The Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine | ARC Review

February 17, 2016 | Posted by Genesis in Book Reviews | 10 Comments

The Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine | ARC ReviewThe Shadow Queen
by C.J. Redwine
Series: Ravenspire #1
Genres: Fantasy, Retelling, Romance, Young Adult
Publication Date: February 16, 2016 by Balzer + Bray
Format: eARC
Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository
4 Stars
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss

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 received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

late chat with gen

I don’t normally read retellings but The Shadow Queen was one that captivated me the very simple cover and the intriguing synopsis. Even though this book took a bit for me to fully get into mainly because it was slow in the beginning, I was surprised by how much I was enjoying it.

Lorelai had a good life with her family at the castle but she soon started realizing that Queen Irina was not who she was portraying to be and Lorelai was the only one not falling at the queen’s feet, thanks to the powers she possess. When the queen murdered her father, the former captain of the guard took Lorelai and her brother Leo, helped them escaped and kept them in hiding. All the while, Lorelai practices her magic so that one day she can defeat Irina and reclaim her throne.

It was almost like having a mother again. Almost like being happy. But it was all a lie.

I was impressed by not only the characters but also the vivid description the author wrote for this fantasy world. It’s usually quite difficult for me to really picture a fantasy world but C.J. Redwine executed it wonderfully. Even writing this review, I’m remembering various scenes of the book where Lorelai had to use magic to fight/defend herself and I can still picture everything in my mind (and I read this book in December so it says a lot).

Prince Kol lost his father and his brother to ogres and now he has to step up and be king of Eldr. I expected him to be a careless king and sit on his throne, not doing anything. To say I was surprised by Kol is an understatement. He took charge from the moment he was appointed king and decided to seek for a solution so his people would be safe in Eldr. He goes to Irina for help but she asks for Lorelai in return. And Irina knows Kol’s a dragon, which she uses to her advantage and takes control of Kol in the process. Okay, yes you read right. A DRAGON!! I was so surprised by this fact but I was loving every minute of this turn-around to the story. It got me even more excited for the rest of it!

I really loved both Lorelai and Kol. Lorelai was so caring but so freaking tough and badass. The badass-ery in this book from this princess is off the charts. I was in awe of her and I wanted to read more and more. Kol was the perfect addition especially with his dragon nature. There were scenes that really hooked me in deep when it came to these two amazing characters that when the book ended, I wanted more! And the romance isn’t insta-love!! It was slow-built and the reader gets to enjoy it at a very nice pace.

The story was very well-written, even in third POV. I’m not the biggest fan of third POV but this one was perfect. It demanded to be in third POV and it helped deliver the story even more. We get to read about Lorelai, Kol and even Irina.

Overall, I loved this book a lot. It was a great start to a series that I can’t wait to read more of. I highly recommend it to every fantasy lover and retelling lover because you won’t be disappointed.

About C.J. Redwine

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.

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10 responses to “The Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine | ARC Review

  1. Wohoo! So glad you liked this one, Genesis. Lorelei was SUPER FREAKING BADASS and I loved her so much. I loved Kol too, but for me Lorelei was the shining star.
    And of course, I loved how the romance was slow as well and how they were concerned more about their kingdoms than their love lives. It was much realistic!
    I’m so happy this was a hit with you! I love it when friends enjoy books I enjoyed! 🙂

    • She was great! I’m glad she didn’t get all mushy because of a guy. She stood strong! I think their romance was believable because they didn’t just look at each other and boom, fireworks.
      I’m glad I was able to enjoy it as much as I did 🙂

  2. I just picked this book up this week! I’m so excited to read it! It sounds so good! I’m really enjoying books where the girl has to reclaim her kingdom or whatever! I hope that I can pick this one up soon! The dragon aspect sounds really interesting! Great review!

    • It surprised me. I went in blind because I read the synopsis back when I requested it but not when I started reading it. I enjoyed it! Lorelai was so badass!

  3. I’m bummed that this one isn’t out on audio from Harper because it would have been great. I love fantasy on audio. I need to find time to read this one because Nick liked it too…which means I’ll probably really like it too 🙂

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