Genre: Fantasy, Adult
Rating: 4/5 stars
❝ Summer queens are fine and fair, with pretty ribbons and flowers in their hair. Winter queens are cold and hard, with frosted crowns made of icy shards.❞
Hooking. Engaging. Gripping. Encompassing.
I can cite the entire thesaurus, and the conclusion will still be the same: Jennifer Estep 's new high fantasy novel is wonderful!
There is a nation founded on gladiator tradition. A ruthless heir who does not hesitate to plunge her country in bloodshed and mayhem to pursue her megalomania. Scheming foreign nobles who will stop at nothing to bring Bellona to its knees. And a neglected royal, the only one who can kill the queen.
Have you ever experienced love at first site? It happens to me only as regards books, but I wouldn't like it otherwise. There was something about Kill the Queen that called to me ever since I laid my eyes on it, it was a beacon summoning my starving soul, which was aching for a good fantasy read, with solid world-building, intriguing magic system, scheming nobility, cunning villains and a dash of slow-burning romance. And I got everything I wanted, even though not in the way I expected.
The truth is, I thought that the novel would start off with Evie being already in the arena, fighting as a gladiator, taking step after step in order to avenge her family, just like the blurb suggested. However, the first part of the book describes the day that led to the event, the massacre that changed everything, thus losing the element of surprise. Setting this aside, Kill the Queen was definitely an intense novel, one of those you read in one sitting and end up with dry eyes due to sleep deprivation.
Kill the Queen is a character-driven fantasy, the development of the protagonist attesting to it. Once, she was a woman that learned to hold her tongue, to avoid standing out in order to prevent her nemesis' wrath from finding her. But after everything she loses, she discards lady Everleigh and embraces Evie, the gladiator, the Winter Queen everyone seems bent on murdering. Following a path of blood and loss, Evie claims her destiny in an exciting fantasy saga that left me begging for more, for various reasons.
One of them being Sullivan.
While the first instalment of Crown of Shards is not heavy on romance, there is a man with a grip on Evie's heart. They have a rocky start, and Sullivan is not exactly polite or kind, but they fight and clash with a searing intensity that will probably kill me until they end up together. Because they have to, right Jennifer? Right?
To sum up, Kill the Queen delivers on many levels, and my grabby hands ache to meet Protect the Prince.