by Jennifer Estep
Series: Crown of Shards #2
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
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…
Last year, Kill the Queen, the first novel in the Crown of Shards made my top ten list. I worried going into Protect the Prince by Jennifer Estep that it might not live up to its predecessor. I need not have worried as Estep delivered in spades!
Action-packed and romantic, Protect the Prince, further fleshed out the world as Queen Everleigh Blair embraced her role and showed the realms what a Winter Queen truly looks like.
Problems begin in Bellona as court politics force Evie to deal with those who question her ability to lead. Assassination attempts, wicked cuts and barbed tongue lashings immediately pulled me in.
We then head to Andvarian palace, the birthplace of Lucas Sullivan, the King’s bastard. Evie hopes to form an alliance between the two kingdoms against Maeve and the Bastards Brigade.
We see old characters, learn of Evie’s childhood and of Sullivan’s. Twists, turns, old lovers and more kept me flipping the pages. Estep is a master storyteller, and she spins a tight tapestry.
Danger, plots, attacks and more gave way to a maddening pace that was utterly addictive. Strong characters and loyal companions kept me vested and holding my breath.
I relished hating the villains and navigating the surprise curve balls thrown our way. Be warned there is romance. But it’s the forbidden kind, with character growth that can be both frustrating and romantic.
Evie is such a strong character, and we learned more about her mutt abilities. She is a born leader despite her denials. A strategist who can see the bigger picture and a heroine you will want to root for. Don’t piss her off though because she is a skilled with a sword as she is with her tongue.
I cannot wait for Crush the King, the third novel expected to release in 2020. Estep has fast become a favorite fantasy author and I encourage you to add this series to your bookshelf!Protect the Prince by Jennifer Estep delivered all that I could hope for and more. #MustRead #Fantasy Click To Tweet
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