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

The Shadow Queen (Ravenspire, #1)The Shadow Queen (Ravenspire #1)
Author: C.J. Redwine
Publication Date: February 23, 2016
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Pages: 400
Source: Edelweiss
Format: e-ARC
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre: Fantasy

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.
It took me awhile to start The Shadow Queen mainly because I was reading back to back fantasy and I needed a break. So when I finally picked up the book I was immediately captivated. THAT PROLOGUE. Talk about C. J Redwine ensnaring me in her new tale of magic and spells and dragons. YES Dragons. I was not expecting dragons. 

That being said . . . C. J Redwine gave us surprises that I loved but they were times when I felt like I've read or watched this before. A few scenes reminded me a lot of  the movie version of Snow White and the Huntsman as well as Once Upon a Time. Don't get me wrong I liked The Shadow Queen and would gladly read the next book in the series but it was just little things like those scenes that felt too familiar. 

Disney's Snow White has been my least favorite ever since I was a kid; I don't know why but I just never liked the prince and princess.  But then the retellings happened and I saw Snow White in a different light and she has become one of my favorites. I love that the retellings have featured Snow White as a warrior instead of some helpless damsel in distress. And Lorelai is far from helpless, she has magic and knows how's to defend herself even without the use of magic. Lorelai is just a badass, plain and simple. Her quest to get back her kingdom was admirable, she truly wanted what was best for her people and that made her a remarkable character who I hope will be featured in the second book because yeah I wouldn't mind more of her and Kol ;)

I adore Prince Kol. One of the things that surprised me the most was that the huntsman was a Prince and a dragon. Yup you read that right; how someone can have two hearts is beyond me but I loved every moment of it. Especially when, for reasons you'll find out in the book, he loses one of his hearts and has to do Irina's bidding.

The Shadow Queen was a fast paced retelling that fans of the original tale will enjoy as well as Once Upon a Time fans. C.J. Redwine will have people lining up for her next novel in this series, RAVENSPIRE #2 I AM READY FOR YOU!


  1. OOoh nice! I too was never really a fan of Disney's Snow White. It was sooo far off from the original Grimm tale, but I suppose "Disney-ifying" it was necessary as that was one dark tale! I never saw Snow White and the Huntsman despite loving Chris Hemsworth. Not a Kirsten Stewart fan, so I knew I couldn't sit through a movie where she's the heroine. So I won't have that effecting my opinion for this one! Though I do LOVE OUAT!

    I love fairy tale retellings so I feel confident that this will be a beloved read for me! Glad to see you enjoyed it for the most part! Great review!

  2. I just finished The Shadow Queen the other day, and I'm still undecided on how I felt about it. I think I still need some time to process everything. I did like the plot in general, but I had a feeling the characters were very plain, although I did like Kol. Another thing that kind of bothered me was world-building. After finishing the book, I can still say that I almost have no understanding of the setting. And it took me ages to finish it. I think it took me a little bit over 2 weeks to finish this one, so I think that'll also be of significance in determination of my rating.

    Anatea | Anatea's Bookshelf


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