The Shadow Queen - C. J. Redwine

This Snow White re-telling involves a magic wielding, fugitive princess battling the evil queen with the help of seven dragons, a mind-linked bird and a mind-linked huntsman/king/dragon. It's a little different, to say the least.


Lorelai and her brother Leo are on the run from evil queen Irina, who killed their family and took Lorelai's throne and kingdom. Both Lorelai and Irina are mardushkas with powerful magic and we know we are going to get a big showdown between the two, but only if Lorelai can stay alive long enough to fight Irina face to face.


Our huntsman is a young man named Kol, who recently became king of a nearby kingdom after losing his family. Ogres are attacking his kingdom and desperate to save his people, he asks Irina for help. She agrees to use magic to take care of his ogre problem, in return, she sends him to kill Lorelai and bring back her heart. I didn't quite understand why Kol and his draconi friends couldn't take care of the ogre problem themselves considering their powerful abilities to shift into dragons. I didn't feel there was enough worldbuilding. There was so much more that I wanted to know and see and understand.


Lorelai's magic, and magic in general, was a bit of a mystery to me. It seemed like she didn't learn to use her magic, instead she makes up the spells as she goes along. All the years she is on the run she is careful not to use her abilities on anything Irina has touched because she is afraid that using her magic will alert Irina. This made me question how exactly she was able to train and become powerful enough to fight the queen.


When Lorelai uses her magic to heal a creature, she creates an unusual connection with the human or animal, allowing her to see into their minds and share her thoughts with them. She does this with her bird named Sasha and also with Kol throughout the book. The majority of her dialogue with Kol happens in their minds which must look pretty awkward to everyone else in the room. I would think people would notice and question their odd behavior. I know I would be wondering why they keep staring at each other and making random facial expressions or breaking out in laughter for no obvious reason.


There was plenty of action, dragons and a bit of romance. Overall, this was a good re-telling. In the future, I would like to see Redwine delve deeper and give us more details and a better understanding of the world she created.