Print Length 448 pages
Publisher Harper Voyager
Published July 2, 2019
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.
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…
This is the second book in the Crown of Shards fantasy series. My review of the first one can be found here. This review may containg spoilers- consider yourself warned.
Evie has taken the thrown, she is now the Winter Queen, the rightful Queen of Bellonan. Being a queen is a lot different than being a royal orphan. There is a huge learning curve, some of the times Evie is unsure of herself (as would anyone in her position). So this book focuses on her growing as the queen into her role, protecting her people and making decisions for all of the citizens not just those that in the court.
Sully becomes the alpha male book boyfriend that we all love. He makes himself scarce for obvious reasons. He has a lot of hang ups about him and Evie, which I mean he is the bastard son of a king. Those hang ups are sound. I honestly am not sure how he was able to sit during the dinner with his family without bursting into flames. Sully gets trapped up in his feelings for a little bit during this one which makes him a kinda a jerk. Color me surprised when Helena is the one to put him in his place.
Change of scenery was nice as the book starts off in Bellodam and then moves towards Andvarian. Where Sully’s dad is king, where Evie is looking to make a political alliance. Where the danger gets thicker and the plot even more mysterious. The land is gorgeous, the court just as corrupt and convening.
The romance is different in this one. Both acknowledge that they have feelings for each other. However, there are issues with acting on those feelings. That is not to say that there is not tension between them- there is a lot of tension. Just that politics of being Queen, influence romantic choices and well when that happens all parties lose. I absolutely loved how this played out and am grateful that the issues were address. The angst felt by both parties is real, high, and well heart-breaking.
Protect the Prince is just that- Evie protecting the prince of Andvarian. So the action is fast, the assassination attempts faster and if you blink you may miss something. This was an at the edge of your seat kinda read. The conflict with Maeven is moving fast, the danger at an all time high. I so want know what will happen. Will Evie and Sully face it together? Or will Maeven tear them apart?
My Rating 5 out of 5 stars
Favorite Quote "Your magic is part of you, but it’s not the most important part. Remember that.”
Dominic- Sully’s brother, heir to the throne
Helena- Sully’s ex-fiance
Paloma- Evies bestie and guard
Gemma- Sully’s neice
Dominic- Sully’s brother