Review: Red Kingdom by Rachel L. Demeter

Posted April 8, 2024 by Stephanie in 4 Stars, Fairytale Retelling, Historical Romance, Review / 7 Comments

Title: Red Kingdom
Author: Rachel L. Demeter
Publication: April 10, 2024
Genre: Historical Romance
Find it on: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo
Rating: 4/5★

Little Red Riding Hood reimagined with a dark and realistic twist.

Princess Blanchette’s world shatters when the Black Wolf tears apart her castle and everything she holds dear. All she clings to is the vow she made to her grandmother on her deathbed.

Hailed as the people’s champion, Sir Rowan Dietrich liberates the capital in a quest for vengeance. He takes Winslowe Castle with an army at his back and his wolf, Smoke, at his side.

United by a shared cause and powerful attraction, Rowan and Blanchette embark on a journey of self-discovery and redemption—a path filled with loss, transformation, and ultimately, the healing power of love.

Can Norland’s resplendent princess, with her captivating beauty and spirit, tame the fabled Black Wolf?

Inspired by the fairy tale Little Red Riding HoodRed Kingdom is a passionate, slow-burn historical romance about the enduring quest for love and the longing for a world at harmony.

*Red Kingdom is a standalone installment in a series of reimagined fairy tales.

Disclaimer: This is not your grandmother’s Little Red Riding HoodRed Kingdom is a dark historical romance set in a graphic and war-torn setting. Due to mature subject matter and themes, it’s not intended for readers under 18.


A castle is only as strong as those protecting it.

A new book from Rachel L. Demeter was not in my bookish predictions for 2024 but here we are and I’m certainly not complaining. Red Kingdom is the second book in her reimagined classic fairy tales (Beauty of the Beast being the first) and it can be read as a standalone book. Now let me tell you, I went through the emotions with this book and I mean this in a very good way. It was truly a rollercoaster but one I didn’t mind being on. I loved the story and its characters, especially some of the animal ones which is partly why I went through so many emotions. If you like dark historical romance novels, then you really have to give Red Kingdom a go. It’s a must!

The babble of this river is the same song that spirited away my mother. I may not see it, but this water still runs red with her blood. I have lost my family, my home, my very happiness.

Set in 1455, the story starts with Winslowe Castle being sieged by the Black Wolf, Rowan Dietrich, and the army that he’s gathered against King Bartholomew. Once a loyal knight, Rowan now fights against the King instead of for him. In the meanwhile princess Blanchette, the daughter of the king, is stuck within the castle with enemy soldiers all around. As Winslowe Castle gets taken and Blanchette’s family gets murdered, she manages to flee and escape with the help from a local villager. But it isn’t long until the Black Wolf finds and brings her back to the castle. As time goes on and Blanchette gets to know Rowan better she is forced to come to terms with her new reality, how atrocious her father really was and her budding feelings for Rowan.

“You are good. You are the best of us. You are the change I was searching for in the woods that night. I believe that, Blanchette, more than I’ve ever believed in anything. The people of Norland need you… and so do I.”

The relationship between Blanchette and Rowan was very much the epitome of a slowburn romance. I love all kinds of romance but I have a fondness for a good slowburn. I do have to admit that sometimes it was a little too slow even for me as a lover of slowburn romances, although in the end all the angst and pining was so worth it when Rowan and Blanchette finally got together. Because of this I felt like their relationship was well-developed as they went from enemies to allies to friends to lovers. I did really like that but at times through reading the book I just wanted more smooches.

His voice was in her ear, his hot breath on the back of her neck. “Do I make you nervous, Your Grace?” She heard the challenge in the sultry tone of his voice. She breathed deeply, taking in a lungful of air for courage. “Nay, my lord. In fact… I think I make you nervous.”

The story was beautifully written, as per usual with a book by this author. Some of the descriptions were very poignant, giving me tears in my eyes even. Also, some of the animals in this book had my heart. Like Sunbeam, Rowan’s horse and Smoke, Rowan’s wolf. I just wanted to keep throw my arms around them to keep them safe and sound. They were too precious and a good addition to the story.

Red Kingdom by Rachel L. Demeter was a dark and heartrending romance, reimagining the classic Little Red Riding Hood fairy tale. It’s a beautiful and harrowing love story about loss, forgiveness and strength.



About the author:

I live in Sunny California with my dashing husband, who inspires my romance novels every day!

Writing has always been an integral part of my identity. Before I physically learned how to write, I’d narrate stories to my mom, and she’d record them for me.

I graduated from Chapman’s film school, where I often received the feedback on my scripts, “Your stories and characters are great, but this reads like a novel!” And that’s when I realized my true calling.

Themes my novels never stray far from include forbidden romance, soul mates, the power of love to redeem, mend all wounds, and triumph over darkness.

In my free time, I frequent reptile expos, lift double my body’s weight, and indulge in dinosaur trivia.

I’m passionate about writing stories that explore what it means to be human and to be loved. My books focus on hope, courage, and redemption in the face of adversity.

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