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Kill the Queen

Crown of Shards Series, Book 1
Narrated by: Lauren Fortgang
Series: Crown of Shards Series, Book 1
Length: 13 hrs and 4 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (27 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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 best-selling 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.

©2018 Jennifer Estep (P)2018 HarperCollins Publishers

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

loved it

Enjoyed the whole book , the storyline was great the narrator perfect .Looking forward to the next one

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    4 out of 5 stars

Great story, starts sluggish, decent narrator

By the end of the book i really enjoyed it. It was a sluggish start and not the best writing to begin with but the story draws you in as the book goes on and I will purchase the next in the series.

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Profile Image for LexiLikesLiterature
  • LexiLikesLiterature
  • 06-12-2018

🙄🙄🙄

As a whole, I enjoyed Kill the Queen. The book has its share of gore, fighting, and villians who are actually bad. There isn't too much on any one thing in this novel and that is both good and bad at times. I started listening while I was stuck in traffic and finished it the next day. I tried to save some but like a kid I kept listening to just one more chapter until I realized it was all gone.

Our main character, Evie, is forced to flee her semi-comfortable life and seeks shelter in a traveling Gladiator camp. This character tells the reader she is 28, but to be honest the plot and background of the book is suited for a YA novel rather than Epic Fantasy. There are a couple of curse words but no sex scenes nor detailed violence that can't be seen on the common cartoon.

The book has a good flow and pace. Doesn't linger too long in any one spot. However, there are some small things that bother me. For example, Evie hints at this ultimate betrayal from her cousin 15 years ago and it is used to build tthe readers dislike of Vasalia. But when it is finally revealed I was utterly underwhelmed. It wasn't even a betrayal but more like kids being mean to each other. When you use the word betrayal then it just means something different in my eyes. The villian eventually gives you other reasons to hate her but the initial one just wasn't all that deserving of being so important and drawn out.

Also, why does Jennifer Estep like to kill off parents so much? Every book has a character whose parents get assassinated. It's predictable at this point.

The narrator does a job with this novel.

3 Stars 🌟🌟🌟- Good Book. I like the overall concept and it was delivered well. Most common ranking for a book I enjoyed and look forward to the next.

34 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 14-07-2019

Sigh I wanted to like it, BUT

The magic types were interesting and the story had potential, but the characters were so one-dimensional and the plot was extremely predictable. There was little to no character relationship building and there was a lot of repetition...a lot of repetition. Example of bad relationship building: I saved your life so suddenly we are now best friends who I will tell all my deepest darkest secrets to. Example of repetition: I executed the perfect Bellonan curtsy (repeated unnecessarily time and again...can’t you just say that you curtsied in the Bellonan fashion?)...predictable Vasilia’s bullying. Lots of big plot holes and revelations that happen for no good reason. The main character is immune to magic...so how is she also immune to poison? I haven’t been this disappointed by a book in a very long time. It was hard listening to it, I felt annoyed the entire time. At least the narrator was decent.

15 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • rd
  • 11-01-2019

Started out strong

I like the idea of the story line, and it started out goid and action packed. but about halfway through, it got a predictable, and the lead character started to become annoying. not sure I'll purchase more in the series.

6 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • carey archer
  • 15-10-2018

Many of the same things Gin Blanco has

The story is very good it builds up to a great ending a little stereo typical, and if you read any of the elemental assassin/Jen Blanco series you’ll find so many similarities down to some of the same names, powers (ice), special abilities/ talents(cooking) and concepts. But overall, still super happy with it.

9 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • arlene johnson
  • 07-12-2018

very predictable. average dialog.

Reasonable juvenile fiction but the plot and characters are not well developed and the action is extremely predictable. Will not be buying other titles in this series

7 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Christyn Jeffries
  • 18-05-2019

Predictable, but fine

Frustratingly predictable and true to tropes, but it was interesting enough to finish. The romance angle was obvious immediately but took its sweet time advancing in the plot.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Michael
  • 19-10-2018

Over sold,under delivers

This is not a terrible book and the narrator, Lauren Fortgang, did a really good job.

