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.
Oh, man, this book was so fantastic! And now I'm in trouble, because there was an excerpt of book 2, and I really want to read more, except that this book isn't going to be published for almost 6 months, let alone the sequel!
The world in this book was really awesome! The Summer and Winter queens, though I think I'd like a little more detail about them, given all the "Winter Queen" stuff that kept being mentioned. The different powers, and a bit of how they could be used was so interesting! I really can't wait to read more!
The stories these characters where in were pretty intense! From that scene where her cousin brutally takes the throne, to the training as a gladiator, yeah, they packed a lot of punch! We did have different sections or parts in this book, which also helped ramp up the tension but also direct it!
One thing I really enjoyed was how everything was used, how tightly woven the writing was. One supposedly thrown off bit became pretty important near the end, and very helpful! And that Evie was pretty darned smart and resourceful, that all came together so well!
I loved this book, and I can't wait to read more! The wait for the next book is going to be evil!
Author: Jennifer Estep
Series: Crown of Shards #1
Read: May 2nd, 2018
Reason Why: Love her writing, and it's a Prequel & Sequel Challenge 2018 Book and a WoW Book!
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Expected Publication: October 2nd 2018