The princess of Ravenspire was forced to flee the castle when the wicked Irina killed her father and took rule of the kingdom. Now nine years on, Lorelai and her younger brother Leo are almost ready to strike back. They’ve been waiting in the shadows, practicing magic and aiding the fallen country, until Lorelai is prepared to claim the throne as queen. But once Irina discovers Lorelai is still alive, with great power of her own, the heirs must take action. Both Lorelai and Irina move in against each other, using their powers and the strength of the land. Then Irina dispatches a dragon-shifting huntsman to bring her Lorelai’s heart . . .
I’m a big fan of retellings. I like starting a new story with a sense of familiarity already in place and looking forward to how the author will weave the original tale and existing characters into something new. I don’t think I’ve read a Snow White retelling yet and I was eager to get to this one. The gorgeously striking cover and map inside are wonderful, and the story that follows is equally so. Lots of action from the start, a glimpse into several parts of the enchanting realm displayed on the map, strong characters with unique abilities (magical bonds, dual hearts, shape-shifting), and a sweet romance. The use of magic between Irina/Evil Queen and Lorelai/Snow White is fascinating and I enjoyed getting to learn and understand their powers, their strengths, and their limits. Both characters have animal companions, which I love. A dragon-shifter huntsman . . . I love shifters, too! So this once ticked all the boxes.
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.
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Destroy the dark. Take the throne. THE SHADOW QUEEN is out now!
Many thanks to Scholastic.