but not boring. Just because there’s no swearing or adult content doesn’t mean there’s nothing happening. The book is well-plotted and I was never bored…which is hard to accomplish, since I get distracted really easily.
I’m very hard to please when it comes to copyediting/spelling/grammar, but this book was nearly flawless. It has the quality of a traditionally published book. I really enjoyed it!
Point of view
The book is written in third-person from alternating perspectives. I did feel that there were an unnecessary amount of POVs*. I wasn’t particularly interested in Larylis’s chapters; I would’ve preferred to stick to Cora, Teryn and Mareleau.
* point of view
The characters are my favorite part, as usual.
Cora is a fantastic main character. She’s fierce but has a big heart, and she also is quite the sassy comment generator – my favorite kind of character.
I didn’t see the fuss about Teryn at first, but he ended up being a sweet, caring love interest. He was very respectful to Cora and I love how the book ended…the ending scene was so cute.
Mareleau is probably my favorite character! She has a prequel novella (Princess of Thorns) which I read first, and I highly recommend reading it in that order, because it gave me a lot of understanding into her character. She reads like an antihero, which is super fun to read about. I loved every scene with her in it. I’m not sure that I ship her and the person she ends up with, though. It felt forced to me. But perhaps that will be explored in future books. Mareleau is such a sassy princess, she has a lot of attitude.
Lex is fun to read about, because he’s such a cinnamon roll. 🙂
Valorre is my new favorite literary animal. I don’t read many books with unicorns in them, so this was a fun change. Who doesn’t want a pet unicorn? Although, as Cora would say, he is NOT a pet. 🙂
As for the ending of this book, though, it wrapped up nicely and didn’t have an obnoxious cliffhanger, so it was a good read on its own. I really don’t like when books abruptly drop off, meaning you need to start the next one right away, and that wasn’t the case here. A nicely self-contained story that clearly has room to continue.
So, is this first book of the Lela series enough for me to continue reading?
Yes! This is such a fun, sweet read. I read it as an ebook originally, but I was lucky enough to win a signed copy from the author, and I just finished rereading it. You know it’s a good book when you want to reread it immediately. I can’t wait to start reading the sequel…but then I’ll have to wait for the third one, so I’m trying to hold off. I just know it will be hard to wait.
I’m Claire, the crocheter, writer, and nerd behind Once Upon a Yarn, where I post crochet patterns, tutorials, and serialized books. When I’m not blogging, you can find me reading, crafting, or typing away on a novel.