USA TODAY Bestseller! 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…
Estep's follow-up to 2018's Kill the Queen is lots of fun, but it doesn't truly distinguish itself in the crowded fantasy adventure field. It's been nine months since the massacre that claimed the lives of the Bellonen queen and much of the royal family. Now Everleigh Blair is queen, and the magic-wielding assassins from neighboring Morta just keep on coming. Evie heads to Andvari to negotiate a treaty and soothe relations with King Heinrich while showing solidarity against Morta; when she discovers that Heinrich's son, Dominic, is also in the crosshairs, she'll need her magic and the help of her friends to keep him safe and stay alive. Evie struggles to come to terms with her abilities (including an immunity to magic and a preternatural sense of smell), her new responsibilities as queen, and her bittersweet romance with mage Lucas Sullivan. These challenges add heft, but so many fight scenes don't allow for much of what made the first book enduring, such as Evie's friendships. Perhaps in the next book, readers will get to see more of fun characters such as Sullivan's charming niece, Gemma, and her gargoyle, Grimley. Nonetheless, a satisfying finale neatly sets up Queen Evie's next chapter.
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This book went above and beyond my expectations can’t wait until book 3!! The first book was better but this one didn’t disappoint.. the only thing I wish the author would have done is elaborate a little more what happened after Evie and Sully got together...