Monday, March 7, 2016


Title: The Shadow Queen
Author: CJ Redwine
Series: Standalone
Edition: Paperback
Publication: February 16, 2016 by Balzer + Bray
Source: ARC provided by the publisher
Pages: 387
Genre: Young adult, Retelling, Romance, 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.

Short review: I love The Defiance Series and/but The Shadow Queen is just an okay book for me.

Long one: Wait, congrats to CJ Redwine for hitting the NYT Bestseller list for TSQ!

I won't make this longer (I hope) but well, I did enjoy reading The Shadow Queen because I go crazy over fantasy novels. I just didn't love it enough for it to garner a higher rating. For fans of retellings, I could recommend this one but for someone like me who's a little afraid to venture in the retelling team, it is up to you. I mean, go and try it if you want to but no book pushing from me.

The Shadow Queen is a little predictable. I know that it is a retelling of Snow White but I wish that there's a little more ownership somewhere there. The names are so hard to read to begin with and the story fell flat from time to time. I wasn't sure if there should have been a Russian-inspired theme in there but I didn't feel it. The magic incantations were also kind of pretentious? It was like trying to read Parseltongue and you just can't.

What I truly enjoy most is Irina. I wanted to get to know her deeper and what caused her to be THAT evil. Even though I know, I still kind of want a novella or something from her POV.

The Shadow Queen was a little tricky for me to read since retellings could be a hit and miss for me. There's just no gripping emotion for me in this book or swooning or anything. In short, it was insipid.

Thank you so much HarperCollins Internation for the ARC!

"You don't go into battle because you're sure of victory. You go into battle because it's the right thing to do."
"Why show them what they've never bothered to see?"
"The only people who aren't prey are those smart enough and strong enough to become the predator."
"A warrior doesn't focus on the odds stacked against her. She focuses on her heart, on her will to face the evil in her world and defeat it and then she finds a way to do it."
"She fought an entire group of soldiers because she didn't look at her odds of winning, she looked at her reasons for fighting."


  1. I just came across a raving review of this book. But I'd like to take note of your thoughts though. I'm definitely keeping in mind that it's predictable as to not disappoint myself. Predictable is fine with me as long as it's well written - maybe something that still excites me or what.. Great review :)

    czai @ the Blacksheep Project

  2. I thought that it was a bit too loose on the Snow White bit. It missed all of the usual notes you'd expect in a Snow White retelling - besides the Evil Stepmother of course.


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