Blog Tour & ARC Review: The Shadow Queen (Ravenspire #1) by C.J. Redwine10:00
The Shadow Queen
Series: Ravenspire #1
Author: C.J. Redwine
Published March 3rd 2016 by Scholastic Press
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 received an Advance Reader Copy from the publisher. This in no way impacted on my view.
When I first heard about this book, it was because of a lot of US reviewers who adored their copies, which came out last month. Once I found out Scholastic would be publishing The Shadow Queen over here, I immediately requested a copy, and was so grateful to be approved - thanks, Scholastic!
The Shadow Queen told the story of Lorelai, the crown princess to Ravenspire, who has been on the run from her evil stepmother, since her father was killed. She's learnt how to utilise her magic, and is ready, along with her younger brother, Leo, to take back her kingdom. In the kingdom of Eldr, Prince, turned King, Kol is coming to terms with the deaths of his parents, and older brother, abruptly placing him on the throne. The ogre war in his nation has become so bad, he's had to travel to Ravenspire to ask queen Irina's aid in magically defeating them, once and for all. When Kol and Lorelai meet, there's a distinct connection, made worse when Irina realises this, and uses it to her advantage. Everything is dangerous, and you can't help thinking that maybe, for once, the evil queen will win.
I've never really read a Snow White retelling, except for Winter by Marissa Meyer, and Snow White has got to be one of my favourite Disney princesses. I've got to say, I was not disappointed with this book. If you've seen the Snow White and the Huntsman movie, this book had a real vibe of that. Lorelai was a strong Snow White figure, a la Snow in Once Upon a Time (when she's actually Snow, not as Mary Margaret). She'd had a hard upbringing on the run, and never really complained about it. She has felt the struggle that her people felt everyday, and wished beyond anything to relieve them of pain. However, there's also the small part of her that worries that she won't be a good enough queen, not one that Ravenspire deserves. I honestly adored reading from Lorelai's point of view, and she grew in strength as every chapter progressed.
Reading from Kol's perspective was really nice too. He had a distinctive voice, and learning about the dragon law, and how the Draconi people worked was fun. He kept his emotions quite close to the surface, and it was really easy to see how much he cares about his people too, just like Lorelai. It wasn't hard to see why they connected to easily, and why they grew closer the more time they spent with each other. Even with all the angst ridden situations they were thrown into - and there were a lot of them - they overcame all obstacles, and where in a very good place at the end of the novel. I've just put the book down, and I'm already waiting anxiously for book 2.
I've never read any of C.J.'s books before, but I think I definitely will now. The Shadow Queen was a wonderful high fantasy/ fairytale retelling, and I would definitely recommend this to lovers of both genres. The main characters were enjoyable to read about, and from their perspectives, and there was never a dull movement. It may have taken me over a week to read, but honestly, it only took just over a day - university has killed me the last few weeks, and I couldn't wait to be finished my essays to read more of this! Thanks again, Scholastic, for allowing me the opportunity to read this fantastic book, and for taking part in the blog tour.