The Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine
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 was a great snow white retelling. I liked Lorelai quite a bit, and really ended up loving Gabril, Kol, and the other dragons/Draconi. Irina was the perfect evil queen. The magic was fun and I liked the bond it created with Lorelai and Sasha and then later with Lorelai and Kol. Even though it was just a few short weeks, I liked that the romance was a bit slower than a typical fairy tales/disney stories with love at first sight.
I gave this book 4 1/2 stars.
The Wish Granter by C.J. Redwine
The world has turned upside down for Thad and Ari Glavan, the bastard twins of Súndraille’s king. Their mother was murdered. The royal family died mysteriously. And now Thad sits on the throne of a kingdom whose streets are suddenly overrun with violence he can’t stop.
Growing up ignored by the nobility, Ari never wanted to be a proper princess. And when Thad suddenly starts training Ari to take his place, she realizes that her brother’s ascension to the throne wasn’t fate. It was the work of a Wish Granter named Alistair Teague who tricked Thad into wishing away both the safety of his people and his soul in exchange for the crown.
So Ari recruits the help of Thad’s enigmatic new weapons master, Sebastian Vaughn, to teach her how to fight Teague. With secret ties to Teague’s criminal empire, Sebastian might just hold the key to discovering Alistair’s weaknesses, saving Ari’s brother—and herself.
But Teague is ruthless and more than ready to destroy anyone who dares stand in his way—and now he has his sights set on the princess. And if Ari can’t outwit him, she’ll lose Sebastian, her brother…and her soul.
I honestly wasn’t sure if I was going to read this book next and expected not to like it as much as The Shadow Queen. But I ended up liking it even more. One thing I will say is that C.J. Redwine likes to kill off characters that I don’t expect to die. This happened in both books. That’s my only complaint, but I also know it was needed.
This was such a great retelling of Rumplestiltskin. I absolutely loved Ari. She was smart, kind, and quick to figure out solutions to problems. Teague was obviously her biggest challenge, but she wasn’t going to give up, even if she lost her soul. She would do everything she could to protect the ones she loved.
Sebastian was another favorite. His childhood was terrible and he was pretty withdrawn, but he was still a kind person like Ari. They were a great fit. The romance started slow and I appreciated that in this book, too.
Teague was evil, but I did like him. I was happy to read some of his backstory later on in the book. It helped me to understand him a bit more.
I gave this book 4 1/2 stars, too. I was close to 5 on it. I can’t wait to start The Traitor Prince later this evening. I’m loving the author’s writing and expect that that one will be just as good.
Have you read either of these? What did you think? I see a lot of mixed reviews with people either loving or hating them. What other retellings would you recommend?