Review: The Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine

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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.

This is a book that would have made a good movie. While the romance is a bit fanfiction-y in places, the actual conflict between the two queens is good. Sometimes I just wished for a little MORE from some parts, but this is a book that rarely slowed down in the action and honestly had a lot going on, from two different kingdoms and a lot of things that had to happen before the final confrontation. That all being said, Kol was one of the better done male love interests I’ve read in YA lately. For some reason all the books we’ve read in our YA book club so far has had paper thin male love interests. That wouldn’t be such an issue if you didn’t end up wondering why the female lead was ever interested in them. We’ve just gone through four books with barely passable male leads and this one is the first that the male character seems able to stand alone pretty well.

4 out of 5

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