Hey all, Dani here.
I am so happy to be posting this review today, as part of the blog tour for Jennifer Estep’s new fantasy novel, Kill the Queen. This book will be out in the world in just one week, on October 2nd, but I have had my eye on it for a few months now. So when I was offered the chance to sign up for the blog tour, I jumped on it, and thankfully I was approved.
Because of this I must give a huge thank you to Let’s Talk! Promotions for approving me to be on the book tour, and I must also thank Edelweiss, as well as the publisher Harper Voyager for granting me early access to this novel. As always, I need to say that being granted a galley (or being part of the blog tour) did not affect my rating or review in any way.
I have read six of Estep’s Elemental Assassin series, plus the first novel in her Mythos Academy series. In all actuality I own about a dozen of her books that I haven’t read yet. She is an author whose work I follow, but I don’t desperately reach for the newest release as soon as it is available.
But this one sounded really interesting to me, and I wanted to see how a primarily urban fantasy and paranormal author took on a more epic fantasy style tale. Plus it is tagged as Gladiator meets Game of Thrones, so I was definitely intrigued.
Okay, let’s just jump into the review.
The thrilling first novel in the Crown of Shards epic fantasy series combines magic, murder, and adventure when an unlikely member of the royal family suddenly becomes a contender in a clash for the crown . . .
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 combat, 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.
Rating: 5 stars
I read this book so quickly, and honestly I did not want to put it down–though I had to because of things like work and food. Oh, speaking of food…I’m just going to say that I do not recommend reading this book on an empty stomach, because as with pretty much everything I’ve read by Jennifer Estep, her descriptions of food are just so vivid and realistic that I ended up being so darn hungry. There are so many details about the smell and the taste and the appearance that you feel like a banquet has been laid out in front of you.
Another comment I will make on this book is the writing style. Fantasy is a genre I read most frequently, and so I’m used to the differences in style and tone for epic fantasy versus urban fantasy versus historical fantasy, etc. This book has the scope of an epic fantasy, with a fascinating world, an intriguing magic system, and decent political intrigue, but written in the style I would expect from an urban fantasy. It is a sort of conversational style that makes you feel like the narrator is sitting in a lounge with you and telling you a story.
I guess if I had to have a complaint about the book, it is that there were times when I would have liked more elaboration in the gladiator training, but instead there were time jumps that propelled the story forward a week or two instead and progress in fighting ability had occurred during that time. But really, that isn’t a complaint that is going to reduce my rating or anything.
Oh, and the potential romance. Wow. I really want to say more, but frankly, I should just tell you all to grab the book and read all of this for yourself. Needless to say, I am absolutely counting down until the release of the second book in the trilogy.
Where to Buy
JENNIFER’S BIO AND SOCIAL MEDIA
Jennifer Estep is a New York Times, USA Today, and international bestselling author prowling the streets of her imagination in search of her next fantasy idea.
Jennifer writes the Crown of Shards epic fantasy series. Kill the Queen, book #1, will be released on Oct. 2.
The Crown of Shards series focuses on Everleigh Blair, a member of the royal family who is distantly in line for the throne of Bellona, a kingdom steeped in gladiator tradition. But when the unthinkable happens, Evie finds herself fighting for her life—both inside and outside the gladiator arena.
Jennifer is also the author of the Elemental Assassin, Mythos Academy, Bigtime, and Black Blade fantasy series.
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/Jennifer_Estep (@Jennifer_Estep)
Newsletter signup: http://www.jenniferestep.com/contact-jennifer/newsletter/
So thanks for checking out my review, and be sure to check out the other awesome bloggers involved in this blog tour. Some of them are even hosting giveaways so you don’t want to miss your chance to possibly win those.
That is it for me today, and I will be back soon with more bookish content.