Protect the Prince by Jennifer Estep

Protect the Prince (Crown of Shards, #2)

by Jennifer Estep

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...

Reviewed by Quirky Cat on

4 of 5 stars


Jennifer Estep's Crown of Shards series continues in Protect the Prince, the second novel of the series.

Everleigh Blair had once been one of the lower-ranked members of the royal family. Now she's queen. Granted, she's a gladiator queen, meaning she won the right to rule thanks to trial by combat. But she'll certainly do a better job than her predecessor.

Unfortunately, Evie can't stick to the castle and work on bringing things back into a semblance of order. With a war on the way, she doesn't have that luxury. So instead she must travel to a neighboring kingdom in hopes of arranging some sort of alliance.

Something that is easier said than done, given the history of the two kingdoms. Or the personal problems everyone seems to keep bringing with them. Throw in the drama between the queen and Lucas and can see why she's so distracted.

“For the first time, I got an inkling of what it really meant to be a Winter Queen, and it wasn't about magic at all. No, it was about making the hardest choices under the most difficult circumstances to achieve the greatest good.”

Protect the Prince is exactly the sort of sequel I was hoping for. It upped the ante from Kill the Queen in every way that I could have hoped. Increasing the personal, political, and magical tension tenfold.

This is a novel that has a little bit of everything. Drama, action, magic, romance, politics, and probably a few other things I'm forgetting to mention as well. In short, it's perfect. Especially for this series. It's well-suited to the world that Estep created in that first novel, and she managed to continue to make the world feel larger and more interesting by the day.

Evie's plight and all the other complications heading towards her allies felt so painfully raw at times. Yet it made me care all the more. Of course it did, how could it not? It was impossible not to root for them, especially after all they had lost.

There are plenty of ups and downs to be found as well, from the heartbreak to the complications, the victories, and the losses. It all adds up, and results in one whirlwind of a read. I can only imagine, and hope, that Crush the King will do the same thing Here's hoping!

Check out more reviews over at Quirky Cat's Fat Stacks

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Reading updates

  • Started reading
  • 14 December, 2020: Finished reading
  • 14 December, 2020: Reviewed
  • Started reading
  • Finished reading
  • 14 December, 2020: Reviewed