I’m going to plump up the pillows and make myself comfortable. You’re going to straddle me. Sheathe me. And then, my darling, I am going to make you stay perfectly still. I’m not going to let you touch me in any way except to give me sweet kisses while I enjoy touching you. I’m going to play with you, lover. I promise I’ll be very, very gentle, and, by the time I’m through, I’ll make you very, very happy.
Sooooo I’ve gotten a new historical fiction book, The Shadow Queen by Anne O'Brien, about Joan of Kent, since lately I’ve been very interested by Joan but not enough to really get me into researching her properly yet, so I’ve picked this up as a kind of basic introduction to her.
I wanna know (and I probably should’ve thought of this earlier but I found this book by surprise and couldn’t resist) is this like a good book or does the author have a tendency to twist facts and fiction in a really gross way to be ‘shocking’, like Philippa Gregory does?
If you guys read it I would really like to hear your thoughts lol, because like I said I don’t know much about Joan yet and I want to know if anybody has read it or has an idea about it and is familiar with Joan - what were your thoughts?
I’m reading The Shadow Queen for what’s probably the sixth time or something
And each time I read it, I love it more than the last
Until I read this book and Shalador’s Lady, Lucivar and Marian’s story had been my favourite lovestory from the series
But Gray and Cassie… I laugh, I cry, I swoon and I fall in love with their story.
Every moment, from when Gray first smells her psychic scent, up until the very last letter in Shalador’s Lady
Cassie finally finding someone who loves her for being her, and Gray finally healing as much as he can, despite what he lost when he was young
Every word, every emotion, every touch and dream and thought…
They are and forever will be my favourite couple in The Black Jewels
Ravenspire series are fairytale retellings, each book talk about different characters, but they are from the same universe. So, no, you do not have to read other books; it can simply be a stand- alone.
I will not go into explaining the plot of this book. I will say my honest opinion about it and will answer the question if the book is worth reading.
“The Shadow Queen” for me was a refreshing book. It was a simple and enjoyable read that I read in one sitting. It is a fairytale retelling of Snowhite, and for those who aren’t interested in retellings, maybe this book isn’t for you. But, if you are, then you should certainly read it.
The book was action-packed and full of romance. Whenever I felt like it might get boring, something interesting would happen, and I was fully invested in this story.
While the story might not be the most original, I loved the writing style. It was simple and straight to the point. The point of view was the third person. Few times while reading I felt like I was too old for it, but it is a retelling of a fairytale after all. Like I mentioned it wasn’t the most original plot. However, it is the book I would recommend. Last books that I’ve read were draining and full of drama, and this was the opposite. It’s one of those books that you can go into knowing that the ending will be happy, that’s one of the reasons why I liked it a great deal.
Now let’s get into the romance. Lorelai and Kol are the main love interest in the story and the two main protagonists. I loved the chemistry between the two. There are many adorable and funny moments during the book that I really enjoyed. If you love a good romance, then I believe that you will like this book.
For retelling lovers, I highly suggest reading the Shadow Queen. There were some predictable moments, but there were also many surprises and plot twists that I didn’t expect. Overall I give it 4 out of 5 stars.
Reading date: 25. of March.2019- 26 of March 2019.
SO….. I JUST FINISHED A BOOK CALLED THE SHADOW QUEEN THAT I FRICKING LOVED SO GODDAMN MUCH AND GUESS WHAT? IT ISN’T PART OF A SERIES, IT DOESN’T EVEN HAVE A FANDOM, HAS A PERFECT OTP AND MY FAVOURITE CHARACTER DIED IN IT BUT *NO FANDOM*! SO HERE I AM IN TEARS, WITHOUT A FANFICTION OR FANART. HELP ME PLEASE.
I get extremely emotionally attached to characters very quickly. I could read about two lines from a character and be like ‘You. you are the one that i have chosen to love.’ Because of this, I am NOT OKAY when these characters are hurt or pained in any way because it physically hurts me as well. And I am definitely not okay when authors (for example, C.J. Redwine-Shadow Queen) DECIDE TO KILL MY FAVORITE CHARACTER, MY PRECIOUS ANGEL THAT I WOULD PROTECT WITH MY LIFE, IN THE TWELFTH GODDAMN CHAPTER.
It is pretty much a version of Snow White without the dwarves. There is a dragon prince as the huntsman, the princess that the huntsman is hunting has magic. The way the stepmother killed the mother and the king was different from any other version of Snow White.
Loved this version! It was so different and yet so familiar. Gladly recommend!!!
