Title: Protect the Prince
Author: Jennifer Estep
Release Date: July 2, 2019
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Everleigh Blair might be the new gladiator queen of Bellona, but her problems are far from over.
First, Evie has to deal with a court full of arrogant, demanding nobles, all of whom want to get their greedy hands on her crown.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, an assassin tries to kill Evie in her own throne room.
But Evie’s magic, life, and crown aren’t the only things in danger – so is her heart, thanks to Lucas Sullivan, the Andvarian king’s bastard son and Evie’s . . . well, Evie isn’t quite sure what Sullivan is to her.
Only one thing is certain – protecting a prince might be even harder than killing a queen… (Amazon)
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Protect the Prince is the second book in the Crown of Shards series by Jennifer Estep.
The story picks up a few months after Evie becomes the new Queen of Bellona, the first Winter Queen after a long string of Summer Queens. Both have their strengths, but Evie isn’t yet sure what a Winter Queen’s strengths include.
Evie knows that she’s not the queen her people wanted or expected, but maybe she’s the queen that they need?
If only people would stop trying to assassinate her.
With the nobles plotting against her, the servants and guards starting a pool on how long her reign will last, and dealing with the ramifications from the massacre which brought her to power, Evie certainly has her hands full!
Fortunately, Evie grew up in the Court and knows how to play the long game.
Her first priority is to protect her kingdom, so she decides to visit the neighboring kingdom of Andvari. Bellona needs allies to help stave off the threat from Morta, so Evie is hoping for an alliance.
Unfortunately, the Andvarian King blames Evie for the deaths of his son and countrymen during the massacre, even though Evie lost family and friends as well.
Needless to say, her first diplomatic trip as Queen does not start well.
There are assassination attempts to avoid. Political intrigue. Alliance negotiations. And dealing with an uncertain relationship with Lucas Sullivan (who just happens to be the bastard son of the King).
While I’m not usually a fan of epic fantasy and prefer urban fantasy, this story grabbed me right away!
I usually get bored with court intrigue and sword fights and such. Keeping track of which kingdom is which is too much trouble. And don’t get me started on those maps in the front of the book! Ugh!
But this one? This one I liked.
Estep is one of my favorite writers and I love her style! She has a way with words, creates interesting characters, and keeps her plots moving fast enough to avoid boredom.
While you could read this as a stand-alone, I recommend reading Kill the Queen first. It’s also a great read and helps set the stage for Protect the Prince.
About the Author:
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.
Where to find Jennifer: Facebook | Twitter | Website