Tag Archives: Gladiatrix

Crown of Shards 2: Protect the Prince

It’s always good to read an excellent book, but if you are like me, you both anticipate and dread the sequel.  Protect the Prince is the second book in the Crown of Shards series by Jennifer Estep. No spoilers, but I can promise that the sequel is just as good as the original! Protect the Prince is an amazing rollercoaster of adventure and intrique!

The book drops on July 2nd, and I cannot be more excited to see other people’s reactions. Here is the blurb from the back of the book:

Magic, murder, adventure, and romance combine in this second novel in the exciting Crown of Shards saga from New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jennifer Estep.

Everleigh Blair might be the new gladiator queen of Bellona, but her problems are far from over.

First, Evie has to deal with a court full of arrogant, demanding nobles, all of whom want to get their greedy hands on her crown. As if that wasn’t bad enough, an assassin tries to kill Evie in her own throne room.

Despite the dangers, Evie goes ahead with a scheduled trip to the neighboring kingdom of Andvari in order to secure a desperately needed alliance. But complicating matters is the stubborn Andvarian king, who wants to punish Evie for the deaths of his countrymen during the Seven Spire massacre.

But dark forces are at work inside the Andvarian palace, and Evie soon realizes that no one is safe. Worse, Evie’s immunity to magic starts acting in strange, unexpected ways, which makes her wonder whether she is truly strong enough to be a Winter Queen.

But Evie’s magic, life, and crown aren’t the only things in danger—so is her heart, thanks to Lucas Sullivan, the Andvarian king’s bastard son and Evie’s . . . well, Evie isn’t quite sure what Sullivan is to her.

Only one thing is certain—protecting a prince might be even harder than killing a queen…

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There is so much to cover here; assassins from Morta (a rival country) led by the deadly Maeven, the two Andvari princes – Lucas the illegitimate versus Dominic the legitimate, plots and courtly intrigue.

Throughout the book, you see slices of Evie’s old life as the Mutt-magicked royal stand in inform her new life. From Evie’s love of good food, her reliance on her enhanced sense of smell, and to her remembrances of both slights and kindnesses, we see her grow. There are new characters and old ones; each with their own rich backstories begging for books of their own.

The most moving theme in my mind is Evie’s near constant struggle with Imposter Syndrome. She is the Queen, but she was never raised to it and while she wants what is best for her country and people, she struggles with how to make it happen.  What does it mean to be a Winter Queen? And  what does she need to sacrifice to stay alive?

  • Title: Protect the Prince
  • Author: Jennifer Estep
  • Series: Crown of Shards #2
  • Publisher: Harper Voyager
  • Released: July 2, 2019
  • Language: English
  • Format: eArc
  • Pages: 448

 

About the Author:
jennifer-estepJennifer Estep is a New York Times, USA Today, and international bestselling author who prowls the streets of her imagination in search of her next fantasy idea. In addition to Kill the Queen, Jennifer is also the author of the Elemental Assassin, Mythos Academy, Black Blade, and Bigtime series.
For more information on Jennifer and her books, visit www.jenniferestep.com or follow Jennifer on Facebook, Goodreads, and Twitter. You can also sign up for her newsletter.
Where to buy: Protect the Prince   will be available tomorrow on Amazon in Kindle,  and  paperback. There is also an audiobook available on Audible.
Disclosure: I received a complimentary book from the publisher in exchange for review. The opinions are my own. All links are direct, I do not make money from them.

Thanks for reading, and please click the Follow Button under my profile on the right side of the page. To support posts like this in the future, consider joining my Patreon!

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Kill the Queen by Jennifer Estep: Crown of Shards #1 Review and Giveaway

Being a newbie blogger, I was really surprised to be chosen for Jennifer Estep’s Blog Tour. I mean, sure, I’d applied for it, but never really thought I’d be chosen. In this, and in many other ways, I have a lot in common with Evie, the protagonist of Kill the Queen.

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Released: October 2, 2018
Series: Crown of Shards #1
Published by Harper Voyager
Pages: 480
Format: eARC

This is the blurb on the back:

The thrilling first novel in the Crown of Shards epic fantasy series combines magic, murder, and adventure when an unlikely member of the royal family suddenly becomes a contender in a clash for the crown . . .

In a realm where one’s magical power determines one’s worth, Lady Everleigh’s lack of obvious ability relegates her to the shadows of the royal court of Bellona, a kingdom steeped in gladiator tradition. Seventeenth in line for the throne, Evie is nothing more than a ceremonial fixture, overlooked and mostly forgotten.

But dark forces are at work inside the palace. When her cousin Vasilia, the crown princess, assassinates her mother the queen and takes the throne by force, Evie is also attacked, along with the rest of the royal family. Luckily for Evie, her secret immunity to magic helps her escape the massacre.

Forced into hiding to survive, she falls in with a gladiator troupe. Though they use their talents to entertain and amuse the masses, the gladiators are actually highly trained warriors skilled in the art of combat, especially Lucas Sullivan, a powerful magier with secrets of his own. Uncertain of her future—or if she even has one—Evie begins training with the troupe until she can decide her next move.

But as the bloodthirsty Vasilia exerts her power, pushing Bellona to the brink of war, Evie’s fate becomes clear: she must become a fearsome gladiator herself . . . and kill the queen.

Exciting, right??

Wrong! This is MORE than exciting.  Kill the Queen is honestly one of the best series starters for an epic fantasy series I’ve read in long time.  Jennifer Estep has built a world of magic and intrigue that is chock-full of characters with lovable or irritating quirks, countries and countrymen that have proud cultures and traditions and a heroine who wants to be anything but!

Evie finds she has to reinvent herself yet again, and choose whether to risk herself for friendship, for country and for love. Evie is relatable, snarky, loving and occasionally mischievous in just the right blend. Jennifer Estep has a fantastic talent for writing characters who are REAL. Whose plight moves you along until you are as much a part of the story as they are.

I’ll admit to reading this book twice already, and will most likely read it again before too long. For anyone who wished Game of Thrones wasn’t quite so bloody, but also loved The Princess Bride, Kill the Queen will be sure to please!

If you are like me, and pulling a Fry…

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Futurama is Copyright 20th Century Fox and Matt Groening

 

Purchase at:
Barnes & Noble: https://goo.gl/iaQ3Rc
Books-a-Million: https://goo.gl/udDZUa
Google Play: https://goo.gl/nQquEg
And if you’re like me and love signed copies:
Now I know I’m on the tail end of this Tour, but there are 3 more days to sign up to win!
Giveaway: 
Win a $25 Amazon gift card! Contest runs Sept. 17 until October 7. Rafflecopter code is below:
About the Author:
 jennifer-estep Jennifer Estep is a New York Times, USA Today, and international bestselling author who prowls the streets of her imagination in search of her next fantasy idea. In addition to Kill the Queen, Jennifer is also the author of the Elemental Assassin, Mythos Academy, Black Blade, and Bigtime series. 
For more information on Jennifer and her books, visit www.jenniferestep.com or follow Jennifer on Facebook, Goodreads, and Twitter. You can also sign up for her newsletter.

Disclosure: I received a complimentary ebook from the publisher in exchange for review. The opinions are my own.

Thanks for reading, and please click the Follow Button under my profile on the right side of the page. To support posts like this in the future, consider joining my Patreon!