‘LORELAI: POWERFUL ENCHANTRESS, VENGEFUL FUGITIVE, CROWN PRINCESS. She must kill the wicked queen who took both the Ravenspire throne and the life of her father.
IRINA: DANGEROUS SORCERESS, RUTHLESS MANIPULATOR, POISONOUS RULER. She must hold the throne – dispatching a dragon-shifting huntsman to cut out Lorelai’s heart.
But Ravenspire is rotting beneath Irina’s dark magic, and the huntsman is at risk of losing his own heart to Lorelai… In this dance of death, there can only be one victor, one queen to rule them all.’
Book Review: *Spoiler Alert* This book is definitely a sort of remake/twist on the fairy-tale Snow White. It does remind a lot of the film Snow White and the Huntsman. It some ways it is almost identical. It also reminds me of the Throne of Glass book series by Sarah J. Maas, cause the Huntsman is a human that can transform into a dragon. If you know the story of Snow White then you have all the major plot points of the book but with magic and dragons in it too. The first 40 pages or so were a bit slow for me but I did eventually get into it. Once I did get into it, I did finish the books within a few hours. It was a good story with a good ending (which is so important), in such a dark and hurt filled book. You know it’s a good book when I managed to cry within the first hundred pages about characters you don’t truly meet. I liked the main character, Lorelai. Her strength and determination to get rid of Irina was quite inspiring, but sadly I don’t have a mortal enemy that I need to vanquish unless you count coursework and exams. With Kol (the huntsman), this book brings another dimension to the words torn and emotional baggage. I did like him but the whole I-don’t-have-my-human-heart-so-i-am-fighting-myself does get tedious after a while. My favourite character in the book has to be Sasha the bird. I like her random thoughts and how she manages to help Lorelai. I want a bird if it’s like Sasha and is willing to dump dead squirrels on people’s heads. My favourite human has got to be Leo, Lorelai’s younger brother. The twist regarding him makes my heart ache. I had to reread the passage. He is definitely a character that you fall in love with instantly. My favourite part has to be when Lorelai and Kol first meet and Leo tricks Lorelai into saying that Kol looks rather fetching. That was a lovely, funny part of the book. I also liked how the romance between Lorelai and Kol was a secondary part of the book and the primary part was destroying the evil queen Irina. It made the romance feel more natural. It’s like kil now kiss later. I give this rather fetching book a 9/10. I liked the characters, the plot had some surprising twists, but it was always predictable. I will probably read it again, but I feel as though I’d like it less if I did. It is original whilst also being similar to other twists on Snow White. I recommend that you only buy the book if it was on sale / if you are a major fan of fairy-tale remakes. It’s a good story but you may not read it again. Saying that, I really liked the page about the Author. It was really cute, and I was like totes agree with everything that she says. And I love the map in the book. It looks sooo cool.
Originally I was
going to save this book for next year and read the Night Circus this
month, but there was something about this book that just kept calling
to me. I thought it was decent when I first read it, but I was
worried that my shifting feelings about YA fantasy and upon closer
scrutiny I just wouldn’t enjoy this book, but oh man, was I wrong.
There were a few issues I had with the pacing and romance, but
overall this book was really good. It does well not only as a Snow
White retelling but as it’s own narrative. I really liked the
characters and I though the world building and magic system was also
good. Lorelai fills in the role of Snow White, a young exiled
princess with magical abilities, and Kol is king trying to do what is
best for his kingdom after they are attacked. The two meet and work
together to bring down Irina, the wicked queen determined to kill
Lorelai so that she can remain ruler. I’m definitely glad I read this
book because it was the highlight of this month.
Let’s start out with the Snow White figure, Lorelai. She isn’t a
damsel in distress, but she isn’t just a fighter. She’s
compassionate, she’s a brilliant strategist, she’s a powerful
mardushka, she’s willing to sacrifice herself for the greater good
but won’t go down without a fight, and she sounds a little too
perfect. Like I honestly couldn’t think of any flaws of her, and that
realization left me feeling a little detached from her. I still
really like her, however, because she’s not a stereotypical YA
heroine: either being brash and moody or a damsel. I do love her
maturity because she has the makings for being a great ruler and so
many YA heroines are really just immature brats. I like that she is a
good strategist and that this is demonstrated and reinforced
throughout the novel. I just wish that she had something personal she
had to overcome and achieved at the end of the book, like Meira did
with her self worth in the Snow Like Ashes series. Kol was more of
the kind of character I was looking for. He’s a gregarious prankster
that never expected any position of power. That changes when his
parents and brother are killed. He takes being king very seriously
and is willing to take desperate measures to ensure his kingdoms
safety. As the book progress we get the sense that he doesn’t think
much of himself as a ruler and he wants to better himself. I should
think that is resolved in the end but it’s left a bit ambiguous. He’s
a likable person, similar to Lorelai, who takes his responsibilities
seriously and always tries to do what is right. The other POV
character is Irina, the antagonist. Irina is definitely crazy. She is
obsessed with 2 things power and betrayal. When she was young she was
passed over to become queen of Ravenspire in favor of her sister.
