- Page Count: 387
- Release Date: February 16, 2016
- My Rating: 2 stars
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.
I absolutely adore retellings and was SO exited for this one about Snow White, but just couldn’t get into it no matter how determined I was.
There were so many cool elements to this story. The Snow White figure (Lorelai) has a bird she can communicate with. Kol, the prince of another kingdom, can turn into a dragon. When his family is killed by ogres and he’s suddenly king, he turns to the evil queen in Lorelai’s kingdom for help. He becomes her huntsman when the queen puts a collar of thistle & bone on him and sends him off to hunt down Lorelai. And the evil queen takes the youth from girls and reminded me of the one in Snow White & the Huntsman. The book also had Grisha + Maas elements, like Russian names and a girl taking back her throne with her troop of outsiders.
But all of those clever individual ideas sadly didn’t add up to a very fascinating story. The only character I could get a super strong sense of was Kol. I liked him and wish the story could’ve dropped the Snow White retelling and stayed in his kingdom.
The story we get seemed like more of a checklist than any engaging plot arc. Like Lorelai & Kol had their forced meeting before he became the huntsman so they’d have some emotional connection. Done. Then onto the next scene. It was just… bland. Some stronger worldbuilding might have really helped! For the most part this book felt kind of jumbled and messy, yet empty. Even the action scenes felt generic.
I really don’t mind tropes when they work and/or blend into a story that’s engaging! I know there’s only so much you can do with a princess trying to reclaim her throne, so I’m prepared for a certain amount of repetition in these stories I love. I read them because I like most of the YA fantasy tropes. So my problem with this book wasn’t that it’s all been seen/done before. My problem is that it was super slow, set in a fuzzy world, and I couldn’t connect with the main character, “romance,” or even the story.
I know I LOVE retellings, but this one is sadly not one I’d recommend.