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Protect the Prince (A Crown of Shards Novel)…
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Protect the Prince (A Crown of Shards Novel) (edition 2019)

by Jennifer Estep (Author)

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428423,022 (4.33)4
Magic, murder, adventure, and romance combine in this second novel in the exciting Crown of Shards saga from New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jennifer Estep. 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. Dark forces are also at work inside the Andvarian palace, and Evie soon realizes that no one is safe. Worse, her immunity to magic starts acting in strange, unexpected ways, which makes Evie wonder whether she is truly strong enough to be a Winter Queen. 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...… (more)
Member:WiscassetPL
Title:Protect the Prince (A Crown of Shards Novel)
Authors:Jennifer Estep (Author)
Info:Harper Voyager (2019), 448 pages
Collections:Adult and YA
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Protect the Prince (A Crown of Shards Novel Book 2) by Jennifer Estep

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Yes friends, YES! If you're the type of reader who is always wary of the second book in a series, and whether it will be a good follow up, rest assured that Protect The Prince has you covered. After falling madly in love with Evie, Sullivan, and the whole cast of the first book, I was terrified that this second book would fall short of what I hoped for. I desperately wanted more intrigue, more magic, and I was ready for a little more spicy romance. As it turns out, I got all of that and more!

As the end of the last book reminds us, someone always wants to kill the queen. So not only does Evie have to navigate her new role as the regent of her country, but she also has to continuously thwart plots to assassinate her. Thank goodness that she's such a badass character! My favorite part of the last story was watching Evie grow from a woman with quiet strength, into someone who could take down a whole army if it would protect those she loved. That's the woman who is presented on these pages, and the one who we see mature even more. Being a queen isn't easy, and Evie learns that the hard way. I loved that Estep didn't let her fall into the role and lose herself but, rather, Evie molds that role to her personality. It was a beautiful thing.

Oh, and the intrigue! Most of this book takes place in Andvari, and that is a thing of beauty. If the last installment left you hungry for more of Sullivan and his background, here's your chance to get you fill. I loved learning about him, his place in his home, and his family members. Where the plot could have gone very simply here, as Evie works for treaty with the king, it ended up being a whole vivid tapestry of events. There is poison, there is unrequited love, and there are trysts that will make your eyes wide and your heart beat faster. Since Estep didn't smash romance between Evie and Sullivan into the first book, which I loved, I was actually really ready for some heat between them. It was delivered, my friends. It was delivered, and it was scorchingly hot.

It was also so impressive how much world building came about in this book, seemingly without effort. There are no large descriptive paragraphs, or information dumps. Still, magically, the world of Andvari opened up in front of me with all of its lush gardens, ornate rooms, and vast hidden spaces. It got to the point where I was so invested in the nobles, and in castle life in general, that I actually forgot for a moment that poor Evie was still figuring out why she was a "Winter Queen". When that reveal came about it was exciting, and unexpected, and just all kinds of perfect. Everything in this book is so well woven, that it's a joy a read.

Look, Kate Daniels has long been my favorite female character but I think that Evie is set to dethrone her if things keep up as they are now. I love her fierceness, her deep love for those around her, and the fact that she's willing to give up everything if it means her people survive. Estep has me hooked. I admit it. Now I'll have to impatiently wait to see what happens next. ( )
  roses7184 | Jul 23, 2019 |
Protect the Prince is the second book in the Crown of Shards trilogy. I read the first book, Kill the Queen and was utterly enthralled. The world Ms. Estep created was full of the everyday and yet it was fantastical and magical at the same time. Her characters are memorable and deal with things like love and betrayal while fighting in gladiator battles and dealing with levels of magical powers.

Protect the Prince picks up where the Kill the Queen left off. Everleigh is queen but not everyone is happy about it, nor do her nobles particularly feel she is up to the job. She isn’t sure she is up to the job but knows she has to be. But there are forces that don’t want her to succeed for reasons she does not yet understand.

What Everleigh does have is a strong group of supporters in her friends from her gladiator troupe. They have her back and are there to protect and support her. Her first mission is to try and fix the relationship with the neighboring kingdom. Things don’t go quite as she hopes for many different reasons.

