Saturday, February 20, 2016

#Saturday Review - The Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine (Young Adult, Fantasy)

Series: Ravenspire # 1
Format: E-Galley, 400 pages
Release Date: February 16, 2016
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Source: Publisher
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

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.

The Shadow Queen, by C.J. Redwine, is apparently the first chapter in the Ravenspire series even though the story wraps things up rather nicely. Ravenspire could be considered a re-imaging of Snow White and the Huntsman, but without any character who could possibly be mistaken for Kristen Stewart. 17-year old Lorelai Diederich is the fugitive crown princess of Ravenspire, and a budding mardushka. (Mardushka's have the ability to connect with a living heart and gain powers from it.) She, along with her brother Leo, and their mentor Gabril are the only survivors of a coup that killed the King, and brought Queen Irina (think Charlize Theron) to power.

Lorelai, Leo, Gabril, and Lorelai's gyrfalcon Sasha, have been in hiding, stealing supplies from the queen, and training for NINE years to bring Irina down from her ivory tower of deceit, darkness, and corruption. Her reign has brought pain and suffering to the land and its people, and Lorelai plans on changing things once she is ready to face Irina. Lorelai is portrayed as being a cunning strategist, who makes plans and jumps into them without worrying about what happens next. She is also a wonderfully athletic character who can not only fight, but use magic against her opponents. She is also on equal footing to Irina magically speaking, but she isn't swayed by the darkside. I love Lorelai's connection to Gabril who was once her father's lead guard. Let's just say that were it not for Gabril, things could have played out a whole lot differently.

On the flip side of things, meet Kolvanismir (Kol) Arsenyevnek who calls Eldr home. (Think DRAGONS!) Kol is a playboy, a trickster, and one who has been in lots of hot water at his school because of his pranks. But, things change when his parents and older brother are killed by Ogre's and he is named King. Kol's kingdom is at war with the Ogre's, and there doesn't seem to be anyway to stop them from totally taking over his country. Kol, and his friends Jyn and Trugg travel to Ravenspire to request assistance from Queen Irina. After a short meeting with Lorelai, Kol ends up striking a deal with Irina. Let's stop there for fear that I might spoil what happens next.

Ravenspire is a captivating story with plenty of action, and suspense, and yes, even a bit of romance. For those thinking about whether to read this book or not based on a lower than 3 star rating, use your own discretion. If you liked Snow White and the Huntsman, you will like this book. If you like Once Upon a Time, you will find yourself pleased with both Lorelai, and Kol. Each has a path to follow. Each wants what's best for their Kingdom's. While Lorelai has spent more timing fighting back, Kol has his good and bad traits. I don't care that there has been similar stories already told. Ravenspire needs to be given credit because of the dragon dynamics that are not included in other re-tellings of Snow White. 

1 comment:

  1. OOoh nice! I am super excited to read this one! I love a good fairy tale retelling. Sadly, I never saw Snow White and Huntsman despite loving the sound of it. Kirsten Stewart being the only reason why I didn't see it. Any other actress and I probably could've handled it, but nope. Not her. So I had to pass despite Chris Hemsworth also being in it. It was very sad, because the movie sounded awesome!

    Like this book sounds awesome! I am super excited to read it! Just gotta find the right time to work it into my queue! Great review!