Published: July 2, 2019
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Series: Crown of Shards #2
Pages: 442 (Paperback)
My Rating: 3.5/5.0
First, Evie has to deal with a court full of arrogant, demanding nobles, all of whom want to get their greedy hands on her crown. As if that wasn’t bad enough, an assassin tries to kill Evie in her own throne room.
Despite the dangers, Evie goes ahead with a scheduled trip to the neighboring kingdom of Andvari in order to secure a desperately needed alliance. But complicating matters is the stubborn Andvarian king, who wants to punish Evie for the deaths of his countrymen during the Seven Spire massacre.
But dark forces are at work inside the Andvarian palace, and Evie soon realizes that no one is safe. Worse, Evie’s immunity to magic starts acting in strange, unexpected ways, which makes her wonder whether she is truly strong enough to be a Winter Queen.
But Evie’s magic, life, and crown aren’t the only things in danger—so is her heart, thanks to Lucas Sullivan, the Andvarian king’s bastard son and Evie’s . . . well, Evie isn’t quite sure what Sullivan is to her.
Only one thing is certain—protecting a prince might be even harder than killing a queen…
This has been a really fun series to get into and I just had to catch up before the third book is released in March. This review will be a little spoilery for the first book, so if you haven’t read it BE WARNED!
Evie, who went from unwanted distant relative of the Queen to gladiator is now the Queen of Bellona. She’s had quite the trajectory with a few ups and downs along the way and now she’s struggling with her new title and associated responsibilities. Her first order of business is to visit Andvari and try to work out a new treaty with their king (Lucas’s father). This is more difficult than usual because the Andvarians are still angry about the assassination of their prince and ambassador at the hands of Vasilia. On top of this, the Mortans are still trying to assassinate Evie at every turn. The book is literally divided into the assassination attempts.
I really did enjoy this, but I definitely found myself rolling my eyes at character decisions more and more often. It’s like Evie’s gotten dumber since the first book. So many of her problems are caused by poor communication – either she conveys things so poorly and clumsily that she makes people mad or they misunderstand her intentions OR she just outright lies about things because “it’s for the best”. This is one of the most frustrating plot devices I have ever come across. Like, JUST SPIT IT OUT AND TELL THE TRUTH. I mean, girl, if you can sneak around the palace unseen you can find a way to tell tall-dark-and-handsome that you don’t really mean the things you’re doing.
Overall, Protect the Prince was once again quite entertaining though it’s lost some of the luster that the first book had. I am looking forward to the third book where Evie and co. gets to face down against the Mortans and see how everything wraps up in the end. Will they succeed? Will the author be cruel and kill off characters I love? It remains to be seen!