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Publisher Description

Gladiator meets Game of Thrones: a royal woman becomes a skilled warrior to destroy her murderous cousin, avenge her family, and save her kingdom in this first entry in a dazzling fantasy epic from the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Elemental Assassin series—an enthralling tale that combines magic, murder, intrigue, adventure, and a hint of romance.

In a realm where one’s magical power determines one’s worth, Lady Everleigh’s lack of obvious ability relegates her to the shadows of the royal court of Bellona, a kingdom steeped in gladiator tradition. Seventeenth in line for the throne, Evie is nothing more than a ceremonial fixture, overlooked and mostly forgotten.

But dark forces are at work inside the palace. When her cousin Vasilia, the crown princess, assassinates her mother the queen and takes the throne by force, Evie is also attacked, along with the rest of the royal family. Luckily for Evie, her secret immunity to magic helps her escape the massacre.

Forced into hiding to survive, she falls in with a gladiator troupe. Though they use their talents to entertain and amuse the masses, the gladiators are actually highly trained warriors skilled in the art of war, especially Lucas Sullivan, a powerful magier with secrets of his own. Uncertain of her future—or if she even has one—Evie begins training with the troupe until she can decide her next move.

But as the bloodthirsty Vasilia exerts her power, pushing Bellona to the brink of war, Evie’s fate becomes clear: she must become a fearsome gladiator herself . . . and kill the queen.

Sci-Fi & Fantasy
October 2
Harper Voyager

Customer Reviews

YungBary ,

Kill the Queen

Great read and classic finish. Sets up the next book, perfectly.

mojo860 ,

Great book

Well written and very entertaining

Pru in Virginia ,

My highest accolade is...

The best thing I can say is that I cheered when I saw that book two had been published already.

I picked up a copy of “Kill the Queen” at the 2019 Romance Writers of America conference, along with dozens (okay, 163) other books. I didn’t know what I was getting into - but the bliss of the book is that the lead is slippery as hell; I was sucked in and lost just pages in. Involving, fun, fast, clever. And smart. And well-written.

There IS a romance brewing - but slowly. The book doesn’t follow the romance genre’s patterns (and there is a fantasy sub-genre on the romance pantheon), but I like these people and their motivations enough that I’m entirely pleased to let things simmer for a while.

If I had a criticism, it’s that I find the motivations to be a bit opaque. A woman who has been deliberately assuming protective camouflage in a royal court for 15 years is unlikely (it seems) to suddenly bust out in impressive self-confidence; some of Evie’s actions seemed to defy the life she’d been leading. But as noted, the characters are all so well painted and so appealing that I blurred my eyes and kept reading. Happily.

Now I’ve bought book two and I’m about to slip back into that luscious world. And I already know I’ll soon be cursing that I have to wait for book three. I say: BUY IT, reader!

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