Friday, March 13, 2020

Crush the King by Jennifer Estep

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.

Add to Goodreads –

Book 3
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Crush the King is the third installment of the Crown of Shards series. Definitely NOT a standalone. Don't even attempt to read the series out of order. Start at Kill the Queen.

Having read Kill the Queen twice, Protect the Prince last year, I will say I wished I had read the series from the start again as a refresher. It took me a few chapters to get back into the swing of things and remember what had happened. So many books inside my head, my own projects, even with prompts I struggled to find my footing.

This is on me, but I will say it's a mark of a wonderful series how badly I wished I could read the novels anew, as if it's all new to me. I think the entertainment value, but most certainly the emotional payoff would be stronger, to binge-read the books back-to-back, experiencing the excitement and need to know what happens next for the first time.

Heavy is the head that wears the crown. Evie is coming into her own during Crush the King. She's gaining confidence, understanding her position, thinking like a true queen, where personal sacrifices are met for the greater good. She's no longer going into every situation where she tries to bash right through it, learning the art of diplomacy and strategy. I've enjoyed Evie as a heroine, the maturity, the critical thinking, and the empathy. Her aching for family is as bittersweet as it is heartwarming.

There's war with Morta on the horizon, something Evie is struggling to avoid. The Regalia games places everyone into position, where the reader gets to watch Evie shine – the way she interacts with political finesse. The action scenes were thrilling. The need to know what happened next had the pages turning at a rapid rate. As always, Estep excels at relationships, the relationships between friends, family, and partners – the facets that are necessary to bring characters to life, making them feel realistic, the flaws and faults and very human needs.

Crown of Shards is a series I would place at the top of the fantasy list, recommending to anyone who enjoys the genre. I cannot wait to see what Estep has in store for us next.

I love this series and it keeps getting better. In this third book, Evie has to solidify her position as queen while avoiding a full-on war with Morta. Outside of her own Kingdom, Evie must make political alliances with the other rulers while fending off escalating attacks from Morta. In this new challenge, Evie’s brain is as important as her gladiator skills and she is ready to do anything to protect her country and her loved ones.

Evie is one of my all-time favourite heroines and she is truly regal in this third book. This time round, Evie has learned subtlety and the mind games she plays with the other rulers are fabulous. I love the depth of her relationships and I love the way that brilliant world building combines with epic battles and a terrifying cast of characters for an unforgettable read. Without spoilers, I’m not sure what more I can say but I will continue recommending this series to anyone who loves a strong heroine and I will continue purchasing and gifting this series to my friends and family members. This story doesn’t stand alone. This is an elaborate fantasy series with complex world building and readers need to start with the first book.

Also Available in the Crown of Shards Series

Book 1
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo

For reviews & more info, check out our stop on the Kill the Queen Blog Tour.

Book 2
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo

For reviews & more info, check out our Protect the Prince post.

JENNIFER ESTEP is a New York Times, USA Today, and international bestselling author, prowling the streets of her imagination in search of her next fantasy idea.

She is the author of the following series:
The Elemental Assassin Series
The Crown of Shards Series
The Mythos Academy Spinoff Series
The Mythos Academy Series
The Bigtime Series
The Black Blade Series

Connect with Jennifer

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Crush the King (Crown of Shards #3) by Jennifer Estep to read and review.

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