Review: Kill the Queen by Jennifer Estep

» 5 October, 2018 » 4.5 Stars, Reviews » 0 comments

Review: Kill the Queen by Jennifer EstepKill the Queen (Crown of Shards, #1) by Jennifer Estep
Published by Harper Voyager on October 2nd 2018
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 480
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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.

“The day of the royal massacre started out like any other. With me doing something completely utterly useless.”

All it took was that line and I was instantly hooked.

Kill the Queen is a fast paced, exhilarating new fantasy series from Jennifer Estep. Filled with magic and intrigue, Kill the Queen will leave you breathless with excitement as you follow Evie’s journey from a meek orphan girl to a force to be reckoned with.

Part Gladiator, part Game of Thrones, Kill the Queen is about Evie’s journey. In a world where magical abilities determines a person’s worth, Everleigh is at the bottom rung of the ladder in Bellona. No one thinks she will amount to anything. Everleigh of course is hiding a magical ability that could change the power structure in the palace. When Evie’s murderous cousin violently took the throne, Evie was forced to fight for her survival. She found help in the most unlikely place, the gladiator troupe with connections to the murdered queen. With her cousin intent on wiping out her family line and no one to trust, Evie has to learn not only how to fight not just for her survival but fight to win the kingdom for herself.

The most striking and enjoyable aspect of this story for me was Everleigh’s journey. When readers first met her, she’s meek and tends to hide away from everyone. Not that I blame her, of course. Her family treated her horribly so when she finally served them their revenge cake, it was glorious.

Another element that I really enjoyed was the gladiator troupe that took Evie in especially Serilda and Lucas Sullivan. They are two very intriguing characters that I’m really hoping will get more page time in the next books.

I’m also intrigued by the budding relationship between Lucas and Evie. While there isn’t technically romance in this book, Estep is definitely laying the groundwork for one. So I’m intrigued and hopeful that there is more romance in the next books because I definitely see the sparks between Lucas and Evie, so I want that relationship go somewhere.

I highly recommend this book even if you’re not necessarily a fantasy reader because I think this is great gateway book for the genre. But seasone fantasy readers will have something to latch on to with this book as well. It’s definitely intriguing and action packed.

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