The Shadow Queen

The Shadow Queen

Book - 2016 | First edition.
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In this retelling of Snow White follows the adventures of Lorelai, an exiled princess who is being pursued by a magic-wielding prince serving as the personal huntsman for evil queen Irina, who has charged him with bringing her Lorelai's heart.
Publisher: New York, NY : Balzer + Bray, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, [2016]
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: ©2016
ISBN: 9780062360243
0062360248
Branch Call Number: REDWI
Characteristics: 387 pages ; 22 cm

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TEENREVIEWBOARD
Sep 24, 2020

“The Shadow Queen” by C.J Redwine is the first installment in the “Ravenspire” series. This book is a retelling of the classic, “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” but with many more twists. Unlike Snow White, Lorelai is a fierce, strong, and confident protagonist that solves the many problems that come her way. All the characters were entertaining, especially Lorelai’s sarcastic but humorous brother. This epic fantasy book with hints of romance will keep you engaged for the most part. However, one thing I noticed was that the problems that Lorelai faced were either solved too quickly or without that much of a struggle. Otherwise, I would definitely recommend this to people who enjoy retellings, fantasy or romance. I rate this book a 4 out of 5.
@India_ink of the Hamilton Public Library's Teen Review Board

lgmosher Apr 13, 2020

Oh my word... This book.

It's been a while since I've read a good re-telling of a princess. They're predictable and get boring after a while....

But Redwine knew what she was doing!

"snow" was strong and determined and I didn't want to smack her ever 5 minutes.

The prince/king was charming and annoying and dorky and absolutely perfect. And... Did I mention he was a dragon!?!
"Skies above, he sounded like an idiot."

Trust me, all the boys do. But us girls.... We kind of like it."

And the evil queen....
Oh the evil queen,

She was done so perfectly! She encompasses everything an evil queen should have. Redwine didn't try to "save" her or make her actions less because she was wronged. No.... She did everything simply because of anger and the need and enjoyment of being evil.

...... And it was wonderful!!

I was a little concerned when she started a mind control setting in the book. if there is one thing that I ABSOLUTELY HATE (and I mean hate in the harshest, deepest, most passionate way possible) it is mind control.
BUT, The magic that Redwine brought into the book was a nice touch and was well used. I loved the fact that they had to call upon the heart, and that dependent upon that it either was harder or easier for them to use their magic. So the fact that the king was able to fight her was a relief.

The book was wrapped up very nicely. Yet, there is a second one... So I'm excited to see where the journey goes.

m
Marilyn34
Oct 23, 2017

The character is very relatable because I know I would fight for what is rightfully mine.

Check out my review of "The Shadow Queen" on my blog at:
http://axarr.blogspot.com/2016/08/review-wednesday-shadow-queen-by-cj.html

k
koiishi22
Oct 02, 2017

DNF stopped on 238, i dunno i wanted to like it but i couldnt connect

n
Nymeria23
Jan 29, 2017

If you love Snow White, fairytale retellings, or simply enjoy books on magic, dragons, betrayal, loss and love, this may be a good book for you (but that's just my opinion).
Having been on the run since they were little, the presumed dead siblings and true heirs to the Ravenspire throne carefully maneuver their way across their lands in secrecy, raiding the false queens' food supply to give back to their starving people as Lorelai, a mardushka (descendant from the magic-wielders of Morcant like the Queen) trains to strengthen her magic and plans a perfect plan to take down Irina.
In a neighboring kingdom, Prince Kolvanismir prepares himself to face his father's disappointment
when he learns of Kol's third expulsion from the Academy; but he prepares in vain. While taking his wife and eldest son of a tour of the ogre war-front, the King, Queen and Prince are killed, leaving Kol the new reigning Eldr King. But how can he save his people from a force so impenetrable? He'll do anything he needs to save his kingdom, even if it means making deals with the magical Queen of Ravenspire.
But nothing goes quite according to plan for the two protagonists, and soon they'll find themselves wondering if they can survive the pain of the past and the torture of what's to come.
My only complaint with this book is also something I rather enjoyed about it; it was very fast-paced. I loved how it didn't lose my interest by skipping some unnecessary part of the book and jumping right into the action (the reader didn't have to read what four days of travel through the woods was like, instead they are given a sort of Sparknotes version at the beginning of the next chapter). However,, I did feel like I wanted to connect to the characters just a little bit more. I realize this is pretty much a standalone novel and that makes intense character development hard to accomplish while getting through an entire storyline, but I just craved the close interactions and deep understanding of the people I was reading about. I got to give the author props though, she did a fairly good job with this, and that made me love the scenes with Kol and Lorelai even more because this character development and empathy link between reader and protagonist seemed very strong in these moments.
Lorelai was an amazingly strong heroine, both with and without her magic which was truly inspiring, and I love how the damsel of the story is constantly saving the 'knight' instead. Kol was great as well, and I just wish that either the book had been longer or that there was another one to come because the deep potential of these two protagonists was so huge that I can't tell if it was fully portrayed or not. Great story, very enjoyable

