The Shadow Queen

The Shadow Queen

4.5 13
by C. J. Redwine
     
 

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A New York Times bestselling dark epic fantasy inspired by the tale of Snow White, from C. J. Redwine, the author of the Defiance series. This breathtakingly romantic, action-packed fantasy is perfect for fans of A Court of Thorns and Roses and Cinder.   

Lorelai Diederich, crown princess and fugitive at large, has one mission&

Overview

A New York Times bestselling dark epic fantasy inspired by the tale of Snow White, from C. J. Redwine, the author of the Defiance series. This breathtakingly romantic, action-packed fantasy is perfect for fans of A Court of Thorns and Roses and Cinder.   

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 of his own—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.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
11/30/2015
An exiled princess with magic at her fingertips, an evil queen who wants to kill her, and a young king trying to save his people are a few of the central figures in this expansive reinterpretation of Snow White. Princess Lorelai wants the throne back from Queen Irina, who killed Lorelai’s family nine years ago and rules Ravenspire by starving its citizens. Enter Kol, who ascends to the throne of Eldr when his family is killed by ogres; Kol can transform into a dragon, but his army can’t vanquish the ogres alone. Lorelai and Kol find themselves at odds—Kol has made a blood oath with Irina to take Lorelai’s heart in exchange for her magical support—yet are also drawn to each other. Redwine’s (the Defiance trilogy) writing is fluid and sure, and she has created a fully imagined fairy tale landscape. The line between good and evil is always clear, with characters either good or terrible, which adds a certain predictability, but fantasy lovers should find it easy to get drawn into the story. Ages 13–up. Agent: Holly Root, Waxman Leavell Literary Agency. (Feb.)
Rae Carson
Praise for DEFIANCE: “C.J. Redwine’s DEFIANCE is a gritty, thrilling adventure sprinkled with moments of breathtaking tenderness. I read it in one sitting.”
VOYA, June 2016 (Vol. 39, No. 2) - Kristi Sadowski
After exposing her wicked stepmother for corrupting her father and the kingdom of Ravenspire with magic, Lorelai Diederich is forced to flee with her younger brother and a loyal guard while she still a child. Her father does not survive the encounter, leaving the trio fugitives until Lorelai is old enough and her magic strong enough to reclaim her throne from the wicked Queen Irina. Meanwhile, in a neighboring kingdom, Prince Kol is thrust upon the throne when his parents and older siblings are slaughtered battling ogres. Like many in his kingdom, Kol can shift between man and dragon but does not have the magic to defeat the ogres. Instead, he takes flight to Ravenspire to beg the sorceress Queen Irina for assistance in winning back his kingdom. Irina uses Kol as a weapon against Lorelai, but of course the two are drawn together with much more romantic feelings than those of enemies. Engaging from the start, this is a perfect addition to the fractured fairy genre. However, Redwine has also created her own story, which will delight readers. This is sure to be popular and is a must-purchase for all collections, especially since the princess does not need any saving in this tale. Reviewer: Kristi Sadowski; Ages 12 to 18.
School Library Journal
12/01/2015
Gr 9 Up—An action-packed retelling of "Snow White" with elements of horror and romance. Princess Lorelei fled the Ravenspire castle nine years ago, when her stepmother Irina used dark magic to kill her father and enslave the court. Now the 17-year-old and her younger brother live in hiding, coming out only in disguise to raid royal food storehouses and feed her country's starving people. This princess is smart, a skilled fighter, and a powerful magic user herself, and she has a long-range plan: gain the people's favor and topple the usurper queen. In a parallel plot, teenage king Kol travels to Ravenspire to beg Irina to save nearby country Eldr from invading ogres. In return for her help, the wicked queen compels Kol to hunt down Lorelei and bring back her heart. As the teens' stories come together, the outcome affects both countries. There are some truly cinematic moments here: predatory vines with eyeless heads, Lorelei sprinting up the sides of buildings, and Irina imprisoning an elderly noblewoman inside a tree and forcing her to choke out poisoned apples hour after hour. Kol's Eldrian people can change into dragons, and this novel finally answers the question of where shape-shifters put their clothes while in animal form (dragon-size backpacks!). In a refreshing departure from the original, when Kol inevitably falls in love with Lorelei, it's for her strength and selflessness rather than her beauty. VERDICT Great fun, and a first purchase where dark fantasy or fairy tale retellings are popular.—Beth Wright Redford, Richmond Elementary School Library, VT
Kirkus Reviews
2015-10-06
"Snow White" forms the loose foundation for this tale of a princess who has lost her kingdom to her wicked stepmother. Lorelai escaped when Irina killed her family and took over Ravenspire. Both Lorelai and Irina are magic-working mardushkas, but Irina is both strong and evil, using her talents to squeeze the kingdom for power and deliberately leaving her citizens to starve. Meanwhile, in nearby Eldr, populated by beings who can shift shape and become dragons, Kol suddenly becomes king when ogres invade. He turns to Irina for help, unaware that she is evil. Lorelai, who has been hiding, presumed dead, for years, meets Kol and the two form an alliance, despite Kol's blood oath to kill her for Irina's aid. The two sides fight back and forth as a predictable fairy-tale romance blossoms between them. Redwine includes some nicely imagined scenes, especially Irina's use of poisoned apples and Lorelai's telepathic pet gyrfalcon, which becomes perhaps the most interesting character in the book, with its bird's worldview: "Kill overgrown lizard. Eat the eyes, tear out the heart," it declares, seeing a dragon. The story drags when Redwine repeats herself, telling readers numerous times that if Lorelai uses magic, it will reveal her to Irina. For the most part, the story is a full-bore fantasy fairy tale with magic slung around with abandon and battles aplenty. Undemanding fantasy fun. (Fantasy. 12-18)
Julie Kagawa
Praise for DEFIANCE: “Spellbinding, romantic, and impossible to put down.”
Booklist
Praise for DECEPTION: “An engaging fantasy”
Romantic Times
Praise for DEFIANCE: “A well-paced, heart-wrenching tale of loyalty, courage, and love.”
Maria V. Snyder
“With poison, fire, and deadly deeds, this tale is hard to put down and even harder to forget. I’ll never look at apples the same way again!”
Jodi Meadows
“Magic, dragons, and royalty in hiding: The Shadow Queen hits all the right notes of an incredible epic fantasy.”
Marissa Meyer
“Forget everything you think you know about Snow White. There are no shrinking violets here, just a bold and cunning princess determined to save a kingdom that’s rotting beneath dark magic…. A gripping addition to the retelling genre.”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062360243
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
02/16/2016
Pages:
400
Sales rank:
13,143
Product dimensions:
8.30(w) x 5.70(h) x 1.40(d)
Age Range:
13 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

