Friday, February 26, 2016

The Shadow Queen: DRAGONS!!

Title: The Shadow Queen
Author: C.J. Redwine
Genre: Young Adult, High Fantasy
Source: Balzer + Bray via Edelweiss

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.
Review by Nara


Also really well done was the romance! The romance was just brilliant in how skilfully Redwine was able to tweak the relationship between Lorelai and Kol. It was obviously pretty tricky to balance because there was a magic aspect to the connection between the characters (which you can read about for yourself), but Redwine was able to give each character a nice focus. I liked how the characters wanted to concentrate on the big problems rather than forget everything to romance, leading to a nice slow burning maybe-friendship to romance.
And okay, it got a bit sappy towards the end but I didn't even care.

I have to admit, the villain and her motivations for a life of evil were a bit typical, but I was mostly okay with that since she was still a somewhat interesting character. A couple of other things did bother me, one of which was that the world building honestly wasn't that great. I didn't really understand the magic system at all- it didn't seem to have many limitations, and what even is this "taking power from the land"? Is the land sentient? Who knows. This surprisingly didn't impact too much on my opinion of the novel (considering I'm normally a huge world building reader), mostly because it was so plot and character driven that the other things almost didn't have to be there.

Lorelai was such a badass! I mean, I did feel like she was a bit too powerful at times, and things went a little too easily for her, but in the end there was an acceptable explanation for all that. Kol was so awesome as well. I basically loved him from the first chapter we met him- I do have a weakness for pranksters with softer sides. We also had a really nice cast of supporting characters that perhaps could've used a little more development, seeing as though they were so interesting.

I can't wait to read the rest of the books in the series, even if they're only companions rather than sequels!

Overall: 9/10
Plot: 4/5
Romance: 4.5/5
Writing: 5/5
World Building: 2.5/5
Characters: 4/5
Cover: 4/5