Since then she sees anyone who gets in her way as a “betrayer”
and once she seized power she does whatever she wants, whenever she
wants. She isn’t exactly entertaining or sympathetic, but she isn’t
obnoxious either. Maybe because she has a back story that makes sense
and fits with her personality. Maybe because we see that her abuse of
power is killing her, but she refuses to stop because it goes against
everything she is. Maybe because she does bad things, but doesn’t
seem to delight in them. As a villain I did like her because she
didn’t apologize for being a villain, nor does the narrative seem to,
she wasn’t comically over the top, and she made for a genuinely
dangerous opponent to Lorelai.
I generally prefer that romances take the far back seat in the
overall story. It’s the major reason I don’t love the middle books in
the Memoirs of Lady Trent series. In this case I did expect the
romance to be a little more central because it’s based on a fairy
tale. In Shadow Queen, while the romance is a more central plot of
this story, I wasn’t frustrated by that at all because it was so well
done. When Kol and Lorelai first meet she saves him from a mob and
then they part ways. Their next meetings are rather tense because
death plays a factor. When Kol loses his human heart, Lorelai works
to control him because she doesn’t want to die but she doesn’t want
to kill him, and to do that she creates a mental bond with him so
they can communicate. As the two spend more time together, they learn
more about the other, talking about basic things but also the deeper
stuff. Kol’s there for Lorelai as she grieves Leo and Lorelai helps
assure Kol that he would be a good king. Their relationship takes a
more romantic turn when Kol starts thinking about how he wants to be
a better man for Lorelai, and toward the end of the book the two
share a kiss. There’s still the lingering threat of Kol’s dragon
heart and Irina, so the two can’t fully be together until Irina is
killed. During the final showdown, Lorelai lets herself be stabbed by
Kol so that she can finally kill Irina. Kols is broken hearted but is
able to save Lorelai and when she wakes they joke about how he had
said he would kiss her awake if she died. In the end, at Lorelai’s
coronation, she still communicates through the mental bond with Kol,
and he surprises her by being there in person. There was so much I
loved about this relationship, it’s the kind of relationship I think
you should have because both listen to each other, and are open with
each other, and want to be a better person for the other. It’s one of
the few examples where I can forgive the quick development and here’s
why. First it’s between 2 mature, likable characters who don’t make
rash decisions or act on their hormones. Second even though Kol is
the huntsman, this isn’t a hate to love romance. While Lorelai is
upset at Kol about Leo’s death, she gets over it in order to take
down the woman that actually killed Leo. Third, their relationship
felt very natural and took it’s time to develop instead of going
right to romance. So they evolved from strangers to partners to
friends to something more to being an established couple. The other
romantic relationship in this book is a mix of tragic and toxic and
that’s Irina and Viktor. It’s definitely shown that they are sexually
attracted to each other, but later it’s also shown that there is an
emotional attachment between the two of them. Irina, however is
afraid of letting Viktor close because she fears his betrayal. Viktor
is enamored with Irina, but that’s because he overlooks everything
bad that she does, almost brushing it off is if it’s okay that she
killed someone for no real reason. Their relationship reaches its
crossroads when Irina plans on taking Kol’s human heart for herself.
