The Shadow Queen
C.J. Redwine is a New York Times bestselling author of speculative fiction, a diehard lover of going to the movies, and a believer in fairytales. She keeps a six-foot tall Loki figure in her office and will argue the merits of Batman vs. Superman with anyone she meets. She once accidentally punched herself in the face on a ride at Disneyland. She doesn’t recommend it.
*From the publisher’s website.
Audio Book, Hardcover
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.
*From the publisher’s website.
⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
Before I posted this review, I finished all of the books in the Ravenspire series. Though I listened to this one as an audio book—which I can definitely recommend, Khristine Hvam’s voice is amazing—I finished each of the books within twenty-four hours. They were unputdownable.
Truthfully, I don’t know if I could choose a favorite, though I do love seeing characters we love appear in subsequent stories, even if in name only. I absolutely loved the specific ways C.J. Redwine revamped the well-loved fairytales.
And I seriously hope that some day, somehow Hansel and Gretel get their own Ravenspire book—they were such a pleasant surprise in these four books.
But you’re not here for that, I guess. You’re here for my thoughts on Lorelai and Kol—the hidden-away Ravenspire royal and the Draconi prince with the weight of the world (or at least his kingdom) on his scales—er, shoulders.
I adore these two characters and their crew in this retelling of Snow White. I ached for them. I cried with them. And along with their friends and people, I wanted to follow them too. They have heart, compassion, and a fierce protectiveness for the people they love.
Whether you agree with their actions or scream “No! Never make a deal with a witch!” like I did, you can see how these admirable traits drove them to do absolutely anything if they thought it would be best for others.
We get to follow Kol and Lorelai through their homelands, into the mountains, and into a grand, unknown adventure on every page. Leo, Gabriel, Trugg, Sasha, Jyn, and the Draconi warriors who stand behind their friend, Kol, make for the best adventure companions. They’ll make you laugh, cry, scream, want to pull your hair out, and shake your head. But you’ll definitely want these kinds of friends in your life.
I can’t go into much more without giving away the whole plot, but Redwine has a gift for vivid scenery and characters who feel as real as the guy or girl next door. Seriously, all of her characters are so well-developed and easy to fall in love with—it’s almost impossible to pick a favorite. (Although if I had to, it would probably be Ari. So, stay tuned for my review of Book 2, The Wish Granter!)
These books can be read as standalone novels, but I would recommend reading them as a series since characters from previous books sometimes show up in word or in person on the pages of other stories.
Reasons to Love It
📚 Snow White | Huntsman retelling
📚 YA fiction
📚 clean romance
📚 quotes for days
You don’t go into battle because you’re sure of victory. . . . You go into battle because it’s the right thing to do.Gabril, p. 15
I love you best, and I’ll miss you forever.Kol, p. 37
Grief swelled within her, pressing against her skin until she thought she would burst from the strength of it. It stole her voice, her breath, and gave her agony instead.Lorelai, p. 124
I believe in you, and I’ve fought for you, because in a world full of people who crumble before an evil too terrifying to comprehend, you put up your fists and fight.Gabriel, p. 159
He was fire, blood, and death.Kol, p. 202
All those friends of yours willing to follow you into the jaws of death without you even asking them to? It’s because they know what I know—that you have the kind of bottomless strength and loyalty that will always put others first at the expense of yourself.Lorelai, p. 274
Magic is an impartial force that obeys the heart of the one who wields it.Lorelai, p. 353
Love isn’t always a fairytale—even if it exists in them. Love means sacrifice and putting others first. Love gives willingly; it’s not forced, but it is a force to be reckoned with.
I’d love to hear from you! What C.J. Redwine book is your favorite? What were your thoughts on this one? What other fantasy books have you read and enjoyed? Or what are you reading right now that you really love? Drop a comment below!