Today I am posting a review of The Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine! It is a Snow White retelling that follows a girl named Lorelai.
(4 / 5)
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.
Lorelai and her brother, Leo are on their own after their stepmother, Queen Irina, killed their father and took the throne for herself. After escaping the grasp of Irina for years, Lorelai is finally ready to take back her land and title. The only problem is Irina has many more years of training in magic than Lorelai does and has sent a powerful huntsman, Kol, a king who has a dragon heart, after Lorelai.
What I Loved:
I personally love retellings and this one did not disappoint! I love the feeling of nostalgia of my childhood that retellings bring up while also intertwining my love of fantasy that I have today.
I adore action scenes and this one had some good one. While there aren’t many battle scenes the ones that do occur are exciting and enthralling. I mean when you combine magic sorcerors and dragons into one battle what is not to love? THE DRAGONS. I love them and if a book contains them I am 50% more likely to like the book so that may be a reason that this book is so great to me. Also, the dragons are part human, part dragon which makes them even better!
There is some slight romance throughout the book but it was honestly very refreshing. It wasn’t instalove or some complicated love triangle. It was simple and I realized how much I missed reading books where the storyline isn’t overpowered by the romance between two of the main characters. It was just something that happened and was a subplot to the overall story.
The biggest thing that I liked about this book was Kol’s character, the king of Eldr. Main reasons to love him are: he’s a DRAGON, he’s a nice person, he loves his kingdom, he has a cool group of friends who are also DRAGONS, and he has a great relationship with his sister. His development throughout the book is well-rounded and I found myself really interested in reading the sections of the book that contained information about him. He is by far my favorite character in this book and if this book ever has a sequel I hope it talks more about him because I would love that.
I really liked the way the point of view of this book was set up as well. It was third person and looked at different characters perspectives throughout the book so you really got a deep understanding of each character’s story, their motives and their feelings. It was a great way to provide lots of information on the characters while still moving the plot forward!
Okay the final thing I liked about this book was the map on the inside cover! It was SUPER detailed and pretty and I just liked being able to visualize where things were going on throughout the story.
What I wasn’t a fan of:
It pains me to say it but there definitely was some parts of this novel that moved slowly and where I lost interest. However, I found these to be overshadowed by the interesting and exciting events that do happen. While there were times I lost interest, I overall was engrossed in this novel and found the story compelling.
The other thing that bothered me was Snow White’s name: Lorelai. I don’t really know why but when I first saw it I just felt like it didn’t fit. I don’t know if it is because of her personality or because of the time period or what but I just didn’t like it.
The idea of the story is also a little cliche. It’s a story of a fallen princess who wants to take back her kingdom from an evil force, which is a description of a lot of fantasy novels. However, it is a Snow White retelling and that is the plot line of Snow White so I kind of understand the reasoning for it. Redwine did try to make it more interesting by making Snow White a sorceress and adding dragons so I guess it kind of makes up for it.
The final thing I didn’t like about this book was the slight disconnect from some of the characters. I felt like some of the characters in the book just didn’t resonate with me and I didn’t understand their purpose in being there. However, I felt the connection with some of the main characters made up for it.
Overall, The Shadow Queen was a fun, quick read that brought back my love of Snow White and made me want to read more retellings!
How do you feeling about fairy tale retellings? Have you read The Shadow Queen?
Let me know in the comments!