Tag «Author: Redwine»

Series Review: Ravenspire by C J Redwine

Series Review: Is this series worth your time? Does it get better as the novels progress? Or does it get worse? Find out below:

Ravenspire Series

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booksynopsis

Synopsis for The Shadow Queen (from Goodreads):

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.

breakdown

Series: Ravenspire
Author: C J Redwine
# of Books: 4 (Full Series Order Here)
Book Order: Connected
Complete?: Unsure
Genre: Young Adult, Fairy Tale Retelling, Romance, Fantasy, Magic
Heat Rating: cool
Point of View: Third Person, Multiple
Publication Date: February 2016 – ongoing
Source & Format: Public Library–Hardcover; Audiobook (Traitor Prince)

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**This post was originally posted as a Fresh Friday review of the first book of the series. It has now been updated to include the newest publications in the series.**

Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:

I really enjoyed Redwine’s Defiance Trilogy for its strong characters and thrilling plotline, so I was eagerly awaiting her next series. Not only did The Shadow Queen have an awesome cover but I’m a sucker for a good fairy tale retelling and I knew Redwine would do a great job.

This book was one of my top TBR picks of 2016, but some not so favourable reviews scared me away from grabbing it right away. But when I reread the synopsis in December 2016, I just knew I had to give it a shot.

What I Liked:

–The World–

The premise in this series is that each kingdom is going to get its own retelling and I could not be more excited for that! Each kingdom is so unique and has its own little quirks so I can’t wait to uncover them.

The world itself is easy to understand and easy to visualize. Redwine doesn’t drone on about the setting but she doesn’t bypass it either. She finds that right balance to get you acquainted with the kingdoms without boring you.

–The Characters–

I’m not sure how many people watch ABC’s Once Upon a Time but Lorelai reminded me a lot of Snow (and not just because they are both inspired by Snow White). She’s a kickass lead with a heart of gold but she also has her own flaws. I like that she isn’t perfect and I like that she isn’t defenceless and requires a “prince” to save her from her troubles. And the same can be said about Kol–he isn’t some flawless character either.

The cast as a whole was a lot of fun. It was easy to root for the good guys and despise the bad guys (you always need a good villain). They were all so likeable to me and that made me want to read more about their story. And there were some heartwarming moments as well.

–The Loose Retelling–

I like that this story wasn’t so focused on the retelling. That it isn’t a cut and dry Snow White story. It follows its own path and borrows some key features of the Snow White fairy tale along the way. It’s very reminiscent of The Lunar Chronicles in that respect where the fairy tale serves as the base but the plot goes its own way.

What I Didn’t Like:

–It Was that Little Bit too Long–

Somewhere around the latter half of the book, I started to get a little bored. Which was weird because things were happening–it wasn’t like the characters were just sitting around waiting; there was plenty of action. I think I just wanted to get to the climax that little bit sooner. One plot device in particular seemed like it was just regurgitated in a slightly different way after it had been resolved and that really slowed down the story for me.

Otherwise, the pacing was great and the story kept my attention.

My Expectations for the Rest of the Series:

Like I said above, I’m excited to explore more of these kingdoms. I’m super glad that this story isn’t going to be dragged out across multiple volumes.

updates

–April 13, 2017– Book #2: The Wish Granter

I was really curious to see how the Rumpelstiltskin fairy tale would be brought to life in The Wish Granter and I wasn’t disappointed. While the fairy tale itself is pretty classic, Redwine had some great creative twists.

The first being that Teague is fae–such a simple thing but one that is perfect. Faerie characters are known for their deception and tricky deals with others; perfect for a Rumpelstiltskin character. It also helps that he is a pretty evil dude that you can’t help but hate (in that great way you can detest a villain).

As for the heroes–I really loved Ari. It’s nice to have a strong heroine who isn’t strong because she can physically kick ass. Ari is intelligent, compassionate and you can’t help but root for her. She also has great character growth throughout the story. Sebastian was much of the same. I really liked how he evolved as a character throughout.

And the romance was just adorable. One of my new favorite couples. They just had great chemistry in all aspects and I loved every scene they had together.

–February 22, 2019– Book #3: The Traitor Prince

Much like its predecessors in the series, this story it all the right notes. I loved its premise of an arena battle and deceptive politics. Nothing is really overly surprising or shocking but everything together makes for an entertaining story.

But what I really loved where the lead characters. That’s one of the highlights of this series for me: the fantastic characters and their ability to evolve and grow. They are both strong in their own ways already but that doesn’t stop them from learning and adapting. And it makes their romance all the cuter for it.