C. J. Redwine loves fairy tales, Harry Potter, and any movie starring Johnny Depp. She is also the author of Defiance and Deception. If the novel-writing gig ever falls through, she'll join the Avengers and wear a cape to work every day. C.J. lives in Nashville with her husband and children.

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The Shadow Queen 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
from the strong characters, to the powerful emotions, this book will have you dying for sequel!!!! I know I am! ( please make a sequel)
19269684 3 months ago
Normally when a story is re-told, then told again, and again and again, it becomes zestless, boring and stagnant. That's not the case with this tale, though I am becoming bored with the Snow White redux. I can happily say, The Shadow Queen, by C. J. Redwine, was different and written in a way, you could almost overlook the fact that it's recycled! I wanted this book because of the amazing photo. I know it's nothing but a black apple with stenciled lettering, but it's so crisp, clean and HD'd to death- I had to read it. And you know what, sometimes you can judge a book by its cover. It was devilishly good. The story is about a battle of witches for one kingdom- pretty much. It's a continuous fight between Queen Irina and Princess Lorelei, step-mother verses child. The princess is trying her best to defeat her evil step-mother in retaliation for killing her family and destroying the surrounding lands of Ravenspire and its people. Using an insidious vine that grows black, poisonous apples, the Queen takes from everywhere and everyone to stay strong and alive, but she's got a weakness. And a slightly weak backstory... *For Full Book Review: http://tinyurl.com/zep3hak **Book is from my personal library, for an honest review.
manduhpaigereads 4 months ago
Actual Rating: 4.5 stars. I absolutely LOVED this Snow White retelling. Lorelai was a fantastic heroine, she was such a strong character, and I really loved Kol as well! We didn't see as much of the side characters as I would have liked, but I thought they were well developed as well. Irina was such a great Evil Queen! I thought she was almost as evil as Queen Levana from the Lunar Chronicles. In the sea of retellings that have been published recently The Shadow Queen was truly unique. When I heard this was a Snow White retelling with dragons I was really skeptical as to how that would work, but C. J. Redwine did a fantastic job! The world and magic system were both intriguing and I really loved that Lorelai and Kol could only communicate through their mental connection through most of the book. I highly recommend picking this book up, especially if you absolutely love retellings as much as I do! Now give me the sequel, please.
BellesBeastlyBookBlog 4 months ago
I am a big fan of fairytale adaptions and retellings, but I also get nervous because sometimes my beloved classics get torn apart and hardly resemble a fairytale anymore. Thankfully, that is not the case with Mrs. Redwine's "The Shadow Queen!" I really loved how it mirrored the Snow White story while feeling like it's own story on it's own. The characters were nice, though the death of one came at a shock and really did feel as though I lost a member of my family. I really hope she does more stories like this with other characters, but set in the same land so they all meet again.
KatsNook 9 months ago

