The Shadow Queen
By: C. J. Redwine
My Rating: 3.5/5 Stars
Genre: Fairytale, Fiction, Fantasy, YA.
Synopsis: 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.
The first section of this review will be spoiler free
First I should say that I am a sucker for fairytale retellings, I watched Once Upon A Time when it started airing (though I had to stop after season 4, it got a bit too crazy for me), and I have religiously watched all of the Cinderella retellings that I could find. Basically, when I see a book that looks like a good retelling I have to buy it. The Shadow Queen is a retelling of Snow White, and boy is it re-imagined. Lorelai is our Snow White, and she is way more badass and capable than the original ever was. She also has a younger brother, which was a nice addition. Prince Kol was also a lot more dynamic than prince characters typically are in fairytales. I enjoyed the element of magic (and dragons!) it made the whole thing more fun. This is one of my favourite re tellings for sure, but that’s not to say it didn’t have some downsides to it. Because each book in this series is a stand alone we only get one book about these characters. It did feel like there were a lot of elements and characters to wrap my head around in a fairly short time frame. Kol’s friends, though enjoyable, felt like an after thought because we didn’t really get to know them. I would have liked a bit more from Queen Irina as well, but maybe that is just because I love reading from the villain’s point of view.
If you like fairytales definitely give this boo a read. If you are not a fairytale person, still give it a try, because unlike some other retellings this one could stand on its own as a unique book. It isn’t even that clear that it is a retelling because there are so many new elements introduced. Honestly, if you like regular fantasy you will probably enjoy this book.
So from the moment he was introduced I knew that Lorelei’s brother was going to die. Snow White doesn’t have a brother, and she needed the motivation to finish her mission. But even though it was predictable it was still sad. It was nice to see her with a sibling, it kind of humanized the iconic Snow White image. I enjoyed her and Kol’s relationship, also the fact that he could turn into a dragon was just way too cool. I mean the ending scene when she is being crowned and he is (supposedly) in his kingdom, and they have an adorable mental conversation! then of course it turns out he came to surprise her, it was too cute. Again, I wish we had another book with these characters, I think there was definitely room for some more character development.
This spoilers section isn’t as long as my usual ones, mostly because we all know how Snow White ends, she defeats the evil queen, gets the prince and lives happily ever after. Despite the magic and certain character changes, this story was no different, but that’s why I love fairytales, you know you are going to get a happy ending.
Do you guys have a favourite retelling (book or movie)? let me know, I love to find new ones!