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The Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine: A Book Review

The Shadow Queen 
Author: C.J. Redwine
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release Date:  February 16, 2016
Pages: 405
Source: Edelweiss/Publisher in exchange for an honest review
Synopsis: A dark epic fantasy inspired by the tale of Snow White, from C. J. Redwine, the author of the Defiance series. Perfect for fans of A Court of Thorns and Roses and Cinder.

     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 of his own—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.

     My Review: The Shadow Queen is a retelling of Snow White. Lorelai is the the exiled crown princess of Ravenspire with magical powers. She intends to use her powers to kill her stepmother, the evil queen, and to take back her kingdom. What she does not know is that her stepmother has made a deal with the dragon shapeshifter, King Kol of Eldr, to kill Lorelai and to bring back her heart. Lorelai must stay one step above the huntsman, and to battle the queen. Who will win the epic showdown, Lorelai or the evil queen? 

     Lorelai is really a tough heroine. I really liked her. She was easy to sympathize with, and I rooted for her to win all the way. She is a woman who has lost so much, and she is trying to heal from her losses. She is also very insecure. Yet, slowly she grows into a strong and confident young woman who believes in herself. She is also very selfless and always sees good in others. Her kindness is her strength and because of her mercy, people are willing to fight for her to be queen. She is also very smart and a strategist. She always has a plan. These qualities show that Lorelai is the worthy queen of Ravenspire.

     Overall, this book is about love, loss, friendship, and choices. The message of this book is to believe in yourself. While this book has a strong protagonist, I also liked how we have a powerful female villain. This villain  was very intriguing, and I loved some chapters being told from her perspective. She has a tragic past, and she will do whatever it takes to make her dreams come true. I love how this villain seemed so strong and almost invincible, but she makes Lorelai stronger. In a way, it is Irina who has prepared Lorelai to be the queen that Ravenspire needs to be. The characters are very fun and likable. I loved the storyline, it is full of action, and it was like watching a game of chess where we see both Lorelai and Queen Irina making their move to see who will win the throne of Ravenspire. I recommend this book to anyone interested in the re-telling of fairy tales, exciting fantasy war intrigue, and anyone looking for a novel with a strong female lead.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars


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