The ShadowQueen is an exciting fairytale retelling and I loved this!


I’m not a fan of SnowWhite but author C.J. Redwine’s retelling involves a strong female character who I fell in love with. Lorelai Diederich is the crown princess of Ravenspire. When her father is murdered by her evil stepmother, the wicked queen, Lorelai is forced into hiding. During the years in hiding Lorelai learns to master the magic she inherited from her mother’s people. Even with the years of practice Lorelai fears she will not be strong enough to fight the wicked queen. But after a devastating tragedy Lorelai faces her fears in order to save her kingdom. I loved that Lorelai fights to save her people instead of waiting for her prince charming to rescue her.  Of course every fairytale has to have a handsome prince and in The Shadow Queen it is Kol. Kol is the newly crowned King of Eldr, a neighboring kingdom in need of magic to fight against the ogres. Kol and Lorelai forge an alliance to save each other’s kingdoms. Their relationship slowly builds from being allies into a swoonworthy romance that had me giddy. I’m a hopeless romantic so with all the tragedy that Lorelai and Kol endured I wanted a happily ever after ending for these two. And the author did not disappoint me! Lorelai and Kol have been added to my favorite couples list.


This is my first book from author C.J. Redwine and I loved her writing. The characters were well-developed and the story was exciting. I love her creativity and how she added unique twists to this classic tale. I plan to read more from this author.


Audiobook Review

I enjoyed Khristine Hvam narration of The Shadow Queen. I’ve heard her other narrations and she always brings a clear and entertaining performance. I love that she is able to createdistinct voices for each character and brings to life the emotions of each scene. The combination of author C.J. Redwine’s writing and Khristine Hvam’s performance had me captivated. I had a hard time putting this down and also didn’t want the story to end.