However, I could not stop thinking about the cover blurb, “gladiator meets Game of Thrones” every time there was a glaring story inconsistency. By example, the heroine is an orphan but gets an apprenticeship where she keeps commissions (?), she takes a shower in the bathroom of her private room in the castle(?!). It’s full of these types of descriptions which can be an annoyance.

All the books in the “Game of Thrones” series were meticulously consistent about world building. This author was nowhere near as vigorous in her efforts.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-06-2019

Worst book I've read/heard in at least 5 years

I was excited about this book as it came recommended to me by a friend and who doesn't want gladiator meets game of thrones? What a let down. At first I considered that perhaps the performance was what made this book so bad, but as I continued to listen I realized that the only reason I could recognize this book as being SO BAD is because if it hadn't been an audiobook I would have stopped reading it within 15 minutes. Instead the only joy this book sparked was in finding the determination to finish it and the occasional hilariously poor phrases such as: "His mother was the King's mistress before he was born." Really??! That's kinda how those things work!
Perhaps this book was intended for a young adult or child audience (in which case the swearing may be considered inappropriate) but as an adult comparing this to the care and detail of game of thrones is a travesty.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 14-12-2018

Loved it.

Fell in love with it and can't wait until the next one in the series comes out. I had a hard time stopping it so that I could go to sleep to get some rest before I had to go to work and then I would listen to it on the way to work.

Both the author and the narrator did good jobs at making this book come alive and my imagination soar to what might come next.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Douglas
  • 18-12-2018

Slow start but worth it

Story takes awhile to create the proper setting and main character's state of mind, so the first fee chapters drag. But it's necessary if we're to understand the character growth. Only wish it could have been accomplished with fewer beginning chapters.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Kapaxiana
  • 27-01-2019

glad I stuck to it

I almost stopped listening as the start didn't spark my interest. it took a while to get into the story but I'm glad I did and I can't wait for the next book.

4 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Foxhound
  • 20-07-2019

okay story but bad writing skills

the idea was good but poor writing. I found myself feeling irritated by the main character alot of the time and too much unnecessary repetition

1 person found this helpful

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  • Poppey
  • 26-05-2019

Not a Bad Start

Set in a fantasy world of magic, gargoyles and shapeshifters, Evie is the daughter of a king and queen who were murdered and is now relegated to a minor royal, no better than a servant. However, what no-one knows is that she has the ability to smell out magic and can make herself immune to it. When her cousin Vasilia stages a coup and murders everyone in the royal family, Evie manages to escape and hide herself away in a troupe of gladiators. Let the games begin

This first book is a promising start to a series which, hopefully, will grow, if all the soul searching does not get in the way!

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Annie A
  • 14-05-2019

Good

Really enjoyed this story even if the H got on my nerves a little bit half way through - will look for next book in the series

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Louise
  • 03-05-2019

Enjoyable but predictable

I totally enjoyed reading this book despite the fact that the plot was very predictable: Nothing happened that I didn't easily predict in advance.  I kept going with it as it was well written and I liked the lead character.  The start was very slow.  It didn't get going until chapter 8 (1/4 of the way through!).  I thought a lot more could have been made of the romance between Evie and Lucas, but maybe that's reserved for book 2, which I will still read when it comes out as I do still want to see how the story progresses. 

1 person found this helpful

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  • R. Harrison
  • 01-01-2019

I loved this powered through it fast! Addictive!

I loved this so much! One of the best books I've listened to in ages. Captivating world and characters woven in to a story I couldn't wait for the end of but so so sad when it finished because it means I have to wait for the next book to be published. Great narrator essay to listen to.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Michelle Roberts
  • 30-11-2018

Another brilliant book.

I loved it, I can't wait to see what happens in book two, bring it on.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mrs S
  • 08-11-2018

Couldn't stop listening

Started listening to this book yesterday whilst decorating my daughter's house. Finished it tonight whilst cleaning my own! Really enjoyed following the feisty heroine and her friends. Highly recommended.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Rebel
  • 07-10-2018

Fantastic

Brilliant first novel to kick off a great new series. if you love the spider books then the characters and story do not disappoint. Cannot wait for the second instalment. Do not make us wait too long!

1 person found this helpful