My only thing about this book was the pacing. Much like the first book in the series, it just lagged a little in the middle for me. However, I loved the audio production and it kept my full attention.

 

My Rating: 4/5

The Shadow Queen 4/5 | The Wish Granter 4/5 | The Traitor Prince 4/5

overall

With any fairy tale retelling, you’re going to get comparisons and similar plot lines. (The source material is the same of course). But Redwine does a good job of creating an entertaining read that has its own unique twists on a story that has been done again and again.

Read if You Like: fairy tale retellings, subtle romance, strong heroines
Avoid if You: dislike magic use, want a series that follows the same characters

similarreads

  • Cinder by Marissa Meyer (Lunar Chronicles #1)
  • Graceling by Kristin Cashore (Graceling Realm #1)

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Series Review: Defiance Trilogy by C. J. Redwine

Series: Defiance or Courier’s Daughter Trilogy
Author: C. J. Redwine
# of Books: 3 (Defiance, Deception, Deliverance)

There is a prequel novella called Outcast

Complete?: Yes
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Action, Adventure, Dystopian
Heat Rating: cool
Point of View: First Person, Alternates

Thoughts:

I went into Defiance thinking it was going to be more of a romance novel set in a dystopian-like world. Why I thought that I’m not too sure because the synopsis sure doesn’t give me that impression when I read it again. Regardless, this series is more of an action series set in a post-apocalyptic world that has a dash of romance.

It was great to read a book about a strong heroine. While Rachel probably follows every stereotype of the typical rebellious girl, I liked her a lot. She was smart and determined and doesn’t mope around after Logan. Simply put her maturity about everything is what I really like about her. Although she did begin to irritate me at the start of Deception I can forgive her based on the events of the previous book and she does improve drastically by the end of the novel.

Logan is also a great character! He’s a great match for Rachel and I think if the plot was solely focused on Logan I would enjoy this book just as much. The fact that we get duel POVs from both these strong characters is fantastic.

As I said before, the romance between these two really takes a back seat. It’s all about uncovering the truth about the Cursed Ones and what happened to Rachel’s father. Defiance features some great twists but Deception takes the cake with great plot twists abounds. Both books start rather slow in my opinion, but all it takes is one good twist and the ball starts rolling in both. While I could guess what would be happening in each book, I felt like I was always surprised and didn’t find them to be overly predictable. I would say that Ms Redwine isn’t afraid to take her characters to places that other authors would shy away from and I really appreciate that in these two books.

updates

–October 23, 2014– Book 3: Deliverance

Unfortunately though, Deliverance was a bit of a let down for me. Given how book 2 ended, I thought the action would be right there from the start of book 3 but it wasn’t. Again, it was a super slow start and I found myself skimming over the many scene descriptions and inner monologues of the characters because it was just too much. Similar to the other two books, the action picks up in the last quarter of the book but I just expected a faster paced novel given that it was the final book of the series. Regardless, it was a solid finale for the series and fans will be happy with how it all goes down.

I don’t have any interest in reading the prequel novella, Outcast, because I feel like I have a pretty good grip on the characters that it focuses on. Though my recommendation based on reading the synopsis is that you should read it after Defiance just because the main focus of Outcast‘s plot will give away some spoilers about a certain plot aspect in Defiance.

Series Rating: 4/5

Defiance 4/5 | Deception 4/5 | Deliverance 3/5

overall

If you are looking for a book that features two strong and mature young adult leads, this is a great series to check out. The books have lots of twists, a dash of romance and some great action. While a little slow at the start, each book really start to pick up after a few chapters to make it worth your time.

Read if You Like: slower starts, strong characters
Avoid if You: dislike slow stories, want more romance

similarreads

  • Starling by Lesley Livingston (Starling Trilogy #1)
  • Black City by Elizabeth Richards (Black City Series #1)

Synopsis for Defiance (from Goodreads):
While the other girls in the walled city-state of Baalboden learn to sew and dance, Rachel Adams learns to track and hunt. While they bend like reeds to the will of their male Protectors, she uses hers for sparring practice.

When Rachel’s father fails to return from a courier mission and is declared dead, the city’s brutal Commander assigns Rachel a new Protector: her father’s apprentice, Logan—the boy she declared her love to and who turned her down two years before. Left with nothing but fierce belief in her father’s survival, Rachel decides to escape and find him herself.

As Rachel and Logan battle their way through the Wasteland, stalked by a monster that can’t be killed and an army of assassins out for blood, they discover romance, heartbreak, and a truth that will incite a war decades in the making.

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