Thursday, 24 March 2016

Clare Reviews: The Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine

The Shadow Queen (Ravenspire, #1)Title: The Shadow Queen
Author: C.J. Redwine
Series: Ravenspire #1
Format: Paperback
Pages: 387
Rating: 4.5/5
Blurb: 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.


"A warrior doesn’t focus on the odds stacked against her. She focuses on her heart, on her will to face the evil in her world and defeat it, and then she finds a way to do it."


I'm sure by now that it's obvious I am a sucker for a fairy-tale retelling. So as soon as this book was released I wanted it, but I'll admit to being slightly nervous about it as well - I've seen some fairly mixed reviews. I needn't have worried at all. This is one of the most emotionally traumatic retellings I have ever read. And I mean that in a good way.

Lorelai and Leo had my heart from the beginning of the story and I wanted them to succeed so badly. Lorelai was strong and determined and very, very powerful and Leo, her brother, was the sort of character you can't help but love. And then we have Kol, the prince. I didn't love him quite as much as I loved Lorelai and Leo but he definitely grew on me and I thoroughly believed in his ability to lead. He also had his own kind of strength, very different from Lorelai's but just as important and I admired that.

As I mentioned before this was a very emotionally up and down book. I could go from laughter to crying in the space of one chapter just as I could go from fully believing Lorelai would win with no problems to suddenly thinking that maybe everyone would die (unlikely in a fairy-tale I know). C.J. Redwine was superb at manipulating my emotions. The plot is, obviously, a Snow White retelling and so needs little description. But I would say that Lorelai was far more pro-active than most Snow White's I've read and the "Evil Queen" was, whilst undeniably a horrible person - somehow one I actually came to feel a bit sorry for. 

The story is populated with some amazing side characters and although the majority of the story revolves around Lorelai and Kol, I found myself growing attached to the small glimpses we got of the other characters lives. Lorelai's mentor/father figure Gabril was one of these. As was Kol's sister who appears only briefly at the beginning of the story but somehow managed to make me love her.

This is the first book in a companion series (which is my favourite kind of series) so whilst this book is complete in itself - which means thankfully no cliff-hangers - there will be more books in this world to look forward to. There is no description for book 2 on goodreads currently but I am already dying to read it. If you like fairy-tale retellings as much as I do or if you just feel like reading about a kick-ass main character and some dragons then I definitely recommend this book. 



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