Ravenspire #1: The Shadow Queen

Book Information
Rating: Significant Shortcomings
Reading/Interest Level: Young Adult
Author: C.J. Redwine
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Year: 2016
ISBN: 9780062360243
Pages: 387

Lorelai is a princess on the run from the evil queen who used her magic to enslave the kingdom and take control over Lorelai’s father. Using her own magic and the help of her younger brother and the man who has helped them survive for years as fugitives, Lorelai plans to defeat Queen Irina. Her challenge increases when Queen Irina makes a deal with Kol, the heir to the throne of a neighboring kingdom called Eldr. Kol needs magic to protect his kingdom against the ogres invading it, so he promises to bring Queen Irina Lorelai’s heart in exchange for the magic he desperately needs. When Kol and Lorelai start to fall in love, they combine forces to take control back over their kingdoms and protect the things they care most about from Irina.

This book is Snow White retold with classic fantasy elements of a heroine wanting to reclaim her kingdom, getting a group of friends to assist her, and falling in love along the way. Most of the story isn’t well developed and just puts Snow White into those fantasy tropes. The world has some interesting elements like the dragon huntsman, but a lot of it isn’t developed. The use of magic, ogres, and the Russian sounding words aren’t explained so sometimes it feels like the author merged Snow White and the Huntsman with the Grisha trilogy. The characters are also generic. Kol and Lorelai don’t have much chemistry and their dialogue was unoriginal. Magic is rare, but somehow Lorelai has it and more than anyone ever has before. Most of the characters are stereotypical, and the most interesting character dies at the beginning of the book. Some of the ideas are fun and interesting, but it needed more originality to bring readers in.

*Contains moderate violence.