The Shadow Queen
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release Date: February 16th 2016
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 got an eARC of this book from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review from the publisher, none of my thoughts are affected by that.
I am not someone who reads a lot of retellings, partly because I can never pick up a book that is a retelling but I definitely do now because if all retellings are as good as The Shadow Queen, then sign me up. You can probably now tell that I really enjoyed reading this book. The writing was great, I really enjoyed the characters, and I am so excited for the world this book takes place in. If you're looking for a great fantasy retelling with a very interesting antagonist, definitely check out The Shadow Queen because it may be for you.
This book is told in three points of view: Kol, Lorelai, and Irina. I think telling the story within these three characters brought great perspectives to the book. Not only do we get to read from Lorelai's point of view, but also get to see what Irina and Kol are up to. Each character was different in their attitude toward the whole situation and that made reading each character's perspective a little bit more interesting because I never got too comfortable reading one person's perspective. Kol's story line kept me on my toes, I was always dying to read about Lorelai, and whenever an Irina chapter would show up, I devoured it because she also has a really great storyline. Irina was a great antagonist thought. She is such an unexpected character honestly. Some of the things she did completely took me by surprise and she is definitely a huge factor to why this book was so suspenseful and had so many twists and turns. She is like the mini version of Queen Luna from the Lunar Chronicles. They both take sacrifices for things they love and you really love them, despite the fact that they're pure evil.
Like I mentioned above, the world really interested me, along with the magic and Irina and Lorelai both had. Reading about the different abilities and things you could do with the magic was so enjoyable and one reason on why I really enjoy the Ravenspire world. I'm pretty sure the next book is going to have a different set of characters but I am excited to see how that will work out because if it's a spin-off, I have zero ideas on what characters will be in the spin-off.
I gave this book 5 stars because it was a fabulous read with a great world, magic, and I loooooved the characters in this book.
There are so many great things I really loved about this book, especially the adorable ending. I didn't know that this book was going to be the only one about Lorelai at the time so I was really hoping that somehow the ending would lead to a possible plot for the next book but alas, it seems that we will not get that. The ending was so cute though. I loved being able to see Lorelai finally take her rightful place as the Queen and still being able to continue having a relationship with Kol. Being able to communicate with him through their minds is definitely useful... Ugh, they're so cute guys I can't evennnn.
I'm really sad that Leo died but at the same time, I feel like it needed to happen. We all know that this book would have gone really differently if he didn't die and Leo gave Lorelai something to fight for, other than the fact that she was supposed to be Queen, not Irina. His death was pretty sad but he died protecting his sister, which is what he had probably wanted. (Other than dying of old age.)