Review: The Shadow Queen (Ravenspire #1) by C.J. Redwine

Published: February 16th 2016 by Balzer + Bray
 Rating: 3 out of 5
Available from:  
AmazonBook DepositoryBarnes and Noble


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 don't read many retellings, and now I realise why. I like stories that are original, that are outside the box, and I like the unexpected. But if you've watched Snow White and the Huntsman or seen Once Upon a Time, then you may like The Shadow Queen. 
Lorelai is the young princess who encourages her father to marry again after her mother's death. Irina was her mother's sister, and they both shared a secret. They both had magic. But when Irina enslaves everyone in the castle, including Lorelai's father, to do her bidding, Lorelai knows she's the only one who can break the curse. With disastrous effects. Irina crumbles the palace to the ground in her rage but Lorelai and her brother Leo are saved by a guard, Gabril. The three spend nine years after the kings death plotting, planning and surviving while they watch the kingdom of Ravenspire fall under Irina's spell. The country is dying, its people starving. Lorelai knows she has to act soon or there will be nothing for her to rule. The throne is rightfully hers.
In a sweep of unfortunate fate, Prince Kol loses her father, mother and older brother to the ogre wars. He's a playboy, a trickster and his people are all half dragons. They have two hearts, human and dragon beating in their chests. The war with the ogres is devastating and Kol must do something when he realises the ogres are using a magic wielder to fight. His army is getting smaller, and soon there will be no one left to protect the people. He must visit the Mardushka Queen in Ravenspire and ask for her help, and a little magic to defeat the enemy.
However, Irina has other plans. She claims a blood oath and asks Kol to kill the princess, and only then will she help with the ogres. But little does Kol know that when he visited a poor village, and needed rescuing, the kind girl who got him to safety was Lorelai, the rightful queen.

Now it's Kol as a Huntsman, against the princess, and Irina has tricked Kol. He must kill the one who saved him to get his lands back, and the ogre problem under control. It's good versus evil to the end.

The Shadow Queen is very quick paced to read. The problem I had was the third person point of view. Somehow it didn't work for me. The depth of the writing came over as too shallow. The story, and characters came over as too insular. There is also a great amount of defining and refining points of character. Lorelai must save her kingdom. Kol must save his. People must stop dying. Irina must be stopped etc. Sometimes the defining and action/reaction got so repetitive I must admit to getting a little bored.

Leo, Lorelai's younger brother was a great character and added a large amount of humour but I can only think that the author got bored of trying out the witty repartie and decided to kill him off, leaving Lorelai with room to fall in love with Kol. 

The magic use was a little dull too. Irina casts a spell, Lorelai counters it. Cast/counter, cast/counter. Lorelai actually started flipping and somersaulting her way around fights without ever sounding like anything was too complex for her, making her character a little too unbelievable.

All in all, while the book was a nice read, ther were no little quirks that made it stand out as a brilliant book. To be honest, it all come over as fan-fiction of the Once Upon a Time series.
If you love Snow White and the numerous retellings of her, then you'll like this. If you like originality then you might want to pass this one up.


About the Author

C.J. Redwine loves fairy tales, Harry Potter, and any movie starring Johnny Depp. She is the author of the Defiance trilogy, a post-apocalyptic fantasy from Balzer + Bray. C.J. lives in Nashville with her husband and children. If the novel writing gig ever falls through, she’ll join the Avengers and wear a cape to work every day.
You can find C.J. Redwine here:


Follow and Like to Read More Bookworm Blogger #YA Reviews:


No comments:

Post a Comment

I love hearing from fellow readers. Write a message!