Tuesday, April 16, 2019

The Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine

The Shadow Queen
by C.J. Redwine
Published by Balzer + Bray
Feb. 16, 2016
394 pages

Plot: 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 of his own—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. (2019, Amazon.com)

Review: The Shadow Queen is probably one of the best retellings I’ve ever read!  Definitely not your average fairy tale! In this story, princess Lorelai and her younger brother are thought to be dead. Her stepmother (and aunt), Queen Irina has killed her father and taken over the kingdom of Ravenspire. But after nine years, Lorelai is not going to hide anymore.  She is determined to fight back for her kingdom and everyone she loves. But, she must be stronger than Irina in order to defeat her, and to do that she must be able to control the magic that flows through her veins.  Irina has powerful magic of her own, and that is the only reason she has been able to keep her opposition at bay. But when the people of Ravenspire are dying of hunger and killing their own children to save them from a slow death, Lorelai has had enough.  

In the neighboring Kingdom of Elder, Prince Kol, a dragon shifter, has problems of his own. Ogres are terrorizing his kingdom and destroying his armies. If he doesn’t get help from the Queen of Ravenspire, he’s afraid they will destroy his entire kingdom.  In his desperation, Kol strikes a deal with the Irina. But, bringing her the heart of the lost princess was not what he was expecting. Completely out of options, he reluctantly agrees.

Lorelai is not your average princess. She's tough and knows how to handle herself. And, even though she is confident and powerful with her magic, she is still human with lots of emotions to deal with and it really makes her someone you want to root for.  I loved how the author drew out the romance throughout the book and made it was very believable.  It was not a ‘love at first sight’ kind of story and the relationship between all the characters were all well done.  Lots of emotions in this book that will leave you remembering this story way after it's over. Redwine really knows how to bring you into the story and does a great job getting the reader into the mind of the evil queen. Which added to the depth of her character.  Overall, a must-read retelling of Snow White. Definitely looking forward to reading the other Ravenspire books!

Rating: 5 Hearts


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