Shawni24 10 months ago
One of the best fairy tale book retelling I've read, lots of twists, turns and emotional moments that make you never wanna put it down. I truly hope that C. J. Redwine writes another fairy tale retelling book story that's just as good if not better than The Shadow Queen.
Anonymous 12 months ago
I really enjoyed this book. This book has wonderful characters and a wonderful plot. I had a hard time putting this book down.
Madison-s_Library More than 1 year ago
In a current era of young adult fiction where fairytale retellings abound in great numbers, this story is epic, clever, familiar, original, fun, and so enjoyable to read. With one tough, warrior princess, an evil queen, a gorgeous new fantasy world to discover, a charming and slightly adorable romantic interest and even dragons (dragons!!!), The Shadow Queen is set apart from your average fairytale retelling. Once upon a time there was a princess who was unlike any other princess. She lived, not in a castle but on the streets, moving from town to town. She was clever and strong. She fought and trained, and she worked hard for every mouthful of food. She loved her brother and desperately missed her dead father and mother, and she knew that one day she would enact revenge and would restore her kingdom to health and prosperity. Lorelai lost almost everything the day her stepmother, Irina, killed her father and assumed the crown of Ravenspire. Lorelai escaped with her younger brother Leo and loyal guardsman, Gabril. For nine years she has evaded Irina, stealing from the Queen's stores, helping the peasants who starve under Irina's harsh rule, and planning for the day when she can take back her kingdom. In the neighbouring kingdom of Eldr, Prince Kol is shocked by the tragic death of his family, leaving him to take the throne as Eldr's new king. But with ogres marching ever closer to the heart of his kingdom and leaving destruction in their wake, he fears his only available course of action is to approach Queen Irina of Ravenspire and beg for her help in securing Eldr's safety. Saying this book is just a fairytale retelling would be underselling it. Yes, there are many similarities to the original tale of Snow White and even some of the recent retellings in both print and film. There is an evil queen taking power from people's hearts, the use of apples for nefarious purposes and a kingdom that needs to be returned to its rightful ruler. The similarities end there though, as Lorelai is as opposite to a damsel in distress as possible (no enchanted sleep here), and there are no dwarves, seven or otherwise. As I look back though, there are little nods to the story which I didn't pick up on at first, but which make the whole story that much more clever and richly detailed. Ultimately this is a high-action fantasy, with one tough heroine. Lorelai is incredibly brave. She can run fast (not as fast as Leo, but still), she can fight, she can leap across buildings and she can run up walls!! But she is also very clever, and just a little bit devious. The Shadow Queen is written in third person, alternating between Lorelai, Kol and Irina's perspectives, which flows perfectly and allows readers to get to better know the characters and their true motivations. See my full review at my blog, Madison's Library
EmilieSG More than 1 year ago
I truly enjoyed this book. It was a wonderful combination of adventure, fantasy, and romance. The heroine, Lorelai, went on a believable journey of growth as she came into her own, learned to use the skills she possessed, and became the woman she was meant to be. Kol, who helped her on this journey, was also an excellent companion as he grew and changed into someone worthy of his birthright. The path both of these characters took as they developed was well-paced and well-thought-out. None of their actions or statements felt out-of-place, too fast, or too convenient. Both characters had to grow up, face personal demons, and learn to trust themselves (and each other) in order to take their place in the world. Which brings me to the setting. The world-building in the novel was very good. The setting and descriptions really helped bring the reader into the world of the characters, with their different countries. The author's use of language for place-names, characters' names, and the spells used was wonderful. The growing relationship between Lorelai and Kol also moved at a good pace. It felt very organic and natural, not at all forced. By the end of the novel they ended up at a very believable place, and it was very satisfying for the reader. My favorite quote from the book came from Lorelai, as she was making the momentous decision to face her greatest enemy: "I don't feel courageous." She turned toward the west. "I just see what needs to be done, and there's no one else to do it. No one else who can fight Irina with the weapon she's used to destroy Ravenspire. It has to be me. That doesn't make me a warrior. That just makes me the best tool for a necessary job." That quote really spoke to me. Lorelai didn't feel as though she was a hero. She felt as though she had a duty, a destiny to fulfill. And she did her best to complete her task. That her actions made her a hero was just a consequence of her belief that she must do what was right for herself and her people. My only problem with the novel was some of the words used. "Creepy" was used several times, in a way that seemed too modern for this book. It felt out of place and took me out of the action and jarred me out of the setting of the book. Some of the dialogue by Trugg also seemed to "modern." Some of the things he said just felt very out of place for the world that the author created--as though he was picked up from a show on the CW Network and stuck into this medieval fantasy setting. It felt forced and as though he did not belong. Overlooking these few issues, I truly enjoyed reading this book. I would definitely recommend this book and this author. I would look forward to visiting this world again in future novels.
book_junkee More than 1 year ago
