By C.J. Redwine
Series: Ravenspire #1
Hardcover: 387 pages
Publication Date: February 16, 2016
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
My Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ( 3 out of 5 Stars )
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.
Oh my. As of late, I have become completely enraptured in fairy tale retellings. The Shadow Queen parallels the story of Snow White, with a side of some sweet ass dragons. Lorelai is the female lead; strong, brave, determined. Her never ending sacrifices broke my heart time and time again, and her ability to do the right thing, regardless of how much it cost her was inspiring. She held the power to bring a mountain to its knees, yet she never used it to harm, even if harming someone was the only way to live. A princess in hiding, saving her power to one day, avenge the death of her father. She is broken and hell bent on revenge against Queen Irina, the one that killed him. Unfortunately, the Queen of Ravenspire has fathomless power at her fingertips as well.
"Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the most powerful of them all..?"King Kol is in search of a way to stop the ogres from destroying the kingdom of Eldr, and with it, everything that he loves. In his search, he places his trust in the evil Queen. She turns him against a girl that has saved his life more than once, ordering Kol to kill Lorelai and return her heart to the Queen. Did I mention that Kol is a sexy draconi warrior with the ability to change into a dragon at will? Sigh. Queen Irina removes his human heart from his chest and holds it hostage while Kol hunts Lorelai, set on destroying the princess. Is Lorelai strong enough to save Kol? Is Kol strong enough to withstand the evil Queen's demands swirling in his head..?
I enjoyed this story more than I probably should. The insta-love that happened between Kol and Lorelai was way too predictable for my tastes. The author's ability to make me look past that is a testament to her writing skills. The story flowed well. I was never bored, and my anxiety leading up to the final battle between the Queen and Princess was apparent to me. I couldn't put it down. One more chapter, even though it's 2am and I could barely see the pages. The ending was predictable as well, but it did keep my attention to the very last page. The characters were well written, and I found myself rooting for a happy ending for Lorelai and Kol. I can honestly say that I would read a sequel to The Shadow Queen, but it probably wouldn't find its way to the top of my to be read list. At least there were no cliffhangers.. :)
“Gabril’s voice was strong and sure. “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.”
"Her skin was as white as snow, her lips as red as blood, and her long hair as black as ebony.”
"“Oh no." Lorelai pulled her hand from Kol's, her skin prickling with heat from absolute humiliation. Maybe if she prayed hard enough, the forest floor would open up and swallow her. If there was any justice in the world, it would swallow Leo too.”
"She didn't need to know the outcome to be sure of her heart."
| Cinder | Heartless |