This second book in the series was just as exciting as the first book. It was a page turning read that had me on the edge of my seat more times than I care to mention. Everleigh is growing as a character and she is coming into her own as a young woman and as a queen. Ms. Estep keeps a solid balance between the lighthearted moments and the suspense. The romance elements do not supersede the overarching story. All in all a great read and I can’t wait for the finale. ( )
  BrokenTeepee | Jul 17, 2019 |
Jennifer Estep once again hit all the right notes for me. I thoroughly enjoyed the first book in the Crown of Shards trilogy, Kill the Queen and enjoyed Protect the Prince just as much if not more so. We finally obtain some much-needed answers as well as a resolution to a relationship quandary that had me hard-core shipping. Moreover, Evie kicks ass – literally and figuratively. It is next to impossible not to root for her as she maneuvers her way through political machinations and more than one assassination attempt.

One of the best parts of this series is that it does not take itself too seriously. The majority of the characters may be gladiators, capable of killing anyone in cold blood for whatever reason, but there is a levity to each of them that minimizes their fierceness. These brutal warriors crack jokes, obsess about food, and act in a manner that is decidedly un-gladiatorial. Even better, the everyday dress code of queen and commoner alike is a tunic, leggings, and boots. Evie worries about her crown falling off her head more than the fact that pretty much everyone wants her dead. Both stories are chockful of such lighthearted examples that all help offset what should be a very dark story.

This is not to say that Protect the Prince is all fun and games. There are plenty of dark elements to its plot, and it has its moments of murder and mayhem, impossible choices, betrayal, and danger. What allows the story to shine throughout the good and the bloody are Evie’s reactions to each scenario that comes her way. They are honest reactions by a character who is trying to navigate her way through a seemingly impossible future while trying to put a horrific past behind her. She makes plenty of mistakes but learns from them, as does her entourage. The growth of each character is enjoyable and makes the novel that much more rewarding.

Protect the Prince and the Crown of Shards series are excellent examples of high fantasy without the heaviness that frequently surround such stories. They are quick and entertaining reads that give you all the same reactions, power struggles, romances, magic and myth, and battles as stories like the Lord of the Rings trilogy or the Game of Thrones series but without a slow and lengthy reading process. It makes for a fantastic summer reading selection.
  jmchshannon | Jul 9, 2019 |
Protect the Prince by Jennifer Estep

2nd in the Crown of Shards series. Fantasy series. Best read after the first Kill the Queen.
Everleigh, The heroine is fierce and tender hearted. She is going to do what’s best for her kingdom regardless of the cost to herself. She puts herself on the line several times. Even when her own heart s breaking.

Intense and action filled. I can’t wait for the next in the series.

Gargoyles: living, breathing stone. Like puppies, they like their bellies rubbed. If they like you. But their wagging tails can cause quite a bit of wind damage, so look out!

I received a copy of this book at a conference. I also purchased a copy to keep and reread. ( )
  Madison_Fairbanks | Jul 5, 2019 |
PROTECT THE PRINCE is book two in Jennifer Estep's Crown of Shards fantasy series.

PROTECT THE PRINCE starts off just a few months after the events of KILL THE QUEEN. Everleigh is on the throne, but she has to fight to keep it at every moment. I enjoyed seeing Evie navigate her court and learn to be the ruler she wants to be versus the ruler her people expect.

As with book one, Evie can't catch a break and is tested at just about every turn. I didn't feel like there was much movement in the overall plot happening in book two, but I think the events were critical to Evie's growth as a person and as a ruler trying to secure her thrown for the long term.

The romance between Evie and Sullivan was a bit painful. It moves along, but it seems hopeless for most of the book which is super frustrating because they want to be together so bad and you FEEL it. You WANT it to work.

I really enjoy the secondary characters of this series. They are entertaining and I feel like I am invested in each of their stories. The world building continues to get better with each place we visit in Estep's world.

PROTECT THE PRINCE ended on a great note and I am looking forward to CRUSH THE KING.

* This book was provided free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  STACYatUFI | Jul 4, 2019 |
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