The Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine

February 16th, 2016 Kimberly Review 80 Comments

16th Feb
The Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine
The Shadow Queen
by C.J. Redwine
Series: Ravenspire #1
Genres: Fantasy
Source: Publisher
Purchase: Amazon
Goodreads
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

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.

coverlove Fairy Tale well written YA ROMANCE

The Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine offers up a splendid fantasy with dragons and a kick-ass version of Snow White. I easily slipped into the world and Redwine’s twist on this classic childhood story. Captivating and enchanting I recommend The Shadow Queen for fans of fantasy and retellings.

Five reasons to lose yourself between the pages of The Shadow Queen

  • Redwine weaves the story of Snow White into a fascinating fantasy. She fleshed out the land and created additional kingdoms, magic and DRAGONS! The world building was done well allowing me to understand and see the lands of Ravenspire and beyond. The story begins with Irina’s marriage to the King and it was dark and delightful.
  • Lorelai Diederich is the princess of Ravenspire and its rightful Queen. She has spent years hiding as a fugitive and watching Queen Irina destroy her beloved kingdom. The princess has lived in the woods and mountains of Ravenspire, along with her younger brother and a former guard who has pledged his loyalty to protecting the true Queen. Lorelai was strong, passionate, and developed into a kick-ass heroine as the story progressed. I loved that she shoved her pain aside and thought of the kingdom.
  • In the Shadow Queen, there are no dwarfs, but Redwine does give us a huntsman and dragons. The neighboring kingdom is Eldr. After his parents and older sibling are attacked and killed by ogres, Prince Kol suddenly finds himself King of Eldr and need of magical assistance. Kol’s people are shifters and Redwine brilliantly fed us information about him and his kingdom. Kol did not have an easy time, and I admired his courage, internal struggles and growth.
  • There is a romance in the Shadow Queen that developed from attraction and circumstance but was bound in trust. I love that Redwine did not wrap this up in a bow instead; she left the reader hopeful and smiling.
  • Redwine knows how to weave a story from the romance to the intense action scenes and battles I found myself immersed within its pages. Nothing felt rushed and the darker aspects she brought to the story thrilled me. She stayed true to many aspects of this classic but placed her own stamp on it. I find myself anxious to return.

I must make note of the beautiful cover. The apple while familiar to the original story took on a darker meaning in The Shadow Queen making the cover both deadly and beautiful to the reader.

The Shadow Queen delivered an exceptional retelling of Snow White and left me craving more. The books in the Ravenspire series will be stand alone companion novels. Each a fantasy fairy tale retelling set in adjoining kingdoms.

About C.J. Redwine

C.J. Redwine

C.J. Redwine loves fairy tales, Harry Potter, and any movie starring Johnny Depp. She is the author of the Defiance trilogy, a post-apocalyptic fantasy from Balzer + Bray. C.J. lives in Nashville with her husband and children. If the novel writing gig ever falls through, she’ll join the Avengers and wear a cape to work every day. To learn more about C.J., visit her website

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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. She's a self-professed Whovian, as well as a Supernatural, and Sherlock Holmes junkie, She enjoys sharing books, tips, recipes and hosting the Sunday Post. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat...Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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80 Responses to “The Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine”

  1. Nick

    Beautiful review, Kim and I am just so happy you enjoyed this one! I’ve seen so many mixed reviews for it, it was making me sad.
    I thought Lorelei was kick-ass too so I loved her! And Kol was really great too because DRAGONS!
    I’m really looking forward to reading the companion books in this series. They should be fun. And I’m 100% with you on the cover! So beautiful and perfect. 🙂

  2. Bieke

    I loved this book so much! 😀 Lorelai was a great character and Irina a great villain. I loved Leo and Gabril the most though. Both had the best lines in the book to me.

  3. Jenny

    YEAH KIM! I’m finishing this one up today as my review posts tomorrow (running a little behind here), but I’m loving it so much!!! I really like this Snow White reimagining. It has DRAGONS!!!! Yessssssss.

  4. Kristin

    Eeee gads!! You read this already!! You rock!! This is up for me to read next or next to next? 4 stars tells me NOT to skip it!! YAY!

    I swear, my books are always dancing around yours… I need to get further ahead of you (ready, set….. GO!!!) 😀

  5. Stormi

    I almost picked this one up but didn’t, hmmm. Now I guess it will go on my wishlist for later…lol. 🙂 Great review.

