๏ ๏ ๏ Book 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.
๏ ๏ ๏ My Review ๏ ๏ ๏
This first entry in the Crown of Shards Series opens up with this magically fantastical and intriguing world that feels part medieval mixed with some modern flourishes. The cover encompasses this medieval-modern-ness that it has going on, perfectly. This is billed as Gladiator meets Game of Thrones (albeit it's a whole lot cleaner than GOT) and from what I know of those works...it's a fairly apt description.
This book doesn't burden you with a whole lot of info dumping, it cuts right to the action and doesn't let up until the end. This fast-pace is paired with a 28-year-old heroine that isn't the typical teenager heroine that you get with Fantasy. There is also only a splash of romance and it's kept fairly tame, but for me personally, I hope that the romance heats up a bit in the second book. Overall this was exquisitely bad-ass and I couldn't stop listening and I totally can't wait to listen to the sequel.
๏ ๏ ๏ MY RATING ๏ ๏ ๏
๏ Breakdown of Ratings ๏
Main Characters⇝ 5/5
Secondary Characters⇝ 5/5
The Feels⇝ 5/5
Theme or Tone⇝ 5/5
Flow (Writing Style)⇝ 4.8/5
Backdrop (World Building)⇝ 4.5/5
Ending⇝ 5/5 Cliffhanger⇝ "to be continued"
๏ ๏ ๏
Book Cover⇝ Love it! It is rather badass...
Narration⇝ ☆4.5☆ for Lauren Fortgang, I liked her better in this than I did in the Grisha Trilogy.
Series⇝ Crown of Shards #1