Viktor finally disagrees with her, saying she can’t cross this line
and suggesting they runaway and live a quiet life together. While
Irina seems tempted by this idea, her obsession with power wins out,
and like everyone she claims betrayed her, kills Viktor. Maybe there
was potential there for these two messed up people to live happily
ever after, but both of their tragic flaws prevented that from
happening, which speaks much louder about their actually character
and any potential relationship. There were some cute familial bonds,
both Lorelai and Kol with each of their siblings, and while we do see
more of Lorelai with Leo, planning their schemes together, neither
relationship is really important outside of the context of how this
shapes their character, so neither sibling needs to be present for
the full book (but it was sad having Leo die). Same can be said of
Kol’s friends. They stick with him because they want to support him
because he’s the kind of person you can fight both for and with, but
having Kol isolated from them helps him realize what a great king he
can be, but also shows the depth of their loyalty to him when they
return with reinforcements. There’s also Gabril and Lorelai, how he’s
a kind of mentor/father figure to her and having raised her after the
escape from Irina, at the cost of seeing his own family. I liked that
he wasn’t just a one note character. He was very protective of
Lorelai, like he doesn’t like Kol being around because he’s afraid
Lorelai will be killed by him and he won’t let Lorelai heal his leg
for a long time because he’s terrified that doing this will left
Irina know where they are. He’s fiercely loyal to her but he can be
reasoned with. Lorelai is always very respectful to him and listens
to him, except when it comes to magic. As she grows more confident in
her abilities she’s able to talk him down and let her take control of
things through her magic, and he let’s her. Like any good parent, he
doesn’t want Lorelai to get hurt but he admits that he has to let her
take charge and has faith in her ability to succeed. It’s a genuinely
good relationship because it’s built on mutual respect and love, and
brings out the best in each person. The last relationship I want to
talk about is Irina and Lorelai’s. They are pitted against each other
from the very start, and the make fairly good opponents since each
are equally powerful and willful in their magic. When they have their
final showdown, Irina hints at that she’s regrets how things turned
out, like she almost wanted a relationship with Lorelai. While I do
think Irina did seem to want to have a relationship, it’s been
emphasized how she ultimately deals with any relationship, so I don’t
think there was too much of a wasted opportunity there. I do wish
that there was more prominent friendships in this book, but like I
said at the beginning of this section, I did really like the romance,
which was always going to be the main relationship in this book.
Building: There was hardly any world building in this book,
and I got the impression that Ravenspire and Eldr is supposed to be a
typical medieval kingdoms currently in shambles, but that’s okay for
3 reasons, 1) the story doesn’t suffer from this 2) there’s a pretty
map and I love when fantasy books have maps 3) there was some fun
magic. The mardushka magic, which Lorelai and Irina use, is a
hereditary magic performed through a mix of words and will power that
controls the “heart” of everything natural. Like not just people
but also the land itself. It’s kind of a symbiotic relationship where
if the heart willingly cooperates with the mardushka than both
benefit, like Lorelai using the river to protect Eldr, but if the
heart resists than both suffer, like Irina and the land of
Ravenspire. It’s a very organic kind of magic system, utilizing both
the will power of every living thing as well as some technical
incantations. There’s a glossary in the book that says what each of
the incantations, which I always like to see. I like guides that
break down the magic system. I prefer this as opposed to magic that
is just kind of there and has no rhyme or reason, like in Uprooted or
the Graceling trilogy. The other thing is that the people in Eldr are
draconi, which means they can shift into dragons. They are able to do
this because they have a dual heart. One of the hearts is the human
which gives the person their emotions and memories and the other is
their dragon heart, which gives them their fire and predatory
instincts. While it’s cool to have a whole kingdom made of dragon
people, I like what it did for the story and the tropes that this
There are a couple things that I briefly mentioned that in the
previous section that I’m going to expand on in this section. First
is what happens when a kingdom is being slowly destroyed. As opposed
to Eldr, which is being rapidly wiped out by ogres, Ravenspire is
being slowly drained of its life force by a tyrant obsessed with
power. As a result the land is dying and the peasants are starving.
There are a few distinct moments in the story where we’re shown just
how bleak and desperate things are. In one scene Lorelai sees a
mother killing her children to prevent them from dying of starvation,
and in another Kol and 2 of his friends are nearly killed by a
desperate mob that needs these obviously wealth people to buy
something from them so that they have money for food and taxes. It’s
minor but it adds a touch of realism to the story in because things
can get that bleak when times are hard, especially for the people
that can’t afford it. Lorelai tries to use that to her advantage, by
slowly stealing food from the wealthy nobles and giving it to the
poor to create a positive image for herself and gain support for her
rise to power. The plot goes in a bit of a different direction, but
Lorelai did have a solid plan, acting as a sort of Robin Hood figure.
The other thing I talked about was how the prince/ king is also a
dragon, and this twists some tropes. This book is clearly a Snow
White retelling, with the wicked queen and huntsman and a maiden with
red lips an black hair, but there are plenty of spins and new
elements added to this story to make it it’s own narrative. Probably
the most iconic element of the Snow White fairy tale is the poison
apple, which is featured on the cover, but these aren’t actually an
important feature in the book. From the beginning Lorelai knows the
apples are bad because she’s seen how they control people, not poison
them (although I guess, mind control is a kind of poison). Irina is
only seem using the apples once, giving them to hungry mob so she can
use the mob to hunt down Lorelai. This fails her, and with her
deteriorating health, the apples are never seen again. There’s Kol
being the huntsman/king/dragon, Lorelai being both Robin Hood and
Snow White, true loves kiss to “awaken the princess,” and the 7
dwarves being replaced by a single and a gyrfalcon. While I think
these twists where more for the sake of plot and character
development than satire or analysis, they were a nice touch to the
story and were well utilized. Kind of wish the apples had been a more
prominent feature, though.
