A fierce gladiator queen must face off against her enemies in an epic battle in this next thrilling installment of New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jennifer Estep’s Crown of Shards series—an action-packed adventure full of magic, murderous machinations, courtly intrigue, and pulse-pounding romance.
Queen Everleigh Blair of Bellona has survived the mass murder of the royal family, become a fearsome warrior trained by an elite gladiator troupe, and unleashed her ability to destroy magic. After surviving yet another assassination attempt orchestrated by the conniving king of Morta, Evie has had enough. It’s time to turn the tables and take the fight to her enemies.
There is no better opportunity to strike than during the Regalia Games, a time when warriors, nobles, and royals from all the kingdoms come together to compete in various sporting events. With the help of her loyal friends, Evie goes on the attack at the Regalia, but things don’t turn out the way she hopes. Soon, she is facing a terrifying new threat, and she will have to dig deep and learn even more about her growing magic if she has any chance of defeating her foes.
Because to secure her throne and ensure her kingdom’s survival, Evie must think like a true Bellonan: she must outsmart and outwit her enemies . . . and crush the king.
4.5stars—detailed, complex, intriguing
4.5 stars-- CRUSH THE KING is the third instalment in Jennifer Estep’s CROWN OF SHARD’S epic fantasy series focusing on the newly crowned Queen of Bellona, Queen Everleigh (Evie) Saffira Winter Blair, a young woman whose ascension to the throne is predicated on a murderous coup against our heroine’s family. CROWN THE KING should not be read as a stand alone. There is a continuous theme throughout the series as Everleigh sets her sights on avenging the deaths of everyone she loved.
SOME BACKGROUND: The Crown of Shards series is the focus of elemental magic, magic of which our heroine is believed to have not been blessed, but Everleigh’s ‘mutt magic’ is much more than anyone could have imagined. As the series progresses, Everleigh’s strengths and powers make her the target of a group of assassins hoping to destroy whomever wears the crown. With the power to ‘scent’ out emotions, as well as her ability to manipulate magic, Everleigh is a powerful Queen, indeed. With her own band of ‘gladiators’ and Lucas Sullivan, the man that she loves, Everleigh is a force unto herself, a force that is constantly tested by would-be assassins, and spurned kings and queens.
Told from first person perspective (Everleigh) CRUSH THE KING focuses on the preparations for the Regalia Games, a competition between kingdoms wherein Everleigh, as the new queen of Bellona, will prove she is worthy to wear the crown. Months earlier, the murder of her entire family, ordered by the Mortan King Maximus, left Everleigh the sole surviving member of the Winter bloodline, and as such our heroine is the ongoing target of numerous assassination attempts, all of which Everleigh has defended using her powerful magic but when the murderous plots continue to unfold at the Regalia Games, Everleigh knows that to stop the attempts on her life, she is going to have to take down and crush the king.
Like Estep’s Elemental Assassin series, the Crown of Shards series focuses on elemental magic. From weather mages, elementals, gem and metal workers, ogres, shifters and gladiators, the similarities are numerous and familiar. Jennifer Estep pulls the reader into an enchanting, detailed, complex, intriguing, and intense story of family, power, greed, and magic