I received this book for free from the Publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Capture the Crown by Jennifer Estep
Series: Gargoyle Queen #1
Published by HarperCollins on July 6, 2021
Genres: Fantasy, Fiction, Romance
Format: ARC, eBook
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Bestselling author Jennifer Estep returns to her Crown of Shards world with an all-new trilogy and a bold new heroine who protects her kingdom from magic, murder, and mayhem by moonlighting as a spy.
Gemma Ripley has a reputation for being a pampered princess who is more interested in pretty gowns, sparkling jewelry, and other frivolous things than learning how to rule the kingdom of Andvari. But her carefully crafted persona is just an act to hide the fact that Gemma is a powerful mind magier—and a spy.
Gemma is undercover, trying to figure out who is stealing large amounts of tearstone from one of the Ripley royal mines when she encounters Prince Leonidas Morricone of Morta—her mortal enemy. Gemma tries to steer clear of the handsome prince, but when she finds herself behind enemy lines, she reluctantly joins forces with Leo. Also coming to Gemma’s aid is Grimley, her beloved gargoyle.
Despite the fact that Andvari and Morta are old, bitter enemies, a dangerous attraction sparks between Gemma and Leo. Further complicating matters is Leo’s murderous family, especially Queen Maeven Morricone, the mastermind behind the infamous Seven Spire massacre.
The closer Gemma gets to the stolen tearstone, the more deadly plots she uncovers. Everyone is trying to capture the crown, but only one queen can sit on the throne …
I really enjoyed reading this book! I loved the Crown of Shards trilogy so I was thrilled to get the chance to read more books set in that world. I have to admit that I have a hard time remembering much about secondary characters once I have finished a book so I really knew nothing about Gemma, Leo, or any of the characters but some of the events mentioned in the story were very familiar to me. This would be a perfect place to start if you were thinking about reading any of the books set in this world.
Gemma is known as a pampered princess but the reality is that she works to protect her kingdom by working as a spy. She has been working in a mine when she stumbles upon more than she bargained for when she crosses paths with Prince Leo of Morta. She doesn’t hesitate to take full advantage of the opportunity to go undercover in Morta even though it is a risky move. Before it is all over, she will find herself in more danger than she could have ever imagined.
This was an exciting story! I was really worried about Gemma, Leo, and the rest of the characters for much of the book. There were a few scenes that were really intense. I was never quite sure who Gemma should trust. I liked Leo and they had a lot of chemistry together but he is loyal to his mother, Queen Maeven. I enjoyed the magic in this story. I love Gemma’s abilities and I have a feeling that she will master even more skills as the series progresses. I really loved the gargoyle, Grimley, and the strix, Lyra, and look forward to seeing more of them in future books.
I would recommend this book to others. I thought that this was an excellent start to a promising series set in a world that I already love. The characters were very well done and there was plenty of intense action to keep the pages turning. I cannot wait to read more of this series!
I received a digital review copy of this book from Harper Voyager via NetGalley.