Book Review: The Shadow Queen

The Shadow Queen
By: C.J. Redwine
Published by: Balzer + Bray
Release date: February 16, 2016
Genre: YA fantasy
400 pages
Source: galley kindly provided by publisher

If you like YA fantasy and haven't read C.J. Redwine's Defiance series yet, you are missing out. If you have, I don't doubt that you, like me, will get your hands on a copy of The Shadow Queen ASAP. Once you have enjoyed Redwine's writing, you will crave more.

Much of what I loved from the Defiance series is present in this book as well. The heroine is strong and independent, able to save herself and others, yet able to accept help from others when it's wise to do so. Her male counterpart is strong but flawed, and appreciates how she counterbalances him. The cast of supporting characters are all distinctly individual, and equally interesting.

I am continually amazed at how Redwine can spin tales that take place over vast landscapes, leaving the reader with clear memories of scenes that take place in a particular place on the story's map. I have vivid visual memories of the whole world as it's described in this book; forests, mountains, rivers, stretches of open field all pop from the page in such lush description that you'll soak up the plot based on where the characters are found in a given scene.

The magic at play is reminiscent of the tale of Snow White, yet manifests a little differently. I appreciate the thought of requesting that nature lend its strength without taking it by force. The strength of peaceful cooperation is a theme that is worthy of discussion, especially in teen conversation. There is also a nod to the enormous power of a mother's love that particularly resonates with me.

Readers have asked for diverse characters. Readers have requested strong females. Readers continue to love complex characters living in magical lands where perseverance is rewarded that good prevails. This book delivers it all, in a re-purposed fairy tale that has been made fresh and new. This is good stuff, friends. Put it on your to-be-read list, and pre-order a copy so you can get to it at once.

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.


  1. Yea! You're review made me so happy. I picked this one because of the cover, I must admit. No previous experience with this author. Can't wait to get to it. Thanks!

  2. OOoh nice!!! I soooooo cannot wait to read this one! I couldn't get into Defiance myself, but this one seems to be calling my name because I love fairy tale retellings! Glad to hear you enjoyed it! Great review!

  3. Glad to see that you ladies are excited about the book! Mission accomplished. :D


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