I received a digital copy of this ARC from Harper Voyager, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
Content Warnings: Blood/gore, drowning, political themes, anxiety, PTSD, and discussion/memories of torture, abuse, and murder.
I have been excited to get my hands on this book since I read the ARC of CAPTURE THE CROWN last year, and it did not disappoint. What I love most about this series is how we’re able to see flashbacks of a young Gemma and Leo and what actually happened to them after the events of the Seven Spire massacre.
When I originally read the CROWN OF SHARDS trilogy, back in late 2020, I was confused as to why we were introduced to Gemma and Leo but left feeling like we didn’t learn enough to tie up their story, which is why when I found out there would be a spin-off that focused on an adult Gemma I was so excited! Not only do we get to see Gemma as an adult but we also get vivid flashbacks of her childhood that show us just how connected she and Leo really are.
From a young age, thanks in part to the Seven Spire massacre, Gemma learned to never underestimate her enemies and she isn’t going to start now. So regardless of her growing feelings, and attraction, towards Leo she doesn’t have the time, or patience, to dissect them. As all the royals gather for their annual Summit, to discuss trade agreements, Gemma’s sole focus is on unraveling whatever plans Maeven, and Milo, attempt to enact that could hurt those she loves.
As Gemma tries to gather clues, can she get ahead of Maeven and Milo, and are those the only enemies she should be looking out for?
I LOVED this book though at times I really wanted to shake Gemma. Not only do we get the political intrigue, and backstabbing, that we’re used to but we also get a beautiful story of two people learning to love and trust regardless of circumstance. This book had me feeling all the emotions, there were times when I needed to scream into a pillow from excitement, and sometimes anger, and times when I needed to grab the tissues because I couldn’t stop the tears.
Each new book I read, set in this universe, has me falling more and more in love with it and with Jennifer’s writing. I cannot wait [I’m serious give me book 3 now! haha] to see what else we get out of these kingdoms. I’m not sure if this series will also be a trilogy, but I can already see potential breadcrumbs, for another character, to have their own trilogy and I’m so excited to see if that happens.