Riveting Read: Kill the Queen

Riveting Read: Kill the Queen

A female centric action fueled fantasy

Perfect for fans of Anne Bishop and Victoria Aveyard

Her current read is ‘Kill the Queen’ by Jennifer Estep

This instalment of Riveting Reads come to you from Assistant Youth Librarian Kerrie Gamble.

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. 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. Uncertain of her future or if she even has one, Evie begins training with the troupe until she can decide her next move.

In this Gladiator meets Game of Thrones adventure Jennifer Estep has created compelling characters, a unique setting and an exciting if not overused premise. This is an enthralling tale that combines magic, murder, intrigue, adventure and a slight hint of romance. The romance in this novel isn’t overly developed although there is potential for a meaningful relationship further on in the series. Estep has a refreshing focus on female friendship. Most of the supporting characters are female and there is a touching moment between the main character, Evie, and one of her former teachers that solidifies how important female friendship is. Evie and her friends at the gladiator school demonstrate that even when you are literal rivals there does not need to be rivalry between women that we can build each other up. There is a perfect balance of intrigue and action that makes this a strong first instalment in a promising new series.

Estep has created engaging and realistic characters and particularly emphasizes the strength of her female characters. She has created characters who aren’t always likeable and easy to relate to but then she gradually chips away at them to reveal their insecurities and their true potential. There is a realism to her characters throughout this novel. Evie’s magical talents and gladiator skills develop incrementally as she works to improve them and her skill never exceeds her physical limitations. Evie is an engaging and appealing character who even though she is royal she has had to work for everything she has. She is a determined no nonsense character who doesn’t trust easily due to her upbringing. However Evie grows into a heroine who starts to believe in herself and her personality flourishes as she is no longer repressed. Lucas is Evie’s love interest but he is a complex character with problems and secrets of his own. These two characters compliment and contrast each other splendidly with often sarcastic and funny results. Estep’s characters are a delightful way to experience the tale and leaves the reader eager for the next instalment.

Vibrant, striking and full of action.

You can find this book in Adult Fiction under EST

Kerrie Gamble