Review copy was received from Edelweiss. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Crush the King by Jennifer Estep
Series: Crown of Shards #3
Published by Harper Voyager on March 17, 2020
Amazon, Audible, Audiobook, Barnes & Noble, Apple
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.
I have really loved this Crown of Shards trilogy. It is an urban fantasy in true fashion. The battles and politics are the main story with any romance on the side. I would read this trilogy and all urban fantasy in order for the best experience.
I love these characters. The queen has surrounded herself with a team of caring people. Magic is my favorite thing and the magic is varied and fascinating in its forms. I’ve enjoyed learning about the different kingdoms and I would have been happy to know even more. I do appreciate both males and females have strengths and can be rulers.
Crush the King takes place during the Regalia tournament but not before a few assassination attempts at home, then also at the tournament. It’s like the Olympics only with more politics. First each kingdom has to choose its best or most politically advantageous competitors. Then the seven kingdoms meet at the supposedly neutral island for the games and political posturing. It’s like a massive chess game only more deadly.
There are plenty of chances for people to die but most of them don’t know Evie or anything about her magic. Her background, while not easy, is a perfect preparation for her to play a long game. Her intelligence and compassion provide her with many allies, and she would rather risk herself than them. It’s heart-stopping action with some intriguing surprises along the way.
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