Rise of the Vicious Princess C. J. Redwine


Rise of the Vicious Princess


C.J. Redwine is a New York Times bestselling author of speculative fiction, a diehard lover of going to the movies, and a believer in fairytales. She keeps a six-foot tall Loki figure in her office and will argue the merits of Batman vs. Superman with anyone she meets. She once accidentally punched herself in the face on a ride at Disneyland. She doesn’t recommend it.

*From the publisher’s website.




The first in a YA political fantasy duology about a fierce princess determined to bring lasting peace to her kingdom regardless of the cost to her heart—from C.J. Redwine, the author of the Defiance series and the New York Times bestselling Ravenspire series. Perfect for fans of These Violent Delights, And I Darken, and Ash Princess.

Princess Charis Willowthorn is the dutiful sword of Calera. Raised to be ruthless and cunning, her only goal is to hold her war-torn kingdom together long enough to find a path toward peace with their ancient foe Montevallo, even if the cost is her own heart.

When violence erupts in the castle itself, nearly killing the queen, Charis must assume her mother’s duties and manage both the war and her kingdom. But as an unseen enemy begins sinking Calera’s ships, Charis realizes a threat much greater than Montevallo is coming for her people. So she forms a plan.

By day, she is Calera’s formidable princess intent on forging an alliance with Montevallo. By night, she disguises herself as a smuggler and roams the sea with a trusted group of loyalists, hunting for their new enemies. And through it all, there’s the one boy she can’t have—who guards her life, but steals her heart.
But her enemies are much closer than Charis realizes, and her heart isn’t the only thing she has left to lose.

When mysterious forces lead to disappearances throughout Balavata, Blue and Kellan must work together to find the truth. What they discover will lead them to the darkest reaches of the kingdom, and to the most painful moments of their pasts.

When romance is forbidden and evil is rising, can Blue save those she loves, even if it costs her everything?

*From the publisher’s website.


⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Rise of the Vicious Princess strikes that magical balance between dark and emotive and delightful and romantic. And the book is magical in so many ways.

I think Redwine does such a beautiful job of creating strong father-figure-type characters, and in a world where absentee fathers are an ever-increasing norm, her take is such a breath of fresh air. In Vicious Princess, I found one of my favorite portrayals of a strong father-daughter relationship between Charis and her father. His priority is always and ever her care and safety, to the point that when a spy is found in her room during a party, her father sends his personal guard to watch over her.

Enter Tal.

And my, don’t we love him? He’s quiet, calm, supportive, and loyal. Charis has experienced so much loss and chaos, and Tal seems to be the perfect solid presence in her life. Like a safe harbor. At least, she thinks, and she needs it to be true now more than ever as she steps into her mother’s shoes to run the kingdom when the queen’s injuries won’t allow her to get out of bed, let alone lead their country.

As tensions rise between Calera and Montevallo, Charis struggles to see how to protect and care for her people, lead the country, and take care of herself. Thankfully, each time one of those begins to slip from her grasp, it seems Tal is there to catch it before it shatters. Before she shatters.

But then, Charis wouldn’t be the princess of Caldera and the rising leader that her people need if she believed things could be so simple. Throughout the book, we see her ping-pong between trust and openness, confidence and absolute defeat.

In Vicious Princess Redwine once again delivers vivid scenery with magical characters who somehow feel so similar to ours. They grow and they change; they hurt and they heal; and they continue moving into the next chapter despite the pain and heartache.

And so, I guess we’ll have to wait and see how it all ends up, if Charis can be the leader her people need, in Return of the Vengeful Queen.

Reasons to Love It

📚 magic
📚 royalty
📚 fairytales
📚 YA fiction
📚 clean romance
📚 strong female leaders
📚 bodyguard romance
📚 hidden identity
📚 spies
📚 strong father-daughter relationship


Once she stepped outside her private chambers, the game would begin, and Charis had to play her role to perfection.

Charis, p. 3

Charis imagined a coat of ice covering her heart. Rising up, slick and untouchable, to mute the pain until it was a faint echo she could ignore. She was hard. Cold. Forged in duty and sacrifice and nothing more.

Charis, pp. 51-52

Then all you can do is decide each day what you will do and what you won’t do. Just because you feel something doesn’t man you have to act on it.

Holland, p. 318

My Take

All families have issues that money, power, and control cannot solve. It’s love, compassion, humility—those qualities heal, hold, and make whole.

Click here to find out where to purchase your own copy.

I’d love to hear from you! What C. J. Redwine book is your favorite? What were your thoughts on this one? What other fantasy books have you read and enjoyed? Or what are you reading right now that you really love? Drop a comment below!

2 responses to “Rise of the Vicious Princess C. J. Redwine”

  1. I love Rise of the Vicious Princess and I’m eagerly awaiting the release of the sequel. Tal is amazing and this book made me realize how much I love the tension of the princess-bodyguard forbidden romance trope!

    I read C.J.’s Ravenspire books, which are amazing and fun as well 🙂


    1. Stephanie Cross Avatar
      Stephanie Cross

      Yes! Same here on all counts! I didn’t know I loved that trope until I read this book, but now, I am a fan! 🙂

      Oh, I love those! The Shadow Queen came available on my library’s audio app, and I’d heard of C.J. but I hadn’t read any of her books. I immediately fell in love with the series and purchased hard copies of all four books. 🙂

      I’m invested. haha

      Liked by 1 person

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