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Kill the Queen by Jennifer Estep

Updated: May 17, 2020

Blurb: In a realm where one’s magical power determines one’s worth, Lady Everleigh’s lack of obvious ability relegates her to the shadows of the royal court of Bellona, a kingdom steeped in gladiator tradition. Seventeenth in line for the throne, Evie is nothing more than a ceremonial fixture, overlooked and mostly forgotten.

But dark forces are at work inside the palace. When her cousin Vasilia, the crown princess, assassinates her mother the queen and takes the throne by force, Evie is also attacked, along with the rest of the royal family. Luckily for Evie, her secret immunity to magic helps her escape the massacre.

Forced into hiding to survive, she falls in with a gladiator troupe. Though they use their talents to entertain and amuse the masses, the gladiators are actually highly trained warriors skilled in the art of war, especially Lucas Sullivan, a powerful magier with secrets of his own. Uncertain of her future—or if she even has one—Evie begins training with the troupe until she can decide her next move.

But as the bloodthirsty Vasilia exerts her power, pushing Bellona to the brink of war, Evie’s fate becomes clear: she must become a fearsome gladiator herself . . . and kill the queen.

Review: I started reading Kill the Queen by Jennifer Estep on my lunch break and it was the biggest mistake. Once I picked it up it was nearly impossible to put down! I was sweating, panicking, laughing... any possible emotion you can have while reading, I had it. I'm a huge fan of Amanda Bouchet's Kingmaker series, and if you are too, then you'll find yourself madly in love with Kill the Queen. Lots of similarities between the two in terms of empowering women, thrilling action, and bad guys getting their comeuppances.

When you read books--any and all books--you obviously have to be prepared for there to be some sort of lag in the book. Whether it's between the sex scenes you're dying to get to, or between the fight sequences, or between the murders--there's always going to be something you're just reading to get through. I was insanely surprised to discover that there wasn't a single portion of Kill the Queen that I itched to flip through quickly. The entire novel was fast-paced and exciting from start to finish.

As far as romance goes, well... there wasn't really any. No sex. No fondling. Hell, there was hardly any kissing. But is it weird that I didn't care? The sexual tension was there. The build-up for the remaining books in the series was there. And, somehow, it was enough. So, if you don't think you'll be able to enjoy a book with limited romance in it, trust me that you will!

The world that Jennifer Estep has created here is enthralling. It always baffles me that authors today can create something unique with everything out there on the market already, but Kill the Queen manages to be a stand out in the fantasy romance field. There's magic, different races, gladiators... I mean, how can you not love it?

If you're a fan of fantasy romance then you need this book. That's all there is to say, really. This series is going to be huge. Pick up Kill the Queen today.


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