*Book Review* The Shadow Queen by CJ Redwine

Title: The Shadow Queen (Ravenspire #1)
Format: eArc
Pages: 400
Published: 23rd Feb 2016
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Source: Publisher for Review
Genre: YA Fantasy, Fairy tale Retelling
Shelfability: Acquire
Buy: Amazon UK I Amazon US

**About The Book**
 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 admit it. I wanted to read this solely based on the cover. I know, I know. Bad book blogger but I love a pretty cover. However, as soon as I realized it was a retelling of Snow White I was more than happy to start reading. And I glad I did. Even though it was a struggle to get into. I pushed through and I really enjoyed how the author took classic tale and made it her own.

Lorelai is a princess on mission to reclaim her throne and Kingdom. To rid her Kingdom of her evil stepmother, Queen Irina. Kol unexpectedly inherited the crown of his Kingdom. Making him the King. His land are being invaded and to save his people he seeks out Magic from Queen Irina. However, for Irina to help Kol they make a deal and Kol must bring the princesses heart to the Queen.

And I won't say anything else because you just have to read it to find out. It took me a good few chapters to actually get into the story. I found that there was just too much descriptive passages that took away from the storytelling. To me it felt like the author was just trying too hard. Although saying that it does give the reader a very vivid image of the world that has been created.

The story is told in third person, from Lorelai's, Kol's and Irina's point of view. At first I was struggling to get into Lorelai's chapters. I don't know why I just couldn't get a connection to her. It was Kol's point of view that made me push through struggle. He is just so likable. And inner battle with himself that we see fascinating. Irina is a villain you love to hate. I was captivated by her and I really hope maybe her full story is told in a future book. I've always been drawn to darker and twisted characters.

The Shadow Queen is retelling of Snow White. It has a fresh twist to the classic tale but still manages to keep the dark and gritty essence of the Grimm fairy tale.


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