I read The Shadow Queen back in December and I still haven’t posted a review so here we go.
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Retelling
Author: C.J. Redwine
Publication: February 2016
My rating: ★★★★✩
Lorelai, true heir to the throne of Ravenspire, is on the run. No one knows she is alive except her two travel companions. She has only one goal: get revenge on her step mother Irina, who murdered her parents and is responsible for the kingdom’s misery. And to accomplish that, she has only one option: use magic, a weapon the people are weary of, because it is one she has in common with Irina. But it is also the only way to beat Irina: use her own weapon against her.
Meanwhile, in the neighbourhood kingdom of Eldr, Prince Kol suddenly becomes king, and to save his people who are at war with ogres, and clearly losing, he has no choice but to turn to Irina, the powerful queen of Ravenspire. Her condition is that he brings her the heart of Lorelai. Does he really have a choice?
Non spoilery thoughts:
I picked up this book because it was a Snow White retelling, and if you don’t know me yet, I am obsessed with retellings. I have to say, I wasn’t disappointed by this one. It had a lot of original elements, and it managed to be a story of its own, even if you could also regognise all of the elements of the fairytale, which makes me, in my opinon, a perfect retelling.
I liked the pace of the story, and the way it was told. Overall, this is a book I definitely enjoyed and recommend.
I also heard that this was going to have a sequel, and I’m really excited about it!
Retelling lovers, obviously. And if you like YA Fantasy, then this is definitely something you could enjoy! Also recommended if you like The Lunar Chronicles and Stitching Snow, which is another Snow White retelling.
I decided to put a spoiler warning first, because I don’t know how to go into this without mentioning elements of the story, and it might be spoilery, so now you have been warned.
I really love the concept of the hunter also being the prince, it reminds me of Graham in Once Upon a Time, and I think it really adds to the story.
Even though it was not the most original fantasy ever, I really like the twists Redwine added to the Snow White story we all know. The fact that Lorelai is fighting is no more original, we find it in Once Upon a Time or Stitching Snow or The Lunar Chronicles. But I really liked for example the fact that the rotten apples were helping Irina subdue the people to her will. And Kol’s plot was also really interesting, both the fact that he was a dragon king, and the fact that he couldn’t resist his hunter instincts, even if Lorelai had saved his life, and he didn’t want to harm her. I also really like the fact that there was no “insta love” here, but trust slowly built between Kol and Lorelai, and I love how their relationship slowly evolved.
I also liked the fact that the story didn’t spare our feelings, and straight on killed Lorelai’s brother after sparing him a first time. It really broke my heart, and I could hardly believe it at first, but it also made Lorelai stronger, more reckless, and merciless towards her enemies, which is something she needed to beat Irina in my opinion.
I also liked the fact that we got to see some of the story from Irina’s point of view, and understand her better as a villain.
OVERALL this was a really great story, as I said before. If you have read it, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments, as I would love to discuss it with you!