Everleigh Blair is a noblewoman turned orphan turned Gladiator turned Queen and the star of the Crown of Shards. This underrated series falls under the adult fantasy genre and shares similar themes to Game of Throne. What sets this series apart from other fantasy novels is that in this universe, there is a way to snuff out magic. Evie may be the queen of Bellona, but unlike the other royals, she has no magic, rather she is immune to it, which makes her far more dangerous.
If you want to know more about the previous books in this series here’s the link to my review of the second novel in the series, Protect the Prince.
Today I am excited to finally review Protect the Prince by Jennifer Estep.
Protect the Prince is the second book in the Crown of Shards series, and it was released this past July. Kill the Queen, the first book in the series, was such an addicting read! An Evil Queen, gladiators, magic, and a kick-ass heroine what more could you want?
Kill the Queen was all about Everleigh quest to survive after her cousin, queen Vasila, along with the help of Maeven, decided to murder her entire family along with anyone else attending the seven spires ball. Evie, as the only survivor of her family line, runs off and joins the Black Swam Troupe, an old gladiator group. Evie does not reveal her true identity at first but as she grows stronger she comes to the conclusion that she must avenge her family and her Kingdom.
Protect the Prince picks up right where we left off in Book one. Everleigh is the queen of Bellona and she feels undeserving of the title, even though she won the duel to death against her cousin. Along for the ride are old favorites from the Black Swan Troupe: Paloma, Cho, Serilda, and Sullivan who all act like political advisors as well as bodyguards. As soon as Evie ascends the throne, she is sent to Andvari on an apology tour: the Andvarian King lost his son and a politician during the Seven Spire massacre. Luckily for Evie, her gladiator crush, Sullivan, is the illegitimate son of the king and sets up a meeting between the two kingdoms. Things heat up in Andvari when the King insists that Evie marry his remaining son thus creating an alliance between both their kingdoms. Maeven and her assassins return to take out Evie and the Prince, complicating their alliance.
After the events of the first book, Evie is surer of herself: she can kick ass without a doubt. However, she is unsure of her role as queen. I wanted to scream at Evie that she is the most powerful queen Bellona could ever have but sadly I could not. Evie is much more powerful than we initially thought. Recall in book one that Evie is immune to magic which thus allowed her to defeat her cousin even after being hit by Vasilla’s lighting.
There is more to Evie’s immunity than deflecting magic, turns out Evie can force that immunity out of her body. Extremely useful when surrounded by a bunch of magic wielders.
I loved this addition to Evie’s power! I’ve read plenty of books that deal with magic, but I’ve never read about a character who is immune altogether. That is a game-changer in my opinion
Sullivan continues to play the same games with Evie by denying becoming her boyfriend. His excuse once again is “noble” because he knows she will not gain anything from their relationship. Conveniently, we learn in this novel how Sullivan developed this insecurity. Sully comes around eventually which made me extremely happy: I have been rooting for these two to get together since their initial meeting. I am a sucker for the prince angst. I don’t want to spoil just how they get together but it is such a beautiful scene.
I felt like Clara Oswald throwing flowers at the 10th doctor when he married the queen. I Love my OTP and cannot wait to read more about them in the next book.
This book is not as bloody as the first one but there is still plenty of mature content. I would recommend these books to anyone who wants to jump into fantasy and wouldn’t mind some spiciness.
Until next time readers continue living in libros,