The Shadow Queen – C.J. Redwine (Review)

Title: The Shadow Queen (Ravenspire #1)
Author: C.J. Redwine
Publisher: Balzer + Bray, 2016 (Feb 16)
Genre: YA Fantasy, YA Retellings

**I received a copy of this book free from SocialBookCo in exchange for an honest review**

This review can be found on my BlogTeacherofYA’s Tumblr, or my Goodreads page

My Review: 

First of all, I am a big fan of the concept behind SocialBookCo. If you haven’t heard of it, bloggers can receive a book for review and then others can buy the book cheaper than most places! I love it! And they sent me a beautiful copy of The Shadow Queen, a book I’ve been dying to read for months now. 

I should have posted the review days ago, but you all by now know about my move and all the packing I’ve been doing.

Can we take a moment and enjoy this breathtaking cover from Redwine?


That’s the one positive about physical books…you get to touch them and own them and share them on your Bookstagram!

Here’s a simple cover image without the distraction of my hand, lol.


So beautiful. #coverlove.

Anyway, let me tell you about the first book in the Ravenspire world (though with the black apple, you can imagine that it’s a retelling for Snow White right off the bat…and I love me a good retelling!):

Lorelai Diederich, the daughter of the king, has had her world shattered. Her stepmother Irina, her mother’s sister, remarried after Lorelei’s mother died. Unfortunately for her, it was to her own father, the King of Ravenspire. Irina is a mardushka, someone who is in touch with magic, and as Lorelai grows up, she sees the twisted way Irina uses her powers to control the citizens, as well as her own father and brother.

When she tries with her own magic to oust Irina and expose her for her dark ways, she loses her father and must take her younger brother and flee.

She hides for the next ten years, planning with her brother Leo a way to retake the throne that rightfully belongs to her.

Kol is a dragon shifter from the kingdom of Eldr. He finds himself facing ogres that are much more powerful than the dragon powers Kol and his people share. He needs help. He needs a mardushka. And the only mardushka he knows that it powerful enough is Queen Irina, a Queen he does not know is actually a usurper to the crown. And not a nice one. 


When Kol goes to Irina for help, she agrees with a blood oath: she will take care of the ogres…as long as he takes care of Lorelai. He will become her huntsman though he doesn’t want to hurt anyone. But he needs to say Eldr and its people.

However, Lorelai is different than he expected: she’s strong and sure and the rightful heir of Ravenspire. He doesn’t want to hurt Lorelai. 

But soon he realizes he may not have a choice anymore.

Lorelai must deal with loss, magic, and the crumbling decay of her land…as well as a dragon hunter who needs something she isn’t really willing to give him: her heart. 


But he may unintentionally already own it.

And unfortunately for Lorelai, Irina is powerful, vengeful, and will do anything to keep what she believes is her rightful throne.


At least she’s determined. Right?

Is It Classroom-Appropriate?

Yes, this is a perfect and fun example of a retelling done well. It’s similar but different enough from Snow White. It has a dynamic of good vs evil, but we also get to see Irina’s POV, and see into the heart and mind of an “evil” Queen…or is she just misunderstood? Lots of discussion with this: compare and contrast, the fantasy elements…and there’s plenty of action for the male readers who aren’t really fairy tale readers. We have Kol’s POV so we can see how this “huntsman” thinks.

There is a lot of repetition, which pushes the point: when Kol is being controlled, he keeps repeating he is “fire, blood, and death.” This line is repeated and the emphasis is important. I can see bringing this into a fairy tale lesson plan. And I’m glad I have a copy I can use for classroom use! 

Age Range

Lexile.com has a suggested age range of 11-13, but I find that very narrow. It’s practically suggesting The Shadow Queen is a MG book. I say yes, it could be used for that purpose and age level, but I also think it has literary merit through 17 (and up of course). The score is 920L, which means that there is no HL designation…and that also means that it’s not inappropriate for younger readers. The score is similar to Harry Potter’s Lexile score of 880L, and Lexile suggested an age range for Sorcerer’s Stone at 9-17! So my determination would be this is a good read for those as young as 11, and through and surpassing 17 years old. 

End Result:

This book moves quickly though is over 300 pages. There is never a dull moment. I enjoyed it and cannot wait to read The Wish Granter, Redwine’s next book in the Ravenspire world. I see other books as well because thr map is quite detailed and there seems to be a whole world waiting to be addressed. 

So I can see the Ravenspire novels lasting awhile. And I’m excited to continue the journey with Redwine! 

