RogerBW's Blog

Tear Down the Throne, Jennifer Estep 31 March 2023

2022 fantasy, second of its trilogy. Princess Gemma continues to try to work out what the Mortans are up to.

Estep is following the pattern she established in Crown of Shards: the romantic tension is largely resolved here, and a secondary enemy is taken out of play, but the Big Nasty is still there for the final book. Maeven, who's been the Evil Queen since the start of the first trilogy, goes a few steps further on her obvious path of redemption, though some of the backstory invented for her here makes her less powerful in her own right and more the pawn of someone else's prophecy.

The action here is less sneaky and more fighty than the first book, and while the combat is well done it does start to drag after a while. There's too much going round in circles: too much "you say you love me, but I can never trust you"; too much "what is the evil prince up to, we learned nothing new here"; too much "we have to work together in spite of our friction, oh look we are friends after all". None of these things is bad once or twice, but when they become recurring themes they grate.

It's not bad, but I'm not impatient to read the next volume as I was after book one.

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Previous in series: Capture the Crown | Series: Gargoyle Queen | Next in series: Conquer the Kingdom

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