Shadow Queen provides good read, slightly confusing plot


The “Shadow Queen” by CJ Redwine follows a young girl named Lorelai Diederich in the Kingdom of Ravenspire and Prince Kolvanismir “Kol” Arsenyevnek from the kingdom of Eldr in a fantasy inspired by the age old tale of Snow White.

Lorelai, crown princess and fugitive at large, had one mission: kill the evil queen who took both the Ravenspire throne and her father’s life. In the neighboring kingdom, when Prince Kol’s father and older brother were killed by an invading army of ogres, the second-born was suddenly given the responsibility of saving his kingdom. To do that, Kol needed magic and the only way to get it was to make a deal with the queen of Ravenspire, promised to become a huntsman and bring her Lorelai’s heart.

The book included a prologue that introduced Lorelai facing off with the queen at nine years old. Lorelai failed and was forced to run away. Chapter one flashed forward nine years to Lorelai at 18 struggling to incite a rebellion against the queen. At this point in the story, Lorelai has already come into her powers and understands how to use them. The reader was left slightly confused from such a great time jump as it was hard to understand how Lorelai learned the use of her magic. This was a reoccurring theme throughout the book, with shallow character development.

Another element the book struggled with was death. At one point in the story, a character important to Lorelai died. The death was sudden and dry, with Lorelai’s reaction not vivid. As a reader, I did not feel any sadness at this character’s death for I had not become very attached to this character (he was just a name on a page) and Lorelai’s reaction did not help.

Overall the book provided an interesting take on the well-known story of Snow White. Although the plot was at times confusing and character development/deaths were shallow, the conflicts of Lorelai provided a suspenseful story that middle schoolers will enjoy. For that I give this book a 3.5 out of 5 stars.