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Kill the Queen

(Crown of Shards #1)

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  11,695 ratings  ·  1,649 reviews
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

Paperback, 443 pages
Published October 2nd 2018 by Harper Voyager
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Deb Evie is 28 years old and has been at the palace since she was orphaned 15 years previously.
Jamie No, you don't need to read any other books. This is a completely different, brand new world.…moreNo, you don't need to read any other books. This is a completely different, brand new world.(less)

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Average rating 4.03  · 
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 ·  11,695 ratings  ·  1,649 reviews

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Oct 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018-reads, fantasy
❝ Summer queens are fine and fair, with pretty ribbons and flowers in their hair. Winter queens are cold and hard, with frosted crowns made of icy shards.❞

Hooking. Engaging. Gripping. Encompassing.
I can cite the entire thesaurus, and the conclusion will still be the same: Jennifer Estep 's new high fantasy novel is wonderful!

There is a nation founded on gladiator tradition. A ruthless heir who does not hesitate to plunge her country in bloodshed and mayhem to pursue her megalomania. Schem
Jan 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Some parts were jarring

The setting is unmistakably medieval yet the atmosphere is an anachronistic interplay of 18th-century fixtures alongside present-day vocabulary.

Despite that, I found myself completely hooked by the characters, the plot, and everything that led up to that climactic, very satisfying ending. Waiting impatiently for the next book.
Vibur (hiatus)
Jul 17, 2019 rated it did not like it
Effing. Everleigh. Saffira. Winter. Blair.
I'll get straight to the point: the protagonist is as stupid as her name sounds.
(Alright, I added in that first word.)

For starters, her actual character arc ended much too soon (three hundred pages-too soon, to be specific), leaving no room for further growth. What was worse, however, was the author's obsessive need to force-feed said "character development" over and over again throughout the rest of the novel. I was so, so tired of reading all those i
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
A beach book type of fantasy, pretty standard YA-type fantasy with a romance interest, except the language and violence are adult-level. Review first posted on Fantasy Literature:

Lady Everleigh Saffira Winter Blair is a member of the royal family (seventeenth in line for the throne of Bellona, to be precise) and has lived in the royal palace for fifteen years, since her parents were murdered when she was twelve. But this position of access hasn’t exactly translated into a life of privilege for E
Francesca ❆
Sep 13, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
*Thanks to Edelweiss and Harper Voyager(Harper Collins) for giving me an ARC in exchange for an honest review*

Sadly, this book didn’t work for me (despite the amazing premise) for multiple reasons.
I thought the world building was poorly flashed out (with bits of infos sprinkled in without a logic), the blurb describes it as “Game of Thrones meets Gladiator” but in reality the gladiators are used as plot device while the plot doesn’t have a smudge of the treachery and cruelty of GoT.
The divide b
3.5 stars

Before I talk about why I liked this book, and I did like it, I first need to get off my chest the one thing I really didn't like: the trope of 'main character is told to say/do something specific and then spends the majority of the book NOT doing that thing because of stupid reasons just to drag the plot out more'. Why do authors do this? The reader spends a lot of the time frustrated thinking 'are they going to say/do it NOW? No? How about now? No? Ok, now?' But maybe that's just me.

Maria V. Snyder
Nov 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book very much! The characters and world were very engaging and I want to read the next book. My only complaint was the fact that the back cover copy pretty much gives away what happens in the first third of the book. Even Part 1 is titled "The Royal Massacre" so this isn't a spoiler. And knowing what was going to happen made the first third anticlimactic with no surprises so all the clues that "something isn't quite right" didn't increase the tension for me. Parts 2 and 3 were wo ...more
Breath-taking! White Knuckle Reading! Epic Fantasy at its finest! Estep rocks the epic fantasy genre with Kill the Queen and I can't wait for PROTECT THE PRINCE!

I'm sure I'll want to re-read it at least once more before then...It is that AMAZING! This is going to the top of my list of favorite fantasy reads 2018.

I received this ARC copy of Kill the Queen from HarperCollins - Harper Voyager. This is my honest and voluntary review. Kill the Queen is set for publication October 2, 2018.

My Rating:
Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell

Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest

I have a lot of favorite genres to read, but one I find myself coming back to again and again is fantasy. You could argue that any fictional book is escapist, but fantasy (and science-fiction, to a lesser extent) is the genre that involves literally escaping to another world, and I find it so amazing that we as humans can actually dream up entire alternate universes, populate them with living things, and then put all of that imagination
Astrid - The Bookish Sweet Tooth


A first in a new Fantasy series always has that unwelcome potential to be an information dump. When that happens the story seems to drag on and you don't seem to make much progress. Now Kill the Queen is a completely different caliber. It's addictive, fast paced and captivating. There is another thing that can slow a fantasy story down and that's archaic language. Jennifer Estep's first in this epic fantasy reads like a modern fantasy novel which is a welcome change.

