Jun 24, 2019

ARC Review--Protect the Prince by Jennifer Estep

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.

But dark forces are at work inside the Andvarian palace, and Evie soon realizes that no one is safe. Worse, Evie’s immunity to magic starts acting in strange, unexpected ways, which makes her wonder whether she is truly strong enough to be a Winter Queen.

But 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…

I received this ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest and voluntary review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

Protect the Prince is Jennifer Estep’s follow-up to Kill the Queen and continues the Crown of Shards trilogy and I must say, this book does not even come close to falling into middle book syndrome! If anything, this one was more intense and action-packed than its predecessor!

Things pick up a few weeks after the events of the first book. Evie is settling into her new role as queen and is finding that it isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. Nobles are all vying for her attention and are already trying to scheme their way into her life by foisting off their sons on her and pressing her into marriage. Except, our girl Evie here, doesn’t forgive and forget. She remembers every cruel thing that was ever said to her by these nobles and their sons, so they won’t be winning any prizes from her in the near future. Her first goal though isn’t to find a husband, it’s to go to Andvari and try to smooth things over after the massacre that her cousin set upon them.

Although before her trip even happens, Evie is attacked by a would-be assassin, it seems that Maevan and her troops aren’t done trying to kill Evie just yet. Once that matter was settled, it was off to Andvari where she receives a less than warm welcome. Even having Sullivan with her doesn’t quite ease the tension as Sullivan is still the bastard prince of the lands and doesn’t hold much sway in the kingdom. King Heinrich is still a little sore at Evie for having “caused” the death of his son.

It seems like Evie just can’t cut a break in this one. She’s dealing with scheming royals, would-be assassins and trying to figure out who among the Andvarian kingdom wishes her dead, and the list isn’t too short either. Add to that her relationship with Sullivan is on rocky terrain, and she soon learns that his ex is still a friend within the castle, so there’s that to deal with too.

While the plot doesn’t move too much forward as the first book did, this was still a rather fast paced read. There’s definitely something much larger on the horizon, a war most likely, the battle to end all battles. Despite what might seem like a small plot, this book was still engaging and enticing. I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough when reading, because among one of my pet peeves in reading is a sort of “pretend deception.” Evie has to make certain people believe one thing is true, even though it isn’t and that just leads to catastrophic events! The reader will know the truth of course, but not certain characters and for whatever reason this always drives me insane as a reader!

On the romance front there is a little more developing between Sullivan and Evie, but it’s sporadic. It comes in spurts and then you’ll go chapters with nothing else happening. Although, it does just make those random moments even more powerful between them. It’s almost refreshing to have a romantic couple not get to spend that much time together. Though I do hope for more romantic interludes in the future between these two. I suspect that this next and likely final book is going to be a doozie of a story and I just hope that they can sneak off occasionally for some more one on one time! Lol.

One thing that was starting to nag at me, a very small nonsensical kind of nag, is exactly what kind of fantasy am I reading here? I feel like at times there’s a bit of modernity to it when it mentions certain things, but then I feel contradicted by another thing. Like for instance the train Evie travels by. A train? Really? But then we’ll mention weird things like medieval undergarments and I’m left scratching my head! It’s really nothing in the long run, but it drives me batty not really knowing! Lol.

Protect the Prince was an exciting read that continues what is sure to be an all-around amazing trilogy! It’s the kind of fantasy one can easily sink into as there’s no overly complicated world or magic system to comprehend. This would definitely be a good beginner’s fantasy series if one is looking to get into the genre! The series will come to its probable earth-shattering ending next year with Crush the King and I have a feeling I know exactly which king that is and I cannot wait to see what will come of it! If you haven’t started this series yet, I highly recommend it because it’s simply amazing!

Overall Rating 4/5 stars

Protect the Prince releases July 2, 2019



  1. The first book is on my TBR, looks like this one might be too! Thanks for the review!!

  2. I can't wait to read this!

    ~Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum


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