I give The Shadow Queen ★★★★★. I would give it 4.5, but there are no half stars in the current rating Universe. I would rather round up on this one rather than down bc of the creative narrative and the wonderful plot just reminiscent of Snow White. 

So here’s my personal rating:


Are you interested in owning a copy of The Shadow Queen now that you’ve read my review? Would you like to find a competitive price or find other books to chose from? Or maybe just want to check out SocialBookCo? Please visit this link!

The Shadow Queen – SocialBookCo

Thanks for reading and I hope you do decide to give this book a try! I’m not exactly generous with my five stars…this one, in my opinion, deserves to be read and cherished! 

So what you guys reading? 

Don’t forget to check out The Wish Granter, the next book in the Ravenspire series! 


This one is based on Rumplestiltskin! Ahhhh! 

Advertisements

110 thoughts on “The Shadow Queen – C.J. Redwine (Review)

    1. That’s what I love about SocialBookCo! If you’re gonna get a copy, use the link bc it shows you the cheapest copies from the trusted sites!
      I hope I get to review more books from them. 😊😍😊😍

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I hope I do because it’s an ideal situation! If someone wants a book, and they buy it through your link, then you get some of the money and they do too and then you also get a book! I hope no matter how you read it, you love it!!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I enjoyed it a lot and I rarely get to own physical books so it was nice to get a copy to read and keep! I’m in love and can’t wait for The Wish Granter, though my friend has an ARC and will let me read it on her kindle!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Great review for this book Stephanie, and I’m glad to see you loved it as well. I read The Shadow Queen last year and really enjoyed it myself. I’m a massive fan of fairytale retellings and while The Shadow Queen wasn’t the most original one I’d picked up I still thought it worked really well telling the story and creating an interesting plot out of a fairytale that’s been told a lot of times already.
    I need to pick up The Wish Granter, also the maps at the beginning of the book are gorgeous aren’t there, seems like there’s going to be a lot of Ravenspire books being released! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s what I’m hoping! I love retellings and I love the idea of a world of them in books!
      I was really surprised I liked it so much. I almost gave it four stars but I really enjoyed the book. I do wish the physical descriptions could have been better bc I had a hard time picturing some of the characters…but other than that I really enjoyed it.
      So glad you stop by every time and I keep seeing your reviews and wanting to read them in my email: can’t wait to catch up to my fave blog! 😍

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think retellings are always going to be one of my favourite genres as well. I think I gave this one four stars but honestly I reviewed it so long ago I really can’t remember now.
        Of course, I love seeing your reviews and posts as well. There are a few books you’ve recommend I’ll be getting around to see (The Kiss of Deception for example)! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

    2. I love retellings too and I am so excited for you to read Kiss of Deception…I own two copies by accident bc I won a book giveaway and was going to get the last book in the series bc it was an option but I told the giveaway person that I didn’t own the first one, so she sent me that one instead. Then I was at the library bookstore and they had a virtually unused copy for $1! I couldn’t pass it up bc it was brand new! I Wish I could trade it for another book in the series! Lol!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hey there are a couple of books I own two copies of, but they’re favourites of mine so I don’t regret it at all. I guess you feel that way about The Kiss of Deception. I plan to get started on the series next week so I’ll let you know what I think as I read them! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I really enjoyed this one. Her writing style is so light and refreshing but not without the necessary complexities. She is one of the few YA authors I will most likely pick up again. Very solid review that I agree with ❤

    I hope Social Book Co continues to pan out for you. They sent me one book as soon as I signed up and then that was the end.. they stopped responding and I have all but given up at this point. The initial response was great and then the experience fell flat. So who knows.. maybe they disliked my review haha 😛

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No. I don’t think that is it. Sammi said the same thing. I’m thinking the business model isn’t working out: not enough ppl buying the book from their links to make it worth the books they are sending out. I know they are not accepting new subscribers…it’s a shame too, because they were better in choice than other book blogging sites. And the idea of making some money was nice.
      I love her writing and I bought Defiance on sale. Hopefully it is good! I’m glad you liked her books, too!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I will look forward to seeing your thoughts on Defiance. I have read about it but never purchased.

