Crown of Shards, Book 1
Synopsis: 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.
Review: I really like Jennifer Estep’s novels, so when I saw the release of this brand new book and series, I could not help but take it! I was eager to discover a whole new story of this author and I must say that I really had a great time.
Everyone thinks that Evie has no powers and she keeps secret her immunity to magic. So since her arrival at the palace, she is put aside, forgotten, and especially used as a pawn for all that the other members of the crown do not want to do. If you have to make a cake? It’s her. A dance for the ambassador? Her too. But she hopes to be able to go home soon and leave politics aside. Yet her life will change radically when the queen’s daughter kills her own mother. Dead, she is the only survivor of this massacre, but she will have to flee and especially to hide so they can’t find her.
As I said I had a great time with the novel. The story is catchy and it is very easy to connect to Evie. She does not want to reveal who she is even as everyone is looking for her and she thinks at best about how to react to the situation. Alas, her choices are not so simple. To face this new life, she will have to forge a carapace, evolve and eventually become another person. She who has always been an erased person will have to face her problems and put her life in danger more than once. The other characters are just as intriguing and I admit that I am curious to learn a little more about Sullivan!
The book is also full of the gladiator culture and I found that the mix was very interesting. Yes, there are many different aspects to this novel and I can tell you that I can not wait to read more. I did not expect this first volume to go that far regarding the story, but many things are, I’m sure, still to come!
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Can you introduce yourself in a few words?
JE: Thanks for hosting me. I appreciate it. My name is Jennifer Estep, and I’m a New York Times and international bestselling author. I write several fantasy book series, including Elemental Assassin and Mythos Academy.
KILL THE QUEEN, book #1, in my new Crown of Shards series, comes out on Oct. 2.
Can you tell us more about Kill the Queen?
JE: KILL THE QUEEN is book #1 in my Crown of Shards epic fantasy series. The 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.
So the book is sort of like Gladiator meets Game of Thrones with a kick-butt heroine. I hope that everyone enjoys getting to know Evie and all the other characters in KILL THE QUEEN.
Was it difficult to switch up to fantasy?
JE: I’ve written more than 30 books, ranging from urban fantasy to young adult fantasy to paranormal romance, but switching over to epic fantasy was a fun challenge. Everything is a bit bigger in epic fantasy, especially when it comes to the stakes. So far, I’ve had a lot of fun writing epic fantasy and really trying to stretch myself as a writer.
It’s to have a gladiator theme, did you make a lot of researches?
JE: I did a little bit of research, but as with all my books, I really like to try to put my own spin on things when it comes to the characters, magic, and world building. I hope everyone enjoys my take on gladiators.
What can we expect of the sequel?
JE: PROTECT THE PRINCE, book #2, will be out in 2019. I can’t say too much about the book yet, so stay tuned for more.
For more information on my books, you can visit my website at www.JenniferEstep.com. You can also follow me on Facebook, Goodreads, and Twitter, and sign up for my newsletter.
Happy reading, everyone!