The Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine
Publication Date: February 16, 2016 by Balzer + Bray
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
[Special thanks to the publisher for the review copy!]
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.
Who gets to fight with an evil queen at 8 years old? Lorelai proved her strength even at a young age. Nine years later, she’s determined to kill Irina. There is no room for failure.
A prince and a dragon in one? Yes, please! Prince Kol is a smart one. Desperate to be the king his people need, he believed Irina could help him.
How about a vulnerable evil queen? Because Irina gets her power by forcing hearts to submit to hers and by sucking out energy from other people, she’s a weakened queen.
The Shadow Queen is told by a narrator seeing the three characters separately. It reminded me of Eragon. Magic spells and dragons are two of their common elements.
Lorelai’s people were killing themselves instead of choosing to die of starvation. She took immediate action even if it meant risking her safety. Kol’s kingdom was being attacked by ogres and he went to Irina right away for protection. Irina’s heart was giving up on her and the extent of her cruelty was unimaginable.
Three unforgettable characters that got me glued to the book. C.J. created a world I was so engrossed in. I was looking forward to every chapter – even Irina’s.
Gabril was also a memorable character. His words are full of wisdom. And Leo was a character I wish had more exposure.
Almost every chapter held a surprise that made me want to read more.
The book tells us that there’ll be times when we’ll feel self-doubt. We’ll blame ourselves for things that weren’t our faults. We’ll think we’re not good enough. But there’s always at least one person who sees what we’re capable of and believes in us more than we believe in ourselves.
The Shadow Queen is a story of courage – an empowering fairy tale.
Initial Rating: 4.75/5
Final Rating: 5/5
It’s never about winning.