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Review by Suze
Queen Irina has taken everything from Lorelai. She's lost her family and her home and she and her brother have been hiding for many years already. The queen uses magic to make the people of Ravenspire obey. She usurps the land and poverty and hunger are the result. Irina wants to have what she thinks is rightfully hers. Power is what she craves.
Kol is from Eldr, a neighboring kingdom. After a terrible incident he's responsible for saving his country all of a sudden. He's got a dragon form and a human form, but no magic. Because vicious ogres are attacking his country by using magic he has to find help. He wants to make a deal with Irina, but he doesn't know what she's capable of. He makes a huge mistake and Lorelai is the only one who can fix it...
The Shadow Queen is inspired by Snow White. There are some similarities, but mostly the story is original. I liked the world building. There are several kingdoms, there's magic and there are all kinds of interesting creatures. There are three different points of view, Kol's, Irina's and Lorelai's. These main characters have their own distinctive voice and background and being able to see inside their heads makes the story versatile and interesting for the reader. I loved the result, wonderfully organized chaos. There are so many fighting scenes and both magic and battle skills are being used. The Shadow Queen is an action packed rollercoaster, something I definitely enjoyed.
Irina is the typical bad queen. She's found a way to have power and she isn't afraid to use it. There's a reason behind her behavior, but I don't think anyone will have much sympathy for her. She's cruel and ruthless. It was fun to see part of the story from the point of view of the villain. I liked Kol as well. He's in over his head, but he's fiercely loyal and he's a good guy. Lorelai has to deal with a lot of guilt and a lot of power. She has to grow up way too quickly to be able to do what has to be done. It was great to witness the progress she makes. It's the tension between the main characters that makes this story so good. The Shadow Queen is a fascinating, enchanting and entertaining fairytale.