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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2018 Tessonja Odette (P)2019 Tessonja Odette

What listeners say about Shadows of Lela

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

1990s Epic Fantasy but YA

Shadows of Lela reminds me of the sort of fantasy books I admired on the book store shelves in my preteen and teenage years but rarely purchased, only to have them show up at Christmas and birthdays anyway. I was a hardcore science fiction fan and hadn't yet allowed myself to enjoy fantasy, but gosh darn it those Tamora Pierce books everyone thought I wanted really were cleverly written, and the gorgeous medieval women riding horses on the covers of Marion Zimmer Bradley novels made my horse-loving nerdy heart dream. Shadows of Lela reminds me of those books but aged down to present characters with the thoughts, goals and concerns of a teenager. Perhaps if I had read books like this one when I was 14 or so I might have realized how great the fantasy genre really is before D&D player boyfriends in college made me look again.

Shadows of Lela sets up a well-built fantasy world full of political intrigue, strong young women, and telepathic unicorns, and I'm in love! I'll definitely be following this series to see what happens next.

That said, I wish I had read this book with my eyes and not my ears. This book has so many POV characters, and I've discovered from checking reviews written by those who read print/ebook copies that they are clearly distinguished in print. In audio... the narrator gave a distinct voice to Morkai and the unicorn, and that's about it. Morkai's voice was over the top evil and the unicorn was apparently Irish. Beyond that, if I zoned out for a paragraph it was entirely possible I didn't even know if the character I was now listening to was one of the guys or one of the girls. I think there were two important teenage girls (one being Cora) and two important teenage boys (one being Teryn, and they were brothers,) but I can't be certain. Again, I would really like to re-read it with my eyeballs.

I will say the narrator was pleasant to listen to (when she wasn't voicing Morkai, that voice got on my nerves) and paced well enough that those of us who like faster playback can still process what we're hearing at 1.5-2x speed. I do wish this had been an ensemble cast project or even just a duet, but give the male roles to someone with a different voice and the ability to distinguish them without venturing into the cartoon villain range. The two main girls were far easier to figure out even though they sounded the same because their stories are so vastly different. The main boys are brothers. Different motivations but coming from the same starting point, the same back story. They need to sound different.

The story gets a 4-4.5 out of 5 stars for me, this is a great book and I may even bump that to a full 5 if I get a chance to read it visually. The audiobook narration gets a 2.5-3. She's absolutely not a bad narrator, but I don't think she's suited to a large cast with several points of view. Overall I'll call the experience an optimistic but solid 4.

I was granted complimentary access to the Audible audiobook edition of Shadows of Lela through Audiobookworm Promotion in exchange for an honest review as part of my participation in the blog tour for the new audiobook edition. Thank you to Tessonja Odette (or publicist) and Audiobookworm Promotions for the opportunity. This has not swayed my opinion. My thoughts are my own and my review is honest.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A fantasy youth will surely enjoy

Cora began life as a princess . She witnessed the slow death of her parents,then the slow agonizing death of her beloved sister in law and baby in birthing. Mortified, Cora was certain the smirking,evil Mordecai was behind it all! When she confronted her brother with her strong suspicion, she was devastated when he turned on her and banished her from the castle forever. She was but eight years old. Fortunately, the “forest people “ took her in and raised her.

The twin Princes’ vied for their former childhood friend’s hand in marriage.Both brothers thought he loved her, yet only one truly did. Th brother who was to be the Crowned Prince was the only one accepted to be in final competition,

This tale has several good points to consider. It is filled with action, terror and suspense.

The characters were well developed and scenes easily visualized. The Book Cover and Title were both very effective and appealing to “the browser’.


At first, the voice of the Narrator, Emma Faye, grated on my nerves. As the story progressed and more “voices “ were added, it got slightly better. The emphasis were delivered well. However, she failed to be totally consistent with the individual “voices “.

I offer a Three and a Half Stars rating.
*This book was gifted me with no pressure for a positive review. This is my honest review.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing

This is a really entertaining story and it leaves you needing the next book immediately. Lots of action, solid twists, not terribly predictable for sure.

Parents: there is some moderate language and intimacy-related scenes that might not be great for young adults depending on your personal boundaries. No nudity but think medieval dress and what that emphasizes.

Can’t wait to read book two!


