Thursday, March 7, 2024

Jennifer Estep: Protect the Prince

As this is the second book in a series you will need to read the first book Kill the Queen to understand the dynamics and people in this book, it is also a great read full of gladiators battles and magic so what is not to love there.

Jennifer Estep is back with the second book in her Crown of Shards book and this time Evie is looking to protect people from death instead of inflicting it:

Everleigh Blair might have started as the low in the court as one could be, became a gladiator and then became the Queen of Bellona. Court Life has not gotten better since becoming Queen, instead of being in the background, she now has to deal with meddling nobles. Unfortunately, Evie remembers every slight that has ever occurred against her. If that was not enough Evie an assassin tries to kill Evie in her own throne room. Despite all the dangers, Evie knows that she needs allies more than ever, which is why Evie needs to go to the Kingdom of Andvari to talk alliance. But there are Dark forces at work inside the Kingdom of Andvari and soon Evie realizes that no one is safe.

This one basically picks up right when the first book left off, only a few months have passed, and I appreciated that, as there has not been that many times for actions to be taken against Evie. This book has less action than the first as this is not gladiators based like the first one so I did miss that aspect at times but loved the court and political intrigue. But with the less fighting we get a book that is more spy and cunningness that Evie and all the other individuals in the group.

Evie is a great character doing what it takes to not only survive but protect her kingdom. Nice to see more development of her power. I also like that Evie is ever protective of the people around her. It was nice to get more of a history about Evie and how she became an orphan.

The book are still light on world building, so I still have questions. Why do the Morton’s hate everyone and want to rule it all. There has to be a story there. Love the magic system and variety of powers that are presented throughout the book. 

I was able to figure out who the traitor was as well as one other aspect of the book that I will reframe from talking too much about as it is a bit of a spoiler (though I thought it was pretty obvious).

I really enjoyed this book and it was a great follow up book to the first one. Cant wait to get to the third and final book in this series to see what Estep has in store for readers next.


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