There wasn’t much that I disliked in this novel, but there were a few
things. The first was when Lorelai and Kol first meet, there’s some
miscommunication going on. Lorelai knows Kol is king who needs help
with something (hence why he’s in Ravenspire in the first place) and
the fact that he’s a king period should have been enough to prompt
Lorelai to ask questions and try to strike a bargain with him to gain
an advantage over Irina, but she doesn’t do that. Instead she says
nothing about herself and says for him to forget her existence. Which
ultimately serves no purpose since her brother gets killed and Irina
discovers that she’s alive despite Kol keeping his promise. This just
felt a bit out of character for Lorelai and the only reason that
miscommunication seems to be there in the first place is to move the
plot forward in a certain direction. I also think that Kol made a
foolish decision in choosing to deal with Irina. I get that he’s
trying to do the best that he can for his people and he did have a
good idea about trading food supplies for magic since Ravenspire’s
resources are seriously diminished, but as soon as Irina ignores all
that for her own personal vendetta there should have been warning
bells going off that this isn’t someone you should deal with (and
somehow the person at the front of the castle with apples coming out
of her mouth wasn’t enough of a warning). Desperate situations make
us do rash, stupid things, but Kol really shouldn’t have gone into
the deal knowing nothing about Irina or should have at least given
some more thought as to how to deal with her. Fast forward to the
very end of the book, before the final show down, when Lorelai meets
up with Trugg and Jyn and the rest of Kol’s friends. There was some
unnecessary hostility that fortunately gets resolved quickly than
Lorelai explicitly states how long she has been with Kol. Three
weeks. I have a lot of issues with Insta Love and I generally abhore
it, but in this case I can forgive it because their romance evolved
naturally and it just feels so much more mature than many, many Insta
Love romances. Also they were with each other during those 3 weeks (I
assume) and generally if a story needs to be wrapped up in one book,
I forgive the rushed relationship as long as it’s not too fast. So
while there were some character decisions that were a bit annoying in
hindsight, the story didn’t suffer from these errors and neither did
the characters in my eyes. I will admit though that the fact these
mistakes where in the story in the first place is the only reason
this book didn’t get a full 5 stars, but it did come close with 4.5
Thoughts: I admit the premise is familiar, but sometimes I just
want a familiar story with a happy ending. This book delivered on
that and I was happy. As time has passed I don’t think this book is
quite as high as I rated but it’s definitely still a 4 star read.
It’s entertaining, it has good character’s and relationships, and if
you want a retelling with a more modern feel to it, than I do
recommend you pick this one up.
Mind telling me what’s so funny?” he asked as he spooned beans onto their plates. “Nothing.” Lorelai avoided looking at Kol. “Then if nothing is funny, you two can stop grinning at each other like village idiots and start eating your dinner. I imagine tomorrow will be another difficult day.
do you ever think abt how like the mario bros have like killed people, like it’s villains ofc and it’s necessary but it’s still so wild and it’s even wilder that they do the same shit to bowser and he just??? doesnt die??? JNDFKHNDFJK
If anyone is looking for a new book to read, I reccomend The Shadow Queen by C. J. Redwine. It’s based on Snow White, but different enough from the original tale to feel new and exciting. No joke, I finished it in a day because I couldn’t put it down. It has incredible feats of magic, including people who can turn into dragons. It’s the first in a series, so check it out. If you love fantasy and fairy tales, this is the book for you.
I finished The Shadow Queen by C. J. Redwine and it was so good but there were something that I did not like. It was the Queen Irina. I think she could be more mean or more stronger than she was. I liked the way it ended but she could do a lot more with her in that book. I loved the fact that “Snow White”, known as Lorelai, she could do magic, that the Huntsman, Prince Kol, could transform into a dragon, and that there we a few creatures that she mentioned through the story that existed in their world. I think the spells and the map were awesome. The cover was gorgeous! And I asked the author on Twitter if there is another Ravenspire book coming and she answered that yes, it’s coming this February 2017. Can’t wait for that new book!
He glared at her. He was the king of Eldr. A Draconi warrior. He refused to be intimidated by a bird. She bent her neck and shoved her face into his, matching him glare for glare. Fine. Maybe he was a little intimidated.