It’s no secret that I’m a fan of libraries, especially online ones. When we owned a home in Phoenix, I held a city of Phoenix library card. Taxpayer perk. When we sold our house, I gladly forked over the $40 per year to keep my beloved maroon card that’s older than either one of my children. I’m also a library card holder in our local community. I signed up for one the minute I was eligible and snagged ones for my kids even though one was a preschooler, and the other one an infant. Hey, I read to her.
The sole reason I pay to have a Phoenix library card is to have access to their Overdrive and Hoopla digital libraries. Because audiobooks. I still buy from Audible. Right now, my monthly credits are going to amass the Harry Potter series (because $$), and I’ll fork over a bit more to snap up my favorites, typically Realm Makers authors.
It’s a great way for me to discover new authors or find ones recommended to me. C.J. Redwine is one such author. Her books were making a buzz among some of my favorite authors and The Shadow Queen was all too tempting.
In less than a chapter, I was under the book’s spell as easily as Queen Irina bewitched her subjects with apples. This retelling of Snow White is fantastic. It’s both recognizable and fresh. There’s still an evil queen, poisoned apples, and a magical mirror. There’s even a bit of Once Upon a Time’s Regina with hints of a twisted but yet unrequited love for the villainess.
It’s fresh too. Lorelei isn’t a banished girl living with a band of dwarves. Nor is she poisoned by an apple. And there’s dragons. Or rather a dragon king. Kol, the prankster turned unlikely king of Eldr, has two hearts – a human one and a dragon one. While intended as a good thing, the protection of Eldr, Irina grabs hold of his dragon heart and holds him captive to destroy Lorelei. One slight problem. Lorelei and Kol develop a bond. A bond that Irina further twists.
The action is tight and the narration smooth. And perfect for inspiring me to do lots of laundry. Because who can resist the ancient tale of triumph over evil, true love’s kiss, and dragons. If you’re a fan of The Lunar Chronicles, Melanie Dickerson’s medieval retellings or just fairy tales in general, I recommend The Shadow Queen and I plan on listening to the remainder of the series. Now that I’ve tried her books from the library, I know she’s an author whose books or Audible recordings I’ll buy.
What are your favorite fairy tale retellings?