I have had really good luck with the ARCs that I’ve been reading lately, they’ve all been fantastic and this one was no different! Unrelated to the actual review, but I’m using the new WordPress editor which is not the easiest thing to work with, but I’m hoping that after I figure it out it will help improve my blog posts. I feel like everything is hidden behind new menus now!
by KayLynn Flanders
Series: Shielded #1
Release date: July 21st 2020
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
The kingdom of Hálendi is in trouble. It’s losing the war at its borders, and rumors of a new, deadlier threat on the horizon have surfaced. Princess Jennesara knows her skills on the battlefield would make her an asset and wants to help, but her father has other plans.
As the second-born heir to the throne, Jenna lacks the firstborn’s–her brother’s–magical abilities, so the king promises her hand in marriage to the prince of neighboring Turia in exchange for resources Hálendi needs. Jenna must leave behind everything she has ever known if she is to give her people a chance at peace.
Only, on the journey to reach her betrothed and new home, the royal caravan is ambushed, and Jenna realizes the rumors were wrong–the new threat is worse than anyone imagined. Now Jenna must decide if revealing a dangerous secret is worth the cost before it’s too late–for her and for her entire kingdom.
I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this book! It was pretty fast paced and I flew through it. The two main things I loved the most in this book is the world and the characters, especially Jennesara the main character.
Jennesara was shown from the very beginning to be a strong heroine, both in terms of her character as well as her fighting prowess. I was able to connect with her fairly early on, so when different events started happening to her I was worried for her survival. When we meet her, she wants to convince her father that she is needed on the front lines of the war that her kingdom is facing but her father instead sends her off to marry the prince of a neighboring kingdom. Without spoiling anything, the events that happen to her after she starts her journey had me flipping the pages so quickly, I needed to see how she would get out of some of the situations she was put in!
I also highly enjoyed the romance, which has been described as insta love. To me, it was more of an instant attraction rather than an ‘I-just-met-you-and-I-love-you’ kind of thing.
The world was also very interesting, although I wish that it would’ve been explained a bit more because I was struggling to picture the plateau and the continent and what they looked like. I did read an ARC copy though so it’s possible that a map will be included in the final version which I think would help with some of my confusion. The magic that this world has was interesting, but I’m still not clear on what exactly some of the powers are and who can do what, as well as the history on where it came from which was explained a little bit, but not really in depth. I’m hoping for more expansion on both the world and the magic system in the next book.
As far as the actual story, I couldn’t put the book down! It was full of betrayal, political intrigue, lies, magic, and a little bit of mystery as well. I loved how fast paced and action packed this was while keeping some slower (yet still intense) scenes. I would definitely say if you are a fan of slow burn fantasy where it takes a while for the story to pick up momentum, maybe this book wouldn’t be for you.
However, if you are looking for a fast paced, intense YA fantasy, I think you would enjoy this one!
ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.