        I agree that it is too bad about Social Book Co. They did not even bother to respond to my last email, so I will be cancelling my account I think. Oh well. It happens. I am glad you received this title at least ❤

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Yes, me too. I had to email them even to get this one. I’m hearing a lot about this with them. I prob won’t get another book but I’m glad it was this one that I did get! 😊😊
      I won’t cancel in case they still decide to send me something. I keep my wishlist updated as much as possible.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Oooh, I haven’t heard of SocialBook, but it sounds like a super cool site. I’mma have to check it out. You always know the cool stuff, Stephanie. 😄 Anyway, I plan to read this book next, and I totally need to finish up my other books because you made me super excited to read this. Fantastic post!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I’m glad I could make you excited for this book!
      You better let me know what you think!
      Sign up for it! It’s pretty fun! And I get to keep my copy! I hope they add the sequel on there!

      Like

    1. Understandable! I know if I was to buy a book, I can get a physical copy for the same price so I completely understand. It will go on sale! Or you can always own it like I do! 😉
      There are dragons 🐉 if that helps! 😂😂😂

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Oh, yes, I’ve always been known for my “feminine wiles!”
      Where did I leave those? 🤔
      I keep losing them! 😂🤣😂
      It’s amazing you even think I have any! I’ve never been one to be thought of as a femme fatale or a temptress. I’m always column B over here! 🤷‍♀️🤣

      Liked by 1 person

    3. Where were men like you all my life? My self-esteem would be through the roof!
      I love it! I will never turn down flattery from you, JR! 😘😘😘😘
      And it’s not modesty: I’m really not used to someone using those adjectives to describe me…maybe B for Beast or Big or something derogatory. I was deemed “Seacow” from elementary to middle school. Oh, the fun times of youth.
      I wish I grew up in anywhere but AZ…the midwestern guys seem not to mind us plus sized girls!
      But still looking for Mr. Right…and JR is taken….sigh. 😔

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We are everywhere, we are legion!

        Plus, if we go to Utah I hear polygamy is legal! 😉 We could even get our own reality television show!

        Seriously though, I’ve seen your pictures and you are one gorgeous woman. Learn to believe that (humbly of course), and your beauty will multiply tenfold.

        Liked by 1 person

    4. Ok, I promise I will work on it. Hard to change an ingrained self-image.
      I would go to Utah, but only bc there’s a bookstore called The King’s English and all the authors go there! If I have to be a polygamist to get my books signed, so be it! 😂😂😂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I was pleasantly surprised! I figured it would be mediocre or meh. But it wasn’t and I was thrilled. The idea isn’t (of course) wholly original, but it’s a quick and fun read and I love retellings.
      I’ve heard The Wish Granter isn’t as good, but I have a copy so I guess we will see!
      I look forward to seeing your opinion on this one! 😊😊😊

      Like

    1. It is very cool! And I picked it up during that sale, too!
      Essentially when you sign up, you list the genres you read and your top five on host TBR. Then when you write reviews, you add a link to the book so someone can find the book and buy it at a competitive price! Then I make a tiny commission to help me out…esp cause I’m broke!
      You should sign up! 😗😘😘

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Great review Stephanie! I didn’t rate high on this book because I didn’t like how Col only experience so much pain. And his character is not very smart because he didn’t do much to stand out besides playing a prank on the school’s principle? (forgot his title). Lorelai, the name is a turn off because all it runs through my mind is that sweet bookworm from the TV show with her mom named Lorelai. And she’s often controlling in this book, she comes up with an idea and do it her way. I like strategy discussions. There weren’t much. I did really like the apple coming out of that lady’s mouth though.. haha.. I do want to read book 2 too. Hopefully Overdrive will have it soon 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m fortunate to have book two on Kindle but it’s just so hard to read with all that’s going on…but I’m going to take the rest of tonight and enjoy the book I’m reading, Garden of Thorns. It’s going well so far. So fingers crossed!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s why I am hesitate to buy books now because so far I haven’t read any books I buy, except Harry Potter lol.. I am on vacation today and there’s so much to do. Read or write review or go to secondhand bookstores. I haven’t been out in awhile due to health issues.. I’m slowly getting better and I miss looking at books at bookstore haha.. You can’t buy anymore because it will cost a lot to move 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Oh yes! I haven’t gone to any book stores lately. It’s hard but I just don’t have the money. Doesn’t keep me from ebooks though!
      But my mom said if we stay for some reason, like if for some odd reason Florida falls through, she’ll get me a second book case. I’m already almost out of room in the first one.
      I have only three boxes of books packed so not too bad. I donated some and that has helped. I’ve also thought of getting rid of some Anne Rice and Charmaine Harris bc I just have not read them! So I would rather save room for books I know I’ll love than fill up with unknowns.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!!
      I can’t wait to hear what you think!
      (If you do buy a copy, feel free to use my link and help out SocialBookCo! Thei were awesome enough to let me review the book for free so trying to spread the love and message!)
      But let me know the min you read it!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Lovely review, Stephanie, thank you so much for sharing! I have been getting more and more into retellings lately, and loving every second of it, so I think that one’s right up my alley next, because Snow White, ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Great review, Stephanie! I’ve seen this book around and gone back and forth between wanting to read it and then not, but I think your review just sent me into the “want to read” territory once more. It sounds promising and entertaining, and I do enjoy the idea of retellings! So with the second book being about Rumpelstiltskin, does it mean that this one ended on an “ending” note? Like, will there be a sequel for the Snow White story or is that it for these characters?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m actually not sure! I need to ask Sammi bc she has read The Wish Granter and she would know. I’m thinking though that everything will tie in together like The Lunar Chronicles books…but that’s just what I am assuming.
      I hope I get to hear more from these characters bc you do grow attached. The positive is that you aren’t left with a cliffhanger and yet there’s a sequel. I like that aspect!
      I hope you give it a read,,,I know there are so many books but this one I am definitely glad to have in my library!