—I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

omg

This story was so good. the main character was banished from her kingdom at a young age. throw away like yesterday's trash. she ends up finding a new family and then runs into a handsome prince and cant stand him at 1st. but as time goes on they become good friends. there is love, adventure, heartbreake, loss and so much more. the ending had me in tears some for loss and some for happiness. I will so recommend this book to my friends and family. cant wait to get started on book 2.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

love triangles and unicorns

This was such a fun listen. This story had multiple perspectives from the various characters in the love triangles. The story is about a princess who is exiled, a dark sorcerer who is trying to take over the lands and twin princess vying after the same princess. There are unicorns and magicians and sweet love stories. This is the first book in the trilogy but there is no major cliffhanger.

Per my request, I received this audiobook free from the author in exchange for my honest review. My opinions are solely my own and were not influenced in any way.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Fantasy

I can't remember the last time I read a book with a unicorn in it. Such an underappreciated magical creature.

Cora is a princess, exiled because she spoke the truth about her brother the king's magical advisor. She leads a simple life in the forests until she come across hunters, but not just any kind of hunters, unicorn hunters.

In a different kingdom, three crown princes set out on a quest in order to win the hand of the crown princess. Their quest, find three unicorns.

When their paths collide the fate of the whole land of Lela hangs in the balance.

Good for people who like high fantasy, magic, and the timeless struggle of good vs evil.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Action and a strong heroine

I'm not usually a fan of period fantasy stories, but this is one of the rare exceptions. The world is well thought out, believable and organized. The main characters are well rounded, and in an interesting twist, one in particular (who is a protagonist) is not remotely likable! She's really a spoiled brat, but she shows a few redeeming qualities when professing her love for another character. The heroine is very strong... what I mean by that is that she shows a depth of character and empathy that guides her actions. Yes, she's fierce in battle between her magic and bow and arrow, but her moral compass always guides her due north.

Unfortunately, I was not a fan of the narrator for the series. She did a good job with accents and differentiating characters through voice which is no small feat (hence the 3 stars), but she made everyone sound angry or slow throughout the story. At first, I thought all the characters were just angry, but I soon realized they had different motivations and had to pretend I was listening to the voices differently.

Overall, this is quite a good story, and I look forward to continuing along their journey!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Beautiful fantasy

I might be a little biased as the narrator is a good friend of mine and I adored Emma Faye’s performance BUT even if I had chosen a physical copy rather than the audiobook I still would have loved it! Teryn and Cora are awesome(but Lex will always be my favorite) and the plot twist ending was top notch!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing new world!

The beginning gave me chills!!! This book grabbed my attention and I’ve fallen in love with the main characters! This book is full of adventure, love and suspense!!! Amazing narrative!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

I go where you go...

I LOVED this book so much! I loved the magic, the fantasy, and the unicorns. I don't think that there was even one dull part of the entire book. It was fantastic. And the narration, it was spot on perfect. Emma Faye brought so much life to the story. She had different voices and accents for the different characters, which made following the story easy and so much fun. And I LOVED the unicorn. She was so sweet. I highly recommend this book. And I can't wait to read the next two books.

This book was given to me at my request (Thanx!). I am providing a voluntary and honest review.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Ellen Butfoy
  • 07-17-20

Shadows of lela

This is the first book in a trilogy, the story is good and you could read it as a stand alone book if you wished. It is written from different characters point of views and I think the audio would have been much better if it had an extra person reading the different parts. I enjoyed listening to to the story and now that we know the characters much better looking forward to the other books.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Matipufu
  • 01-26-20

definitely not

sorry but no. this is unbearable
the narrator is really awful
I got a code from Facebook's group audiobx

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kindle Customer
  • 12-15-19

Unicorns!!

Who doesn't love a tale of a girl and her unicorn,of dark wizards and of true love!

Great narrator!

Loved the twists in the love stories.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • SarahReadsALot
  • 11-09-19

Enjoyed this story!

This was a fantastic story about a girl overcoming all the odds to save herself and her brother. Add in a slow burn romance and some unicorns and *bam* you’ve got a great story! Really though, I wasn’t sure if I would like the unicorns - I thought it would be cheesy. I was wrong and I’m naming my next horse Valour (since my chances of finding a unicorn are slim).
For the narration- I go back and forth. The narrator as Cora - the MC - was fantastic! However, a couple of the voices she did were pretty annoying. I love how she changed the pacing of different characters voices and gave them all different personalities, but some of the pacing and personalities were a bit grating. The main characters were well done, though, and overall I enjoyed the narrating - it was way better than some of the popular robot sounding voice actors.