Friday, September 28, 2018

KILL THE QUEEN by Jennifer Estep

Rating: C-
Release Date: October 2, 2018
Gladiator meets Game of Thrones: a royal woman becomes a skilled warrior to destroy her murderous cousin, avenge her family, and save her kingdom in this first entry in a dazzling fantasy epic from the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Elemental Assassin series—an enthralling tale that combines magic, murder, intrigue, adventure, and a hint of romance.

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 thoughts on the book:
I am usually a huge fan of Estep's writing, so I am pretty disappointed that I didn't enjoy this book very much. I didn't hate it, and there were some poignant moments, but for the most part, I was bored throughout the novel. When I finished the book, I was left feeling "meh." Also, the cover for this book looks way too much like the covers for the Elemental Assassin series. 

The characters in this novel are not very noteworthy. Evie evolved and everything, sure, but she kept telling the reader every time any tiny thing about her changed. It's better to see an evolution happen, not be told about it. Also, she was kind of a selfish brat. At 28 years old, she needed to grow up some, in my opinion. Then there was the love interest. Meh. I didn't feel any connection between them, though Estep really tried to make one. The other characters were run of the mill, too, and it was just boring. 

In addition to boring characters, the plot was extremely predictable. I could predict every twist and turn before it happened, which kept me pretty bored. Also, the descriptions were really overdone. When you write over a page describing one room, there's a problem. The novel goes on and on and on, and like the Elemental Assassin series, this series seems to be centered on food, too. The magical types are similar to the Elemental Assassin series, and the main character's backstory is also a lot like Gin's. I don't know that I'll read the next book in the series because it's just not that original. 

Overall, I wasn't blown away by this novel. I mean if you have nothing else to read and you want to read a fantasy book, then check it out from the library. A lot of people loved this book, and you may, too. The writing itself was well-done. This book just wasn't for me, unfortunately. 

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