Sep 17, 2018

Review--The Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine

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.

I finally got around to reading C.J. Redwine's The Shadow Queen! I read it during a rather intense and busy set of days, so that I was able to get through it in such a short time considering, was surprising! I liked it! I might have missed out on some bits as my mind drifted back to stressful things, but I still enjoyed it and can't wait to check out the rest of the series!

This is new retelling of Snow White and it was pretty cool! Sadly, there's no motley crew or seven dwarfs but what Lorelai does have is her younger brother, Leo, who is quick with wit and her mentor/guardian, Gabril. When she was a child she watched her aunt, Irina, murder her father and everyone else she cared for, forcing her and Leo to flee. Luckily, Gabril was there to scurry them to safety. And like with any Snow White tale, the stepmother/aunt wants to kill Snow White aka Lorelai, not because she was more beautiful than her, but because Irina feared Lorelai's magical abilities surpassing her own.

For nine years, Lorelai, Leo, and Gabril have been plotting for when Lorelai will take back her kingdom and restore everything that was destroyed or lost. As it is, there's a lot of problems going on as Irina charges high taxes and there's a shortage of food for the villagers. Things are not good in Ravenspire.

Then comes Kol who has become kind of his own kingdom in Elda when the war with the ogres killed his parents and older brother, leaving him no choice but to take the throne. Kol isn't an ordinary guy though, he and the rest of his kingdom have the ability to transform into dragons. But even as a dragon, he and his people are still unable to defeat the ogres. He turns to Irina for help, something he never thought he would do, she's willing to help with the ogres for a price of course. He must bring her the heart of Lorelai until she will do anything to save his kingdom.

I quite enjoyed how the basic plot line mirrored that of Snow White. And naturally, having the prince also being the huntsman who tries to rescue Snow White in the first place was also charming! Lol. We basically then start to see Lorelai and Kol working together despite the queen's hold over him. He wants to help Lorelai with her quest and she wants to help him save his kingdom too. And naturally, along the way, some sparks start to fly!

I really liked how this one was told in third person, I think that's a good way of telling a fairy tale type story since fairy tales were never (to my knowledge) told in first person point of view anyway. I enjoyed it even more because we get Lorelai, Kol, and Irina's point of view! Which is very important since a lot goes on in each of their scope of the world. 

Irina kind of reminded me of Levana from the Lunar Chronicles in some ways, though I didn't sympathize for her nearly as much as Leavana. With Irina, you can't help but think she brought most of her troubles onto herself. I mean, I understood the initial motive, but even then you can't feel too sorry for her. I mean, with fairy tales you're not suppose to root for the villain...unless it's a villain's fairy tale retelling, but that's not this!

I guess it was due to my busy weekend and when I was starting this that my mind was in and out of the story. Without giving 110% of my attention I felt like I missed bits or whatnot and I didn't want to go back and re-read from whatever point I found myself drifting from. Even considering that point, I must say I still really liked this one! I'm eager to see where C.J. takes the rest of this series. I've found that there will be other fairy tales that get a chance to be retold or whatnot so I am looking forward to that in the near future!

Overall Rating 4.5/5 stars

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