Saturday, September 9, 2017

Review: The Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine

Title: The Shadow Queen
Author: C.J. Redwine
Publisher: Balzer & Bray
Publication date: February 16, 2016
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Retelling
Pages: 387
Series: Ravenspire #1
1. The Shadow Queen
2. The Wish Granter (February 14, 2017)
3. The Traitor Prince (expected pub February 13, 2018)
4. Untitled
Synopsis:
Lorelai Diederich, crown princess and fugitive at large, has one mission: kill the wicked queen who took both the Ravenspire throne and the life of her father. To do that, Lorelai needs to use the one weapon she and Queen Irina have in common—magic. She’ll have to be stronger, faster, and more powerful than Irina, the most dangerous sorceress Ravenspire has ever seen.

In the neighboring kingdom of Eldr, when Prince Kol’s father and older brother are killed by an invading army of magic-wielding ogres, the second-born prince is suddenly given the responsibility of saving his kingdom. To do that, Kol needs magic—and the only way to get it is to make a deal with the queen of Ravenspire, promise to become her personal huntsman…and bring her Lorelai’s heart.

But Lorelai is nothing like Kol expected—beautiful, fierce, and unstoppable—and despite dark magic, Lorelai is drawn in by the passionate and troubled king. Fighting to stay one step ahead of the dragon huntsman—who she likes far more than she should—Lorelai does everything in her power to ruin the wicked queen. But Irina isn’t going down without a fight, and her final move may cost the princess the one thing she still has left to lose.
From Goodreads

I don’t know how I missed it when I first read the synopsis, but I did not realize that this story had dragons in it. I’m not against dragons, I was just a bit skeptical when they came up in the story when I wasn’t expecting it. But I think it added an awesome element to the story and know it wouldn’t have worked without.

Lorelai is an amazing, strong lead character. She has powerful magic and, although she is afraid of it in the beginning, becomes confident and sure of herself and who she wants to be. She has to overcome a lot of emotional, mental, and physical barriers in her quest, but her heart is so strong and she knows what she must be done to be the queen that Ravenspire needs and deserves.

The rest of the characters in this story are really great as well, from the ones who are only in the story for a while, to the ones who share Lorelai’s journey with her. Kol is the new King of Eldr and he’s doing the best he can to save his kingdom from the ogres that are moving closer and closer to his home. He’s such a tortured and tragic character and I loved that about him. I loved Leo, Lorelai’s little brother who she’d do anything to protect, and Gabril, her father-figure who raised them when they had to flee the castle. And then there's Kol’s motley group of Eldrians who would do anything for him because he’s their king, but more importantly, he’s their friend.

Although this is the first book in the Ravenspire series, the books are actually all stand-alone novels. They all occur in the same world, but they’re all different fairy-tale retellings. The Shadow Queen is a retelling of Snow White, while The Wish Granter is based off of Rumpelstiltskin, and The Traitor Prince is inspired by an old Arabian tale called The False Prince. (Thank goodness for Goodreads or I wouldn’t have that info!) I haven’t decided if I’m going to read any more of the books in the collection, but I do know that I like C.J. Redwine’s writing (I’ve also read her entire Defiance series), so I wouldn’t be surprised if it “appeared” in my TBR pile in the near future.

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