      Like

  7. I am so happy to see that you enjoyed this retelling! The author is coming to a book festival in Kentucky that I am attending in April, and I’ve been debating on picking this one up or not. It is available on my library’s digital audiobook database, so I just downloaded it! Hope I like it as much as you did 🙂

    Like

  8. Christy Luis

    The Social Book Company seems pretty cool! Unfortunately they’re closed to book reviewers now due to volume of requests; way to get in there my friend! It sounds like a great opportunity for you, although I know you’re ridiculously busy at the moment lol

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh I’m a big fan of retellings!! I’m not surprised about the cut off but I have heard from other bloggers that they got one book and never heard from them again. I think it has to do with how successful your blog is and how many people buy the book from my link. But to be honest, I have never heard of people buying books from the links on someone’s page.
        So I might not get another book. But I’m glad I got The Shadow Queen! 😉

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah it’s not working for me either. If I don’t check one day for some reason, it gets out of control. I’m thinking of just blog-hopping and doing it that way. I don’t know.
      I had 1400+ emails yesterday and now I’m down to 700…I’m going to keep going until they are gone! Then I’ll figure out what to do, bc I don’t like missing my blogger buddy posts!!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I have a Bloglovin account. I need to add a button on here bc I don’t think people know I have one!
      It’s hard to put buttons on my blog bc I have my iPad and it’s hard to use the Customizer on there. It would be awesome to use a reg computer. Putting code on here takes forever!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh yes, I understand that struggle! Before I had a laptop (I got it for Christmas 2015) I blogged… mostly on my iPod. I have no idea how I did it. But I’ve tried to use the customizer on my iPad a few times while on vacation and it’s a nightmare. Good luck!

        Liked by 1 person

    3. Really? Thank you!! That means a lot to me: I’d like to do so much more but I’m limited with my resources as you know!
      I’d like to get a paid domain soon: and I am doing my first giveaway at the end of the month! I’m looking forward to it!
      Thank you so much for loving my blog! It means so much to me.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Absolutely! Hahaha I totally get that.
        Ooo, how exciting! I have two duplicates- one because my mom forgot she bought me the book, and the other because I forgot I owned it, so I’d like to do a giveaway with those soon! My aunt bought me a paid domain, so I’m planning to change the name of my blog and everything. I actually just finished designing the header and I’m super excited to get it all set up!
        Of course! And you as well! 😄

        Liked by 1 person

    4. That’s fantastic! What a wonderful plan for your blog! So excited to see the new layout!
      What book did you get as a double? I have the same situation so it’s funny: I won a copy of any book and I picked The Kiss of Deception bc I love that series, and then I found a brand new HC copy at the library for $1! So I couldn’t let it sit there lol!
      So I’m thinking of something with that too!

      Liked by 1 person

    5. I have never heard of those! I’ll have to look them up!!
      Oh that series is amazing, and then she’s writing another book set in the same world soon! Ooh, so excited! Love love love her! ❤️ ❤️ ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

      1. OMIGOSH REALLY??? I haven’t read Proof of Forever and it seems to fly under the radar for the most part so I’m not surprised about that, but Counting by 7s is SO AMAZING and I LOVE IT TO DEATH I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU HAVEN’T HEARD OF IT I’M SORRY ABOUT THE CAPS THIS EXCITES ME
        Ooooh, really? I’m always behind on my author/book news. How do you keep up with it???