I loved CJ's Defiance series,so I couldn't wait to get my hands on the book. I adored Lorelai and Kol. They're awesome separate, but amazing together and their predicament makes things interesting. Never fear, there is still some delicious banter and sweet swoons. The cast of characters is relatively small and it was fantastic to have a fantasy story without eleventy billion names that all look the same. Each character is important and I can't even talk about the awesomeness that is Lorelai's bird, Sasha, or brother, Leo. The plot was intriguing and the ending is perfect. For the entire book I was in that crazy space of wanting to hurry and wanting to savor. I can't wait to see if there's more. **Huge thanks to Balzer + Bray and Edelweiss for providing the arc in exchange for an honest review**
erinlee20 More than 1 year ago
3.5 stars From the moment I saw the cover of The Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine, I knew I was going to love this book. Plus, I loved Redwine’s Defiance series so I knew I had to check this one out. I know there are mixed reviews on this one but I don’t even care - I love a good retelling and this one gave me what I wanted when I picked it up. Lorelai Diederich is the crown princess and the currently hiding from her step-mother, the woman who stole the Ravenspire throne and destroyed her family. As Lorelai tries to figure out how she can protect her people, save her kingdom, and get rid of the evil queen, she experiences love and great loss as well as learns more about who she is and what she is destined to become. This story has quite a bit of action and I loved when Prince Kol came into the story. He has his own issues and they revolve around the war his kingdom is fighting. Having recently lost his parents and older brother, Kol realizes he needs the help of the Ravenspire throne and magic to save his kingdom. Because of this, he enters into a contract that puts him up against Lorelai even though he doesn’t want to be. There’s also something about Kol that I won’t tell you that makes him a pretty formidable opponent for Lorelai. Overall I enjoyed this book and look forward to the next book in the series. If you are looking for a bit of fantasy and some swoony bits all within a fairytale retelling, consider checking this one out. I look forward to more from Redwine can’t wait to see the cover on the finished book.
BlkosinerBookBlog More than 1 year ago
I wanted to read.this one because I read her other series and liked the synopsis of this one. The once upon a time backstory was nice in some ways but it was also a lot of information all at once. Source: Harper Teen via Edelweiss Disclaimer: I received this book as an ARC (advanced review copy). I am not paid for this review, and my opinions in this review are mine, and are not effected by the book being free. Once it got into the perspectives from Lorelei and Kol, I started to get into it more. Lorelei is a princess in hiding from her stepmom the evil queen. They both use magic but the queen uses hers for evil, and Lorelei tries to get the crown back, to get food for her people and free them from irina's evil influence. Kol was the price of his kingdom but his parents and brother pass away unexpectedly and he becomes king. His people are at war.when ogres and even though they shift into dragons, they are still at a disadvantage, so he sets out to make an alliance with irina, not realizing her character. But fate puts Kol in debt to Lorelei for saving his life and neither realize how connected their paths would be. Lorelei is strong, knows how to fight, has a great mind and a heart in the right place. She travels with and is very close to her brother and a soldier who was loyal to their father and snuck them out on the night a young Lorelai used her magic against the queen and made her on the run and nation's most wanted. Both lorelai and Kol were both very honorable they wanted the best for their lands and they weren't willing to really sacrifice their morality to get it. they found ways to have the land help them without casualties but to get the Queen Irina's attention and even when Kol was turned against Lorelei he used every fiber of his being not to hurt her even though he was sent by the Queen to hunt the princess. He fought irinas magic even though it caused him a great deal of physical pain. Bottom Line: Enjoyed the character and the romance.
Alyssa75 More than 1 year ago
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog*** The Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine Book One of the Ravenspire series Publisher: Balzer + Bray Publication Date: February 16, 2016 Rating: 4 stars Source: ARC sent by the publisher Summary (from Goodreads): 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. What I Liked: I adore retellings! Especially fairy tales ones. Redwine's Defiance trilogy is one of my favorite trilogies, and as soon as I saw that she was working on a "fairy tale project", I knew I would love it. This book was delightful to read! I breezed through it so quickly - the pages could not turn fast enough for me! Lorelai and her younger brother Leo have been hiding from Queen Irina, who killed their father nine years ago, and took the Ravenspire throne. Lorelai is the rightful queen, and she, Leo, and the former captain of the guard have been plotting to take back the throne for Lorelai. Lorelai's magic will be very important in attempting to defeat Irina. In the kingdom of Eldr, Prince Kol is now King Kol, after his father and older brother were killed by ogres. Kol strikes a deal with Irina - banish the magical-wielding ogres, and Kol will bring Lorelai's heart to Irina. But when Kol catches Lorelai, he finds that he cannot do it, and he fights Irina's control over him. Together, the princess and the dragon king could destroy Irina - but Irina is not so easy to kill. I had no idea that this book had dragons in it! Kol and the people of Eldr are human dragons with two hearts, a human one and a dragon one. Kol is a fierce Draconi warrior who can hunt and catch prey easily - which is why Irina struck the deal with him. Who better to find Lorelai than a master dragon huntsman? Kol is honorable and noble and loyal, but unfortunately, making the deal with Irina gave her control over him. It's with Lorelai's help that he get control back, bit by bit. But Irina has his human heart, so they must destroy Irina not only to restore the Ravenspire, but to get Kol's human heart back. So I really liked Kol. I also liked Lorelai. She is sweet and kind like Snow White, but she is also very tough and intelligent, analytical and calculating. Read the rest of my review on my blog, The Eater of Books! - eaterofbooks DOT blogspot DOT com :)