Now, this review was actually supposed to be a part of the TBR and Beyond Shielded Blog Tour, but due to unfortunate circumstances and technical difficulties, I was unable to get my post out on the 9th. This book was literally so amazing to me, that I didn’t want to miss the chance to gawk all over it.
I mean, I really loved this book!
A very special thank you to TBR and Beyond Tours, KayLynn Flanders, and Delacorte Press for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my open and honest review. Believe me, as with all B+S Book Reviews, there will be no BS here.
Release Date: July 21, 2020
Publisher: Delacorte Press
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.
Shielded’s cover caught my eye on NetGalley before I was even included in the blog tour. I was immediately attracted to the fierceness of the girl on the front, and I felt that the illustrations fit the tagline. They both told me a lot about what the book was all about.
Even though I was denied on NetGalley (I’m not crying… you are!), I quickly jumped on the chance to participate in the TBR and Beyond Tour’s tour of this book for a chance to be able to get my hands on it.
Another thing I loved about this cover is its crispness… yeah you read right, I think this cover is crisp! I know it sounds weird, but the bold colors of the lines mixed with the striking colors in the illustrations just made the cover jump out to me. It made me feel like I was in for a nice treat, a nice, crisp treat.
Luckily, Shielded provided just that!
For fans of Sorcery of Thorns and Furyborn comes a thrilling new fantasy about a kingdom ravaged by war, and the princess who might be the key to saving not only those closest to her, but the kingdom itself, if she reveals the very secret that could destroy her.
If you’re telling me that fans of Sorcery of Thorns would love this book, I’m all in. I absolutely adored SofT… like seriously adored. Magical libraries with ancient talking tomes, that inherit the spirit of those who created them, is a story-line that doesn’t come to often, so when I get the chance to experience anything like it, of course, I’m all game.
The whole “I shouldn’t have these powers” conflict is one that I love to read about. The stories of the glitch in Nature’s design is always amazing because you see your protagonist struggle against Fate, and you’re just waiting for them to bust out of that cocoon and release all that bad-assery onto all who may doubt them. The revenge is sweet, and it feels good to witness this coming of age story unfurl.
Could it be true??
Did I truly find my most favoritest read of all of 2020 (thus far)???
I didn’t think the day would come… I’ve honestly been reading some incredible books this year, but they all left me with the same amount of satisfaction: nothing that blew my mind, only books that kept me thoroughly entertained.
Not Shielded. I was literally enthralled from beginning to end. It’s been a while since I read a fantasy that was so well written that I became immersed in the story. I mean the world-building was perfetto, and the characters were easy to fall in love with and so believable.
The chemistry between your two lovers is palpable, and not forced. The way their love blossomed in light of their circumstances was organic. I smiled often at the two of them as if I was watching their awkward and intimate interactions in person.
To put it simply: they were so damn cute I couldn’t stand it.
Most of the fantasies I have been reading lately have had a lot of nice action scenes, but honestly, Shielded took the cake.
Rather quickly in the book, you’re hit with an intense scene that induces all types of anxiety. I found myself biting my lip, legs shaking, and mumbling to myself “c’mooooon”! I was right there in the midst of the fight, and my heart was beating just as fast as the MC’s.
I loved every second.
What was great about the action scenes is that they were distributed throughout the story in a way that you never got too bored just reading about the day by day, but there wasn’t so much that you were rolling your eyes thinking “this doesn’t even seem like real life…”
Side Note: We are reading fantasies here, is there a such thing as “real life”?
So yeah, the action was delivered at the right times, but every action scene was written so realistically, that the words quickly turned into moving pictures on the page. From the crunch of bone against stone to the nauseating, dizziness one can get from sparring with zero energy or nutrition, I felt every pain and I panted from the severity of the fight.
What a rush!
Overall, I wish I could erase my memory of reading this book so I can read it all over again fresh. It was just that good. If I had only one gripe, it would be that the big “Oh!” was predictable for me. It may not be for you, but, it was for me. Not that this killed the entire thing for me, of course, but considering how excitingly everything else unfolded, I would’ve liked a big bang type of twist. But that’s just me being greedy, I’m sure…
Overall, this book left me enamored and I am now betrothed to Book #2. I can’t wait for us to finally be together! Shielded was definitely a winner in the B+S Book Review Archives.
4.8 Hearts for giving me the best read of 2020 so far, even with a predictable “Ah ha!” moment.
Usually I do a bigger character list, but I just want to focus on the two MCs for right now… I don’t want to give too much of the story away, and revealing other characters could cause me to talk too much.
Our single, braid wearing, golden-haired, magical Princess MC . Based off of that description, you would think me and Jenna were polar opposites, but when I think about her personality and the way she responded to everything happening to her in the book, I feel like she’s the most relatable character I’ve read in a long, long time.
Jennesara has magic that she can’t reveal to anyone but those closest to her, and the weight of such secrecy causes her to be reserved and insecure in many ways. She feels misunderstood by everyone in her kingdom, and her secluded and restricted home-life just further adds to her aloofness.
With that being said, Jenna is also an incredibly talented fighter (because that’s literally all she does all day is train), and that makes for some pretty amazing action scenes with her. She’s calculated and calm when she needs to be, and she’s doesn’t miss an opportunity to do what needs to be done. I mean, she’s everything I could only dream that my own daughter could be one day, and that’s putting a lot of weight on a character.
What I loved the most about Enzo has nothing to do with him solely, it’s about who comes along with him- his family. I wanted to be a part of his little tribe so badly… they had so much love and respect for each other, and personalities to match. Looking at them all as a big picture just makes Enzo shine even brighter.
Shielded gave me action, romance, funny moments and sad ones. I was falling in love and getