REVIEW: JENNIFER ESTEP – PROTECT THE PRINCEProtect the Prince by Jennifer Estep
Also by this author: Kill The Queen
Also in this series: Kill The Queen
Series: Crown of Shards #2
Published by Harper Voyager on July 2nd 2019
Genres: Fantasy
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss, Harper Voyager
Buy on AmazonBuy on Audible
Length: 12 hrs and 40 mins

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.

Despite the dangers, Evie goes ahead with a scheduled trip to the neighboring kingdom of Andvari in order to secure a desperately needed alliance. But complicating matters is the stubborn Andvarian king, who wants to punish Evie for the deaths of his countrymen during the Seven Spire massacre.

But dark forces are at work inside the Andvarian palace, and Evie soon realizes that no one is safe. Worse, Evie’s immunity to magic starts acting in strange, unexpected ways, which makes her wonder whether she is truly strong enough to be a Winter Queen.

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…


by Jennifer Estep

After KILL THE QUEEN I couldn’t wait to see how Evie was going to deal with her new status as the Queen of Bellonan. Here are my thoughts:

  • Evie had a lot of hangups about people judging her. Her inner monologues, repeating how she thought she didn’t deserve being queen, that she was a fraud, a pretender, were a little repetitive and at some point I couldn’t help but roll my eyes.
  • Ultimately she grew into her new role, though, and I was happy to see pushing back and making smart decisions that were for the good of all, even though they often were hard and hurtful to her and the people she loved and sometimes involved lying to them. While I hope that the lies are a thing in the past, I really doubt it.

I didn’t think that it was possible, but my heart somehow sped up and stopped, soared and plummeted, swelled with happiness and cracked apart with grief, all at the same time.

  • I was hoping for the romance to develop in this installment. It did. At a snail pace. I can’t say that this made me happy, especially when the interactions between Evie and Lucas were scarce. However, we get a pretty nice development in the end.
  • Lucas Sullivan was his hot, magnetic self again. We didn’t see as much of him as I would have liked but I think it’ll all come together great in the next installment.
  • The backstabbing, assassination attempts and schemes at court keep the tension high and the reader invested to find out who the perpetrator is. I had a theory pretty much from the beginning but even though I guessed correctly I was glued to the pages when the showdown played out.

“I’ll say this for you, Evie. So far, your reign has not been a boring one.”

  • I talked about this with my bestie and, rarely enough, we disagreed a little: Evie got some serious flak and hate at the Andvarian court for the massacre that happened in her kingdom. She was the person who saved people, she didn’t participate in it. She even killed the person responsible. The amount of hate she got from the Andvarian people was mind boggling and I was upset for Evie because I thought it was unjustified.
  • There was an excessive amount of describing rooms and clothes, which made the story drag a little in parts. At some point I thought “gargoyle” was in every sentence because, apparently, they were everywhere.
  • Which brings me to the next thing that was a little annoying. We know that Evie can smell emotions. When you keep reading about jalapeno rage, peppery anger, lime truthfulness and rotten deception and it’s being repeated ad nauseam, it kinda starts to bug you. I think the author could have chosen to just name the emotion Evie smelled.

With all the niggles I had I enjoyed this installment. It had so much depth and heart-stopping situations, the plot well thought out. I missed the whole gladiator feel in this one but it does have a good dose of the Game of Thrones schemes. Final verdict: overall a satisfying second book in this series!

“You are my kingdom. You always have been, ever since that first morning I found you sleeping in the corner of my house. You’re all I’ve ever wanted, highness, and you’re all that I need, Evie.”
“You’re my kingdom too,” I whispered.


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1 Comment

  • I can see why you’d roll your eyes in the beginning Astrid! So I am glad she settled in her role. I’ll go now listen to a sample …

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