KILL THE QUEEN has been one of our favorite starts of a series this year! We are so excited to share this interview with author Jennifer Estep today so you all get to know more about her and this book. You definitely want to add this to your TBR.
Congrats on your new Crown of Shards series! Can you please tell us more about the inspiration behind it?
Thanks! I appreciate that.
The Crown of Shards series focuses on Everleigh Blair, a member of the royal family who is distantly in line for the throne of Bellona, a kingdom steeped in gladiator tradition. But when the unthinkable happens, Evie finds herself fighting for her life—both inside and outside the gladiator arena. So the book is sort of like the movie Gladiator meets Game of Thrones with a kick-butt heroine.
I’ve loved reading epic fantasy ever since high school. In fact, the very first (unpublished) book that I ever wrote was an epic fantasy. So writing in the genre has always been a dream of mine, and I am thrilled to finally be writing my own epic fantasy series. I hope that everyone enjoys reading about Evie and my take on gladiators.
This series is a bit of a change for you. What was the biggest challenge you faced while writing it?
This is my first published epic fantasy book, so it was a bit of change to write epic fantasy instead of urban fantasy or young adult urban fantasy.
Most of my Elemental Assassin and Mythos Academy books are about 95,000 to 100,000 words, but Kill the Queen is around 125,000 words. So it is quite a bit longer than my other books. That means that everything takes a little bit longer to do, from revisions to copyedits to page proofs. So adjusting to the lengthier production schedule was one challenge for me.
How would you describe this book in three words?
Dark. Bloody. Action-packed.
You write the most amazingly kickass heroines. What would you say is one quality that all heroines should have?
Thanks! I appreciate that. I love writing kickass heroines. 😉
I think that all heroines need to have an inner strength that they can draw on when times get tough. In Kill the Queen, most people overlook or dismiss Evie as weak and unimportant, but she has quite a bit of inner strength and determination that helps her survive a horrible situation.
Evie is a lot stronger than she thinks she is, and she really comes into her own in Kill the Queen. Showing Evie embracing her inner strength and fierceness was a really fun character arc to write.
Is there anything surprising that happened to you or you found out while doing research for this book?
One thing that I have a love-hate relationship with when it comes to epic fantasy is that you have to name every single thing in the book, from the people to the kingdoms to the castles to the cities. I spent a lot of time coming up with names for things. LOL.
What’s the last book you read that you would recommend?
A Duke by Default by Alyssa Cole. I love royal-themed romances, and it’s a really fun book.
Is there a book that defined your childhood?
I think I read the same books that a lot of kids did – the Baby-Sitters Club, Sweet Valley High, Nancy Drew, etc. I always loved books with a lot of action and adventure in them, and if I found a series that I liked, then I would read the books in it over and over and over again.
But all those childhood books definitely helped me fall in love with reading and made me want to write my own books and tell the stories that I wanted to tell.
What would be your dream vacation?
I would love to go to Alaska. Take a cruise and see the whales and glaciers, and then go inland and visit some of the national parks. That’s on my bucket list.
What can readers expect in the next book of the series?
Protect the Prince is the title for book #2 in my Crown of Shards series. As of right now, Protect the Prince will probably be released in summer 2019. As the title suggests, readers will learn a lot more about Lucas Sullivan in that book.
Thank you so much for sharing with us today!
Happy reading, everyone! 😉
by Jennifer Estep
Released: October 2, 2018
Series: Crown of Shards #1
Published by Harper Voyager
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 bestselling 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.
Jennifer Estep is graciously giving away
Two (2) paperback copies of KILL THE QUEEN
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