The Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine
Publisher- Balzer + Bray
Released- Feb 16th 2016
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.My Thoughts:
Queen Irina is an evil magician who tricked the King of Ravenspire and it's people with gleaming red apples with innards of rot. She spelled her way into lands with her cursed magic, but Princess Lorelia has magic of her own and stopped the Queen long enough to break the spell over her family and the guards. Though it was too late for the King, Lorelia and Leo managed to escape with Gabril, one of the palace guards. Nine years later, Lorelia, Leo and Gabril is planning to avenge the Kings death and challenge the Queen for the lands that has been destroyed by her toxic magic.
In the neighbouring kingdom of Eldr, Kol was celebrating his latest infraction and awaits his father disapproval when he was met with the news that his parents and older brother has died by an ogre attack. Now, as the second prince in line for the throne, Kol is the new king of Eldr and is faced with the great task of leading his people from the magic wielding ogres that threaten their kingdom. But Kol can't fight them with mere weapons. He needs magic and he knows just where to find it.
To tell you the truth I wasn't sure I wanted to read this book. Don't get me wrong, I love fairy tale retellings, but in ways it all feels the same. So while reading this book I was searching for something to standout and looking to see how C.J Redwine would put her own spark to the much loved classic story of Snow White, and I found it...with Dragons! Yup, poison, powers and dragons people, now this is one fairytale fantasy that was impressive, consuming and a blast to read. I really enjoyed Redwine's take on this story. Sure it did have a lot of the same aspects of the original fairytale and it also reminded me a bit of the movie, but It was interesting from the start and then it just grew to be more fascinating as the story plays on. I think this has a lot to do with the dragons part of the story. I absolutely loved this lore and it really does bring an explosive element into the mix and was my favorite moments in this world. But I also really enjoyed Redwine's writing and storytelling, it's delivered quite smoothly, loving the pace and flow that was always kept moving, intriguing and suspenseful.
All of these characters are wonderfully developed with strong chemistry and crisp voices. Even the evil ones. Lorelia is a fierce girl that is incredibly determined to winning back her rightful throne. I loved watching her embrace her power and was so proud of how she helped Kol. Leo is such a loveable, clever and protective brother while Gabril is a wonderful man and a father in all the ways that matter. As much as I loved the family closeness that Gabril, Leo and Lorelai share, I think that Kol and the Draconi's stole this book for me. Kol is a dragon with two hearts. One human, one dragon, but they both beat with passion and strength. Did he make mistakes? Yes, yes he did. But he did it with the best of intentions and wasn't always in his right mind, plus, his proven actions and inner struggles more then made up for it. I also loved Kol's friends Jyn and Trugg. They are so loyal, kickass and brought a lot of comedy to the story. The romance came a little late, but it was still very sweet and made me smile. I liked the ending but my heart broke with the fate of one of the characters.
Bottom line, I really enjoyed The Shadow Queen, more then I thought I would which is always something I appreciate in a book. I like to be surprised and entertained and this book delivers just that. Great world building, stunning and terrifying magic. Action punched with heart and soul characters that I was attached to and invested in from start to finish. A great fairytale fantasy!
Find the author: