by Jennifer Estep
Series: Crown of Shards #1
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
Gladiator meets Game of Thrones: a royal woman becomes a skilled warrior to destroy her murderous cousin, avenge her family, and save her kingdom in this first entry in a dazzling fantasy epic from the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Elemental Assassin series—an enthralling tale that combines magic, murder, intrigue, adventure, and a hint of romance.
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 war, 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.
Gladiators, Magic and Betrayal..hells yes! Kill the Queen by Jennifer Estep was a white-knuckle read from begin to end and I bloody loved it! With an easy flow, some familiar magic and Estep’s own unique voice will allow this tale to pull you in and leave you begging for more.
Caffeinated Reasons to Grab Kill the Queen
- Gladiators, a treacherous, spoiled villain, magic and a young lady who must transform herself to save them all!
- Lady Everleigh, whose parents were killed and whose lack of magical ability keeps her to the shadows of the royal court. Bellona is a kingdom steeped in gladiator tradition.
- Lady Evie has a secret. A magical gift she never shares. Vasilia, the crown princess, assassinates her mother the queen taking the throne by force. As she dies she whispers instructions to Evie. Thanks to Evie’s hidden ability she is able to survive the massacre and soon begins on a journey you’ll want to be a part of every step of the way. The world isn’t wholly unique, I’ve seen these elements before, but its Estep’s characters that give it a new twist.
- Estep always impresses me with her world-building and ability to easily pull me into a story. Such is the case with Kill the Queen from the magic to the creatures. The gladiator world fascinated me from the performances to Lucas Sullivan, their handsome trainer.
- Secondary characters from a dance instructor to the leader of the gladiators impressed me and rounded out the tale bringing laughter, secrets and more.
- The pacing for Kill the Queen was delightful and kept me on edge.
- Snow storms, dances to the death and climatic battles gave the tale a Games of Throne vibe.
- At times the story could be very dark and gritty and in the next moment light and airy with snarky humor. It had a nice balance.
- The first in the Crown of Shards series/trilogy Kill the Queen sets the bar high.
- The books current plot wraps up nicely but there is still a budding romance to explore and a kingdom to secure.
Kill the Queen has easily earned a spot on my top ten reads for 2018. I cannot wait for the next installment!
Gladiators, Magic and Betrayal..hells yes! Kill the Queen by Jennifer Estep was a white-knuckle read from begin to end #MustRead #NewRelease Click To Tweet