Madison Warner Fairbanks
Kill the Queen by Jennifer Estep

Fantastic. Engaging.
Women gladiators and magic.
Fantasy that once it got going, didn’t stop until the very end. Loved it.
A little slow to start. First in a series. If I could, I would immediately start the second which is very out of the norm for me.
Yes, lots of battles and killing which is also typically a negative for me. And the villain has no remorse as she slaughtered dozens. The heroine kills as well (certainly not as many) but is full of remorse and disgust
Gladiator meets Game of Thrones?

Ha. Whatever.

I was expecting gritty & complex based on that blurb. It was the wrong thing to expect.

This book was so bubblegum pop paint-by-numbers YA fantasy, and if I had known that going in then maybe it would have gone better for me. As it was, I was disappointed and annoyed the entire time reading.

Altho this isn't YA apparently; the MC is in her late-20's and "fucking" is used casually (as a word, not as a doing - no good sex scenes in here fyi). But it tota
Mogsy (MMOGC)
Oct 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

I’d never read Jennifer Estep before Kill the Queen, though I’ve often seen her name spoken of highly among readers in urban fantasy and paranormal romance circles. As a result, I’d long been curious about her work, so when I first learned that she was venturing into epic fantasy with a new book described as a royal revenge story about a female gladiator, I was instantly intrigued.

Kill the Queen follows Everleigh (who pref
5 Stars!!

“Summer queens are fine and fair, with pretty ribbons and flowers in their hair. Winter queens are cold and hard, with frosted crowns made of icy shards.”

This was my very first Jennifer Estep book- But it will not be my last! I'm a FAN! I don't know what I was expecting with this book. I knew the Game of Thrones Comparison was a reach...and other than that, I had no idea what this book was about other than seeing it around on Goodreads. So- if you haven't read it- go into it
Angela (Angel's Guilty Pleasures)
WOW, what a fabulous start to a new series by Jennifer Estep. When I first heard about this series I was very excited. I had just discovered Estep, Elemental Assassins series, and feel in love, so finding out a new series was coming I couldn’t pass it up.

Everything about this book captured me. We’ve got a spoiled villain, gladiators, magic, and a young women who must accept who she is, transform to save herself, and her kingdom.

Bellona is a kingdom steeped in gladiator tradition and history. Lad
Feb 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020-reads
Blog | Amazon | B&N | Instagram | Twitter

I was a Bellonan,
and I was just as good at playing the long game as everyone else.
And through it all, I would keep one thing in mind,
...Someone always wanted to kill the queen.

Falling in love with a story is instinctive for me. Whatever the highs and lows of the book's writing and mechanics might be, I will blindly fall head over heels for it if it touches my heart.

Enter Evie and the plot to Kill the Queen.

The beginning of this novel is doubtful. We
Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)
It truly is hard to put down any book Estep writes but I have to say, Kill The Queen is one that was impossible to put down. From the very first few bloody chapters right up until the spectacular ending, I knew that this was going to be a series I wanted, no, needed, more of.

Right from the beginning this screams Estep with the classic allure of both food references and bloody fight scenes along with a strong female MC that you just know is going to kick butt and take names along the way.

I abso
Lady Heather
 photo Kill the Queen Blog Tour Banner.1.jpg

Jennifer Estep is a New York Times, USA Today, and international bestselling author prowling the streets of her imagination in search of her next fantasy idea.

Jennifer writes the Crown of Shards epic fantasy series. Kill the Queen, book #1, will be released on Oct. 2.

The Crown of Shards series focuses on Everleigh Blair, a member of the royal family who is distantly in line for the throne of Bellona, a kingdom steeped in gladiator tradition. But when the unthinkable happens, Evie finds hers
Stacey is Sassy
Ummm...where's the romance???

Kill the Queen has been on my radar for a wee while. Sure, the title is interesting and I've heard about Jennifer Estep and her talent with Para-Fantasy, but that wasn't the drawcard. The heroine on the cover is wearing black leather pants. I'M A SUCKER FOR BLACK LEATHER PANTS!! I think they look so cool. I WANT TO BE COOL!! I have some leather-look ones, which I think look pretty amazing, but you can't compare to the real deal. I want to look as BADA$$ as Evie...but
Overall Rating : C-

"Summer Queens are fine and fair, with pretty ribbons and flowers in their hair. Winter Queens are cold and hard, with frosted crowns made of icy shards."


You know how one book has the ability to be good - not great, but good and interesting - and it's ruined by one aspect that you cannot ignore? This is one of those times.

Beautiful world, great lore, interesting people with powers and hidden agendas, all destroyed by the main protagonist, Everleigh Saffira Winter Blair😠. Her

When I first heard about this series, I was very excited about it. I find that this entire concept in intriguing not to mention that the title of this book captures your attention very well.