  6. Candace

    I wasn’t so interested in this one before but now that reviews have started coming in I’m thinking I want to read it! I like the sound of the fantasy elements.

  7. Heidi

    Hmm… Your review has me giving this one a second look. I have been reading such mixed reviews for this one and my last few attempts at fairy tale retellings have been dismal. I might try this one.

  8. AngelErin

    Dragons! This one sounds really fascinating. I am super curious how the dragons are weaved into the Snow White story. 🙂

  9. Grace MyBookSnack

    Very nice, Kim! The cover is certainly striking and makes me want to take a second look. I was reading the blurb and immediately thought of Snow White, then you mention it at the start of your review. Much intrigued with the world-building!

  10. Greg

    See this is one I would have probably said nice cover and moved on, not a huge fan of retellings, but your review has sold me. 🙂 The dragons helped… but also the reimaging of the story, the additional kingdoms, Even the shifter element- that’s interesting. And I like romances where there’s hope at the end, optimism but it’s not all wrapped up for us.

    And more standalone books, and no waiting forever for a trilogy… bonus points. This sounds great, I may have to get it. Thanks Kimba!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I was nervous, but willing to DNF if need be, because when a retelling is done right I truly enjoy them…this was one of those times. I hope you try it Greg..and I agree with all of your pluses.

  11. Debbie Haupt

    Okay this is definitely my cuppa Kim 😉 and I gotta agree with the cover love too. Thanks and I’m batting a thousand its the first not the 9th in a series 🙂

  12. Kathy

    I swear, I would buy this book just for the cover. I love that cover!! That dark apple that screams evil with a blood-like drip – perfection!

  13. Lekeisha

    Retelling a classic fairy tale can be a hit or miss, but I am very much looking forward to this one. You had me at dragons!

  14. Jess

    This is my first time hearing of this one. I LOVE the cover and I am a fan of fairy tales and many retellings. Glad to hear you liked this so much. I will be looking for it now. 🙂

  15. kindlemom1

    This is one book and author I definitely want to try because I’m just so curious about the whole plot to this. Great review Kim!

  16. Elena

    The romance part you mentioned really intrigued me! Haven’t tried any of C.J. Redwine’s books yet though Defiance has been on my TBR pile.

    Shall pick up one of these books soon, great review! 🙂

  17. Lorna

    Hate to admit it,,but I am not a fan of fairytale re-tellings. However, I do love the cover and I am happy you enjoyed the read 🙂

  18. Melliane

    I love retellings but I know they’re difficult too but I was also really happy about this one! SO many ideas and so much fun with the characters and the story!

  19. Jeann

    I’m really looking forward to this one, particularly since Lorelai sounds like a brilliant character! The slow burn romance sounds like it was done really well, as does the action here. Lovely review Kimba!

  20. Silvia

    I was already curious about this book, now I really know I have to read it! Glad you had a great time with it, Kimberly 🙂

  21. Jessica

    OOoh nice! I cannot wait to read this one! I love fairy tales and their retellings, so this one will be good! I just know it! Glad to see you enjoyed it too! Great review!

  22. LIlyn G

    I literally just got this book from the library today. 🙂 But I also got The Immortals by Jordanna Max Brodsky, so it’s getting read first.

  23. Melanie Simmons

    I have seen this cover around, but haven’t read any reviews of the book. It sounds really interesting. I didn’t realize it was actually tied to the fairy tale in any way. I like the sounds of it. Great review.

  24. Cyn

    I’ve been seeing some mixed reviews for this book, so I’m glad to see you enjoyed this so much! I have such a soft soft for fairy tale retellings and this sounds like a interpretation! And dragons!? Yes, please! Oh, totally love the cover, too!
    Great review, Kim!

  25. Tressa

    I’m soooo glad you liked this one. It’s one that I’ve been anticipating, but sometimes these are such disappointments and so I haven’t begun it yet. I love these types of stories, so I’m sure that I’ll like this one as much if not more.

  26. Cait

    DIIIIIID YOU JUST SAY DRAGONS?! BECAUSE NOW I AM OFFICIALLY 100% SOLD!! I’d heard it was a bit of a generic fantasy? So I was worried, but it sounds amazing. :’) I love retellings!
    Thanks for stopping by @ Paper Fury!

  27. Jennifer

    I love fairytale retellings. I’ve been thinking about trying this one. But I have to finish up some series I have going before starting new ones. LOL