The Shadow Queen by C.J.Redwine

shadow queen

4 out of 5 stars.

I received an ARC.

I tend to not really like rewrites of Snow White. She was always one of my least favourite princesses, partly because the Disney version is so dull, partly because, in the original, she gets taken in by the same trick 3 different times. Not the sharpest knife in the princess drawer. This version is really quite good and does some interesting things with the story.

Lorelai is a princess in hiding, ever since Queen Irina seized the throne. Irina is slowly draining the land of it’s vitality in order to increase her own power, and draining the life out of her subjects to harvest their magic. Lorelai must regain her throne before there is nothing left of her kingdom to save.

Kol is a dragon prince suddenly thrust into power when his family is killed. His land is being overrun by ogres, and magic is the only way to stop them. To stop his kingdom from being overrun, he must make a deal with Irina. He expects to have to hand over gold, but the price demanded for her help is Lorelai’s heart. Since he has a taste of her scent, he is on the hunt. But killing an innocent, even to save a kingdom, is harder than he thought.

I like how proactive Lorelai is and how she has power of her own. It is a good change from the very simpering and simple Snow White of Disney. She is strong and powerful and has magic. She will fight.

The evil Queen having to suck citizens dry to replenish her magic yet still slowly being killed by it is a nice twist on magic. There are only a few series that have magic use being lethal to the wielder, and I tend to enjoy them. It seems to make a more balanced universe if untold God-like power comes at some sort of a cost. The Queen doesn’t have much of a backstory, but that can come as a novella later if the author is willing.

Thanks to “Seraphina” and Rachel Hartman, I have a fond attachment to shapeshifting dragons, so the Prince is a good character. Dragon anatomy and emotions are touched on  and the interplay between Kol and Lorelai develops into a nice relationship.

The pace was quick and exciting and the ideas behind the rewrite were novel and interesting. I really enjoyed this book and I can’t wait for the next one to be released.

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