Jennifer Estep excels at writing strong heroines and Lady Everleigh is no exception. This series is marketed as Gladiator meets Game of Thrones and I can definitely sense that here. It has a ton of emotion to it, most of it negative as it deals with revenge and anger. However, Estep’s writing style keeps
4.5 stars

With a beginning reminiscent of The Red Wedding episode from Game of Thrones, Jennifer Estep starts her new series off with an unforgettable beginning. I was quickly drawn into the intrigue as I dropped into the life of the royal court of Bellona. Having grown up as the "throw away" cousin because of her lack of powers and her status in the progression to the throne, Evie is overlooked (unless she is needed to attend to a minor event that no other royals wants to attend).

I am impresse
This book is Jennifer Estep at her most "Jennifer Estep-iest".

An orphan with a rare type of magic does battle with an evil queen to save the kingdom and prevent a war. If that doesn't sound familiar my question is, where have you been?

So yeah. It's pretty much every Jennifer Estep book but I don't think that's a problem. Most of those books were pretty damned entertaining and Kill the Queen is up there with the best of them.

5 Stars because it's great, minus 1 Star because it really is just li
Oct 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This is the first book I read from this author because I think the others were NA/YA and that's not for me.
Also, I'm not overly fond of 1st person narrative, but in this case it worked very, very well!
Anyhow, I liked it very much!

The action is logical and the heroine, Evie, is excellent! She's intelligent.

At the beginning she's repressing her nature because she knows that if she doesn't she'll be putting herself in harm's way.

But, when all hell's been loosen, and she's left alone and without a
Jeffe Kennedy
Apr 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm just thrilled to welcome Jennifer Estep to the Fantasy Romance Dark Side. She brought the BEST FREAKING COOKIES! She's calling it epic fantasy, but I think the romance - a sizzling, very slow burn, as in, you don't even get a kiss, people - is too delicious not to mention.

Her heroine is awesome, storytelling flawless. Great characters and conflict. I devoured it over the weekend which I now bitterly regret because I wish I could be still reading it.

Cannot wait to get my mitts on the sequel:
Carole (Carole's Random Life)
This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

This was a fantastic story! As soon as I saw this book online, I knew that I wanted to read it. Since this book is the beginning of a brand new series, I was really excited to give it a try. I did have a bit of a slow start with this book but that had everything to do with me and nothing to do with the book because the book was great. Once I had some time to dedicate to reading, I ended up devouring the bulk of this book in a single
Geri Reads
Oct 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“The day of the royal massacre started out like any other. With me doing something completely utterly useless.”

All it took was that line and I was instantly hooked.

Kill the Queen is a fast paced, exhilarating new fantasy series from Jennifer Estep. Filled with magic and intrigue, Kill the Queen will leave you breathless with excitement as you follow Evie’s journey from a meek orphan girl to a force to be reckoned with.

Part Gladiator, part Game of Thrones, Kill the Queen is about Evie’s journ
Grace A
Aug 13, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Kill the Queen was full of action, with an unlikely heroine who turned out to be fierce and powerful. I enjoyed it very much.
Evie, the main character, was an orphan and 17 in line to the throne. She was not a contender for the throne and could barely tolerate palace politics and all the pettiness that comes with it. Then, in just a day, the crown princess massacred every royal, so she could claim the throne without anyone to challenge her in the future. It would have worked, except Evie had a ra
Jan 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Someone always wanted to kill the queen.

This was great! I’ve only read Estep’s Elemental Assassin books, not any of her other UF tales, but as soon as I saw this, even before its release, I knew I’d be excited to see Estep writing something different. I loved it. This is a more traditional style fantasy, a historical medieval vibe. There are gargoyle and ogre shifters, and magic of different kinds, although not any that Evie possesses. Evie transitions from something of a weakling with no friend
Terri ♥ (aka Mrs. Christian Grey)
So much to say.

First, the positive. I love this author and her imagination. She is a one click author for me. (that hasn't changed). The premise of this book is promising, but failed for me. Why? See below.

SPOILER ALERT - please note I listened to audiobook. spellings of names and places may not be correct.

Everleigh (Evie) is Gin 2.0.
Gin - Stone magic to harden skin to protect against magic. Evie - Null magic she summons through her to protect against magic attacks.
Gin & Evie - parents died tr
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Jennifer Estep is a New York Times, USA Today, and international bestselling author, prowling the streets of her imagination in search of her next fantasy idea. She has written more than 40 books, along with numerous novellas and stories.

In her spare time, Jennifer enjoys hanging out with friends and family, doing yoga, and reading fantasy and romance books. She also watches way too much TV and lo

Other books in the series

Crown of Shards (3 books)
  • Protect the Prince (Crown of Shards, #2)
  • Crush the King  (Crown of Shards, #3)

Articles featuring this book

Here there be dragons, superheroes, aliens, and warlords. In the coming months, readers will get to return to Westeros and the All Souls...
95 likes · 71 comments
“Summer queens are fine and fair, with pretty ribbons and flowers in their hair. Winter queens are cold and hard, with frosted crowns made of icy shards.” 12 likes
“You have to survive, no matter what you have to do, no matter who you have to cheat and hurt and kill, no matter what the cost is to your heart and soul. Do you hear me, Everleigh? You have to live.” 6 likes
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