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!
[bctt tweet=”Gladiators, Magic and Betrayal..hells yes! Kill the Queen by Jennifer Estep was a white-knuckle read from begin to end #MustRead #NewRelease ” username=”kimbacaffeinate”]
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
I’ve added this to my to-read list. Thank you for the giveaway!
I am looking forward to reading this. It sounds fantastic!
I feel like this book is popping up everywhere! I’ve only seen positive reviews for it, so I’m eager to read it for myself. It sounds like a blast!
Lindsi @ Do You Dog-ear?
Erin @ Cracker Crumb Life
Happy Birthday!! This book sounds wonderful! And wow, top 10 for the year for you! I definitely want to read it with that endorsement!
I have enjoyed the books I read by this author so far and I like the sound of this one. The main character sounds great and the world building sounds well done too. I am not a big fan of books that are too dark, but it sounds like this one balances it well with lighter moments. Great review!
Happy Birthday (again 😉 ) Kimberly. I hope you had a great day.
This sounds like a great read. I definitely need to check this one out.
Nicci @ Sunny Buzzy Books
I cannot wait to read this! I’m seeing it everywhere and it sounds amazing. Definitely one for the Christmas list (aka my next justifiable book buying binge!)
Tanya @ Girl Plus Books
I’m actually not much of a fantasy reader but this one has really caught my eye this week. The synopsis definitely piques my interest (and that cover!). And seeing that’s it’s made one of your top books of the year has me even more interested/excited!
I’ve recently begone to read Jennifer’s books. Both the Elemental Assassin and her Mythos Academy series. So, and new series but my new favorite author…Yea ! I love this book cover !
I’ve been seeing this one around and you had me at Gladiators. 😀
Happy Birthday Kimberly!
I have been checking reviews for this one and they all seem positive. I am really curious. But still unsure since I did not like her UF series (I know! Crazy right!)
Awesome review! ❤️❤️ Not heard of Jennifer Estep but this sounds intriguing. Love the idea she is immune to magic.
I really loved this one too! My review is the 4th. I appreciate how it was a story end but obviously it can go on with more story. Closure of a story arc but leaving us with wanting more. Anne – Books of My Heart
This book sounds really enjoyable!
I love Jennifer Estep. I’m excited to get this series. I’m going to listen to the audiobook. Your review makes me even more excited.
Tanya @ Rantings of a Reading Addict
I’ve been wondering how this was going to be. Jennifer Estep has always been able to keep me hanging on every word filled with adrenaline and anxiety. You never know what is going to happen. I will definitely need to give this one a try!
Rachel @Waves of Fiction
I haven’t read anything by Estep yet, can you believe that. Maybe this is a good place to start. I love fantasy, and with this being one of your favs for 2018 I’m really interested! Great review, Kimberly! 🙂
This books looks exciting! Wish me luck! And thank you for hosting this giveaway! x
Yes please. This sounds great and it’s one in a series not 24 LOL 😉 Thanks Kim
Sounds great. This is definitely going on my list! I will want to continue the GOT vibes when we finish our current discs. Thanks for sharing.
Sounds like my kind of story! Gonna check her out on Goodreads.
Kathy @ My Nook, Books & More
I’ve been wanting to read this author and this new series sounds really good. I love Game of Thrones and gladiators so this sounds amazing. Happy birthday Kim!
Thanks for the wonderful review and giveaway. Crossing fingers and toes! LOL This is another prolific author I need to catch up on. She has such great covers for her books.
Melissa (Books and Things)
I am absolutely there with you! I really enjoyed this one as well and it was perfect after my long reading drought.
I missed your face too! <3
Wow — what a great review! Happy Birthday, and have a fantastic year!!!
This sounds like it will be a fantastic new series. Can’t wait to read it to find out what Lady Evie’s secret is and see what else happens.
Oh yeah, this is already on the list.
Wishing you a new year of wonderful things coming your way. 🙂 Happy Birthday, Kimberly!
Happy birthday, Kim! This is the fourth review I have read for this today. Everyone is loving it. I have an audiobook copy reserved at the library. I can’t wait. I need something to recharge my reading! Sorry I have been absent. Things have settled down and I am ready to get back into blogging.
Oooooh, this one has been on my Wishlist. Is the giveaway open to all, or US only?
Yay, thank you! This sounds like it’s going to be an excellent series!
Excited to dive into this. I’m all crime-d out, I need a break from all them murdering villains and read a different kind of murdering character LOL. Estep is always a good time
I really want this one! I have wanted to try her other series but never gotten to it and it has so many out now so it would be nice to get in on the beginning of a series. 🙂
Happy Birthday! This seems like such an awesome read!! Thank you for sharing
Oh yes I really had a great time with this novel!
We’re review twins today, Kim! I loved this one too and liked that it wrapped up fairly nicely with just a little bit of tease for what’s to come next. I can’t wait for the next one!
*high fives you* I absolutely loved this! So much fun and I’m excited about having a new fantasy series to read with so many of my favorites ending or have ended.
Nadene @Totally Addicted to Reading
Oh man! I so want to read this one.
Quinn's Book Nook
I’ve heard good things about this one and the cover is gorgeous. I have read one Estep book awhile back but it was a YA book. I liked it a lot. I’m not completely sure this one would have enough romance in it for me, but .I am so glad you enjoyed it. I do want to know what Evie’s special powers are!
Okay, awesome book aside (adds book to TBR immediately), I love your review style! #goals
I love the climatic scenes. The Game of Thrones vibes haha! Great review! Count me in for the giveaway.