24 March, 2016

#BookReview :: The Shadow Queen (Ravenspire #1) by C.J. Redwine

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. 

I kept stumbling onto this book all over the internet. Goodreads, Blogger, Instagram and Facebook feeds were just overflowing with people gushing about this book. It also did not help that I, in fact, love fairy tale retellings. As a result, I ended up buying this book on an impulse on Amazon. This was one of those times when I was sorely disappointed. The book wasn’t bad, not really. It is just that with all the hype around it, I was expecting much more.

Lorelai Diederich has been on the run with her younger brother for years – since the night she used her magic against Irina. The wicked queen not only took the Ravenspire throne from her but she also lost her father forever. Now grown up and craving justice and revenge, Lorelai is preparing to fight Irina’s magic with her own.  Meanwhile, the kingdom of Eldr is under attack and when Prince Kol’s father and older brother are killed by an invading army of magic-wielding ogres, Kol is expected to step up and not only take the throne but also save his kingdom. As the second-born prince, Kol had never really expected to have to take the throne and assume such immense responsibility. He finds himself making a deal with the queen of Ravenspire to help save his kingdom from the ogres by fighting magic with magic. When Lorelai and Kol’s paths cross – they discover hope, love and each other.

The plot of this retelling was actually quite interesting. A Dragon Prince’s involvement did give the age old story a new twist. I also liked the concept of magic that the author has portrayed in the book. Then there is Leo, Lorelai’s younger brother… I am all for girl power but between Lorelai, the all-powerful Madrushka, and the very human Leo – I would have chosen Leo.  I wish the author had a bigger role for him. In the small part that Leo plays in the book, I fell for the character. He is funny, witty, charming, and dynamic. I am pretty sure that given the chance, he would have made a great leader too. His presence really is the brightest spot in the book.

Lorelai, Kol and Irina are the three main characters in the story and they all fell flat. Lorelai is said to be very powerful, beautiful, brave and a great tactician. But it is all said – we do not really get to see or feel any of it for ourselves. Kol turns out to be a moaning, chivalrous guy who actually is of no use. The chemistry between Lorelai and Kol does nothing but feel forced. And Irina is my greatest disappointment in the books. I always believe that the protagonists are only as good as they need to be to defeat the antagonist… and in this case Irina was pretty easy to defeat. Irina’s relationship with Victor had some potential to touch the readers, but even that fell flat in the end.

I have to say that pick this book up at your own risk. It seems that a lot of people did like it, but it just didn’t make the cut for me.

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