Tuesday, 10 March 2020

Review: Crush The King by Jennifer Estep

A fierce gladiator queen must face off against her enemies in an epic battle in this next thrilling installment of New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jennifer Estep’s Crown of Shards series—an action-packed adventure full of magic, murderous machinations, courtly intrigue, and pulse-pounding romance.

Queen Everleigh Blair of Bellona has survived the mass murder of the royal family, become a fearsome warrior trained by an elite gladiator troupe, and unleashed her ability to destroy magic. After surviving yet another assassination attempt orchestrated by the conniving king of Morta, Evie has had enough. It’s time to turn the tables and take the fight to her enemies.

There is no better opportunity to strike than during the Regalia Games, a time when warriors, nobles, and royals from all the kingdoms come together to compete in various sporting events. With the help of her loyal friends, Evie goes on the attack at the Regalia, but things don’t turn out the way she hopes. Soon, she is facing a terrifying new threat, and she will have to dig deep and learn even more about her growing magic if she has any chance of defeating her foes.

Because to secure her throne and ensure her kingdom’s survival, Evie must think like a true Bellonan: she must outsmart and outwit her enemies . . . and crush the king.

*eArc granted in exchange for an honest review*


First person, single pov.

Yes, read the other two in the trilogy before starting this one.
The author tries to back fill information but I can't see how it would be enough...

No. The trilogy wraps up nicely.
However! The author leaves threads dangling (some which are newly spun in this book) so I'm assuming there's going to be a continuation of the series in some form...

I guess so!
A definite happy for now but I'd have been happier with a nice epilogue letting me know everything is good long-term, you know?
I guess that feeds into my theory about a continuation of the series...

Gladiator games. I think that's enough said... But maybe I should add that it's twistier than the other books and the Mortan king has a thing for * killing magical animals and drinking their blood...*

Highlight between the * for warning which is a spoiler.

This book delivered what I’d wanted for a long time!
Evie and her crew on the offensive and Lucas Sullivan where he belongs - at Evie’s side!

The book centres around an event that is a cross between the Olympics and gladiator games but features all seven of the kingdoms - including the evil Morta so we finally get to meet the Mortan king!
It book didn't have the slow start of the others, it dived straight into the action and it never lets up!
It's full-on twisty, plotty, schemey, fighty goodness! And I loved it.

Evie has grown so much and I loved that this book gave her ample opportunity to shine in front of her people and the other kingdoms.
She may not have been anyone's first choice for queen but she has proven what an awesome queen she is and will be for her people! She's a formidable and fierce lady and I pity anyone who forgets it.

Crush The King was a fantastic end to a super enjoyable trilogy but the reason I didn't give it five stars (again for none of them have got me to five stars) is that too many things were left hanging!
Not about the main plot of the trilogy, for that wrapped up nicely, but it's obvious that threads were left hanging (and freshly woven) into this one so that they could be pulled at a later date for more books and it irked me.
It irked me because if those later books are never written those loose threads will be forever dangling and irritating. On the plus side, I'm game for reading more books in this world so... Maybe I need to let it go, lol.

If you're a fantasy fan, or just a fan of kick-ass females, then you've gotta give this series a try!

I liked the cover! It's fierce and kick-ass like the others but I'm not a fan of the green background... I preferred the lighter backgrounds of the other two books.


  1. I absolutely love this series! I really do hope this wasn't the last book and get more.

  2. I don't like dangling threads at the end of an arc. I read a lot of Indie series and sometimes the next planned book just never shows up! It is so frustrating! Maybe she has another trilogy planned. I hope you get more to enjoy!

  3. I love kick-ass female characters, so it looks like I need to give this a try! I don't like when everything isn't wrapped up. That would irk me too. I wonder if there is going to be more books, or a spinoff perhaps.

    Lindy@ A Bookish Escape

  4. I just kind of skimmed your review since I definitely plan on reading this trilogy at some point. I love a good epilogue so I can understand wising that one had been given. Pretty cool that the door is open for a possible continuation or spin-off!

  5. I keep hearing great things about this book and the series but I haven't read it yet.