Series: Ravenspire #1
Publisher: Balzer + Bray (2016)
Hardcover (387 pages)
Reading Challenges: 2016 Retelling Challenge, 2016 Royal Challenge, Read 2016
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 is a retelling of Snow White with magic and a whole nation of people who can turn into dragons. Yep, this sounds pretty great.
Irina is the evil Queen of Ravenspire who doesn’t care what she has to do to stay in power (or get there, for that matter). She is rather manipulative and doesn’t care who knows it.
Lorelai and her brother Leo were smuggled out of the castle and away from Irina by a loyal guardsman, Gabril. Gabril has been the father figure in their lives since then. He taught them skills to spy and fight, skills they would need to survive. He has also taught them royal etiquette and has even found a way to help Lorelai gain more control of her magic. I think it is safe to say that, without Gabril, Lorelai and Leo would never have survived so long.
Lorelai, as her father’s eldest child, should be the Queen of Ravenspire. This is what she has been trained for her whole life and she isn’t going to let Irina win. She has a brilliant mind capable of coming up with elaborate plans and the magic to back it all up.
Leo is more of a goofball. He likes to have fun but he has the courtly manners down pat. He is absolutely devoted to his older sister and can’t wait until she takes the country back from Irina.
Kol is the new King of Eldr. He was never meant to become the king. That was always supposed to be his older brother, but some situations can’t be changed no matter how badly we want them to. Now he has to save his country and his people, even if that means making a deal with Irina herself.
I really liked this retelling. It was interesting, especially with the people of Eldr able to become dragons at will. It was well done and a beautiful novel.