Book Review: Rise of the Vicious Princess by C.J. Redwine

About the Book:

Title: Rise of the Vicious Princess

Author: C.J. Redwine

Page Length: 400

Publication Date: June 14, 2022

Synopsis: 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.

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 and 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. 

LINKS:   Goodreads   |    Amazon   |  Book Depository

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My Review:

Rise of the Vicious Princess is a fantastic ya fantasy that sucked me in from its first pages. A story with dynamic characters and setting, as well as a ton of political intrigue and unexpected revelations, the story follows Princess Charis Willowthorn, a formidable young woman and heir to the throne. Conditioned from a young age to rule, Charis’s mother is unrelenting in her demands and expectations of Charis, and Charis proves she is up for the challenge. Though only seventeen, she is a strong leader, and she faces many difficult challenges. I love her take-charge personality, her diplomacy, and her intelligence.

“Be smarter. Strike harder. Never falter, never waver, never break.”

Charis’s father is the opposite of his wife. Kind and loving, he shows Charis that there is more to life than becoming Queen. I love his gentle way and his unwavering love for his daughter. They have a close relationship, and they bring so much happiness to each other, which Charis doesn’t really have with many people. I think Charis’s father knows she needs someone in her corner, especially after some tragic events occur near the start of the story. That’s why he assigns one of his guards to Charis.

As I mentioned before, the story has a ton of political intrigue, and Charis spends much of her time dealing with the effects of a long-time war, potential new dangers and enemies, and traitors in her midst. It’s never a dull moment for Charis, and she must always be on guard as she tries to figure out how to end the war peacefully, stop all of the killing and destruction, and find out what is happening to all of the ships that seem to have been destroyed by an unidentifiable enemy. Charis is determined to solve the mystery, end the war, and prove her worth to her mother. It makes for a super intense and dramatic read, and the story goes in several unexpected and fascinating directions. Luckily, she has her newly appointed guard Tal to help her maneuver through all of these complicated and potentially dangerous situations.

The romance is one of my favorite parts of the story, which will come as no surprise. I adore a swoon-worthy romance, and this one had all of the elements I love. With a little bit of angst, a lot of pining, and fantastic banter, this couple challenges each other in the best of ways. They also have major enemies-to-lovers vibes, which is one of my favorite romance tropes! I love how their relationship progresses and how they slowly begin to trust and rely on each other. They have great chemistry, though after some of the revelations in this book, I’ll be curious to see how they handle their secrets and feelings of betrayal, not to mention what their future holds.

I couldn’t put this book down! The characters, the romance, the political intrigue, the fantasy elements, the family drama – all of it was entertaining, immersive, and gripping. And that ending! My word, it’s so intense and heart-wrenching, and several secrets are revealed that could change the trajectory of Charis’s journey. I can’t wait to read the next book!

Special thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of the book. All thoughts are my own.


Favorite Parts:

  • The political intrigue.
  • The romance.

Favorite Lines:

There’s no such thing as a fair fight. There are simply those who live to fight another battle, and those who don’t.

No one could truly be trusted with her emotions because emotions were weakness and weakness was the crack in her shield that would invite a knife in her back.

An ally is only an enemy who believes your interests briefly align with theirs.

Even the savviest politician can be taken in by a masterful liar.


I would definitely recommend Rise of the Vicious Princess to readers who enjoy YA fantasy!!

9 thoughts on “Book Review: Rise of the Vicious Princess by C.J. Redwine

  1. I’ve always wanted to try a book by this author. I’ll definitely be adding this one to my tbr!

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