Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Review: Kill the Queen by Jennifer Estep

Author; Jennifer Estep
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Date of publication: October 2018

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.

I'm not usually one to read or like high fantasy, so I went into Kill the Queen a little wary.  I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this book.  It involves Lady Everleigh, who lives the kingdom of Bellona.  She is thought to have no real magic other than her being able to smell magic.  But she has a secret power that makes her immune from all magic. It's a secret she keeps closely guarded. After her entire family is massacred, she goes on the run to save her life and figure out how to save her kingdom.

I think the thing that makes me shy away from fantasy is that I am often confused by the magic system and the world that it is set in.  There are also usualtoo many characters to keep straight.  I did not find that to be the case with this book, however.  I found the magic system really interesting.  I loved Evie's powers and watching her realize that extent of her power was fun.  There were a lot of characters, but each one was so unique that it was very easy to keep track of them.  They were a wonderful addition to the overall story. Evie was a strong female lead and definitely one that I want to read more about.   I loved the ending and can't wait to read the second book, Protect the Prince, when it comes out next month.  I will be reviewing that later in July, so stay tuned.  If you haven't yet read this one, I highly recommend it. 


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