        Liked by 1 person

    6. Well, judging by the caps, I’m going to have to look that last one up for sure! Lmao!
      Umm, I get most from Twitter. It’s a wonderful resource for meeting authors and learning about new books and just all sorts of stuff. There’s drama of course but I mainly use it for talking to authors and learning about book news! And DMing friends!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Pingback: The Shadow Queen – C.J. Redwine (Review) | Naiha A. Mir's Blog

  10. Pingback: The Black Cat Blue Sea Award – DuskAngelReads

  11. Oh, thanks for the awesome review! I have an ebook of this and have been holding off on it for reasons unknown, haha. It sounds amazing though.

    I’d never heard of the SocialBookCo, I’m looking it up now! Hope maybe I can be a part too (though god knows I need more places to get books like I need holes in the head…eeeek!).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahahaha I know, right?? Like we need MORE access to books! 😂😂🤣
      I did enjoy this one and I’m eager to read The Wish Granter now. I even bought her book Defiance bc it was only $.99. So…I hope they’re both good!
      I am dying to know what you think when you do read this!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I really hope you like it!
      I am so glad I gave it a try (I’m a big sucker for retellings), and I will be reading The Wish Granter soon, which is a Rumplestiltskin Retelling, so I’m excited about that one!
      Thanks for reading! 😊😊😊

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Fantastic review, Stephanie! I haven’t had a chance to read a Snow White retelling yet, but this one seems like the best choice right now! I’m so glad you enjoyed this one. I like how it remains faithful but changes the story up in some places to keep it fresh. This one sounds like a winner. Also, the cover is gorgeous! Can’t wait to pick this one up!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yay!!
      If you grab a physical copy, there’s a link to a cheap site under the review. They helped me get my copy. However you read it, I will be dying to know what you think!
      ::holds breath and waits:: 😶🤞
      Let me know!! I really want you to like it!! I really do! 😊😘

      Liked by 1 person

  13. So glad to hear you enjoyed this and approve the twists to the retelling! Every time I hear people rave about this book in their reviews, it always makes it sound so epic. I mean, your GIFs pushes my imagination really far, I can’t even picture any teenagers in the Ravenspire universe. 😀 Has anyone told you how your “appropriate or not meter” is really interesting? I’ve never heard about the whole Lexile score system, and now I wonder how many teachers actually use this for their own courses. Fantastic review by the way! 😀

    – Lashaan

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Lashaan! That means so much to me. I want to make an actual gif rating System too….like something that goes with my stars, but I’m not very good with graphics. So I try to use words and scores. I’m so glad I could make this come alive for those who read it!
      And I love your shared blog with Trang! I’m so glad I can see you now (I never knew who you were before!) and that I can separate the two of you! Love love love your blog and am a diehard follower!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. This one sounds awesome but I’ve heard both good and bad reviews of it so I’m not sure which side I’ll take when I read it.
    I’m glad you loved it so much and hope the sequel is equally great! Both are now on my wishlist.
    Lovely review as always, Stephanie ^^

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yay!! I love it when people have books on their wishlist and then I’m dying to know what they think!
      I really want to read The Wish Granter soon…my friend gave me her Kindle info so I used it on my old iPad and now I have access to a whole new library of books! I gave her access to mine and it’s so fun! Have to trust that person pretty well…but it makes for a great selection!
      I have seen people who love this and people who were meh about it, but I haven’t really seen any negative, so I find that a good sign!
      So glad you like them! I really am!

      Like

    1. Thank you! I thought it was!
      I know some people were a little meh towards it, but I’m also really easy to please when it comes to my fantasy…I love action and romance and a decent plot. You have all those elements and I’m probably going to like it!
      This last one I read, Long May She Reign, was a big disappointment! So I think I’m a little picky with my fantasy, but all in all I like most of it. So I hope I was neutral here (but I’m a little biased toward fantasy in general if it keeps my attention, lol!)
      If you do check it out, I’d love to as what YOU think!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Great review! This has been on my TBR list for a while so I’m glad that you had some great things to say about it. It’s making me excited to finally give it a read 🙂 And also thanks for the mention of SocialBookCo! I can’t wait to check them out!

    Like

    1. Good! I’m glad I could spread the love!
      I think SocialBookCo does amazing things. I hope I get to review for them again.
      If you read this, I want to know exactly how you feel!! I’m always eager to see if someone likes the book or doesn’t! 😊😊😊

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s