Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: February 16th 2016.
My Rating: 2 stars
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 is going in this year with me and books I’ve been highly anticipating for ages? The Shadow Queen was a book I couldn’t wait to gobble up after hearing about it in a few months back, being in the lacklustre book run I had been in it sounded exactly what I needed: a kickass MC, an unexpected romance, and a fierce battle between individuals, one trying to remain in control and one trying to gain back what was rightfully hers. And don’t get me wrong The Shadow Queen started off wonderfully with perspectives from Lorelai, Kol and Irina I was hooked, also despite getting perspectives from these characters we were still in the dark about the full extent to what the characters would go (or be forced against their will) in order to remain in control.
Irina was a right piece of work, she had everything but still this wasn’t enough for her, she wouldn’t stop until she had killed her stepdaughter Lorelai. But being powerful as she was, she also had her weaknesses, her power could only go on for so long and in order to reserve her energy, the perfect strategy falls into her lap: use Kol as a huntsman to track Lorelai down. I did like this retelling aspect and with me also sort of knowing how things would end I was eager to find out how our characters would deal with the numerous obstacles thrown in their way. I admired Lorelai and her fierceness, how nine years later she was still trying to keep her promise to her father, to keep her brother safe and avenge Irina for all the destruction she had caused. But at times I was unsure whether Lorelai would be able to do it as Irina would never give up, destroying everything that would come in her way. Despite starting off great, I found my concentration waning in the second half. I did like the introduction of Kol and his interactions with Lorelai, but aspects of the story just got a bit too farfetched for my liking that I found myself skimming over a lot of the second half of the book. I also didn’t care for the characters after a while. Yes I wanted Irina to be put in her place, but the gusto and brilliance that The Shadow Queen started off with lost its spark with me. Which is a real shame as I adored Redwine’s books in the past; her writing has always had a great ability to get me lost in a world wind of her incredible world building skills. But alas The Shadow Queen was not meant to be.