ArapahoeCatherine Nov 30, 2016

With an evil queen far scarier than those found in most Disney Snow White retellings, a strong "Snow" that is definitely not going to fall for the apple trick, and a shapeshifting dragon/huntsman, this book is fast-paced and entertaining! I loved it!

g
goddessbeth
Oct 21, 2016

Well, just look at that cover. It's gorgeous and disturbing and lovely.
As for the content within:
I liked that Lorelai's key heroic feature was her constant analyzation and awareness of the world around her. She was very general-esque in that way, and I also liked that her father figure and her brother deferred to her about it, which means we don't have to wade through the setup of her proving herself. She's a capable sorcerer at the start, and also compassionate.
She's also very focused on her mission, despite her attraction to Kol.

I enjoyed the way magic works in this book, which is very elemental but tied to language and intent. I also thought the Draconi was a clever concept- Redwine clearly thought out a lot of the human/dragon shapeshifter side issues (like how none of them are bothered by being naked, since they are every time they shift).

It's also got a lot of nods to the tale of Snow White (in addition to the overall plot, as a retelling). Apples play a hefty part, as does the mirror, the heroine's coloring, the removal of hearts (harkening back to Once Upon a Time), etc. I think the romance was handled well, too.

There was also no glossing over the consequence of loss, so even though Lorelai's grief felt more reflective than genuine-gut-punch-recent-loss, it was nice to see her having to slog through that and not just shrugging it off.

The things I was frustrated by:

The quips and wit and full-on conversations while people are running for their lives. It's unrealistic and reduces the tension and danger of the scene. Also, it makes her brother more plot device (the plucky, funny sidekick) than character.
It was nice to see that the evil queen is ruthless, but I never felt like there was a point behind her cruelty. She didn't seem to enjoy the power she was going to great lengths to wield, so she was a vague threat instead of a complex individual. Also, every scene with her felt like rewatching season 1 of Once Upon a Time (back when Regina was chewing scenes).
The parkour craziness. Physics and the strains of human skeletal systems aren't burdens Lorelai has to deal with, I guess?
How much pain can a demi-person take? Enough to be boring and repetitive and unbelievable (days of agony and fire and on and on and on).
Overall it wasn't as good as I wanted it to be, but it was a solid retelling of Snow White. I won't be continuing the series, but if you like standard YA fantasy and fairy tale retellings, you may enjoy it more than I did.

h
HannahMcD
Jul 22, 2016

omg i loved this book. i love fairy tale twists and this is a great example. i liked how there's adventure, action and bit of romance too. totally recommend this to anyone

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nidofito
Jun 14, 2016

There's a very Tamora Pierce-esque feel to this book. And similarly, can be enjoyed by a younger audience. Sure, the magic isn't explained very well, and things start to drag and get repetitive (especially in Kol's case) but it's a fun, straightforward (though lengthier than necessary) story. And I loved Leo and Larelai. I also liked how the author tried to bring some conscience and guilt into Irina. Makes her character a little grey instead of just pure black evil (which she was)

g
Gingergenius
Jun 03, 2016

This reads like fanfiction... I couldn't finish it. The overall concept and story isn't awful, but the execution leaves much to be desired.

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blue_dog_8329
Apr 06, 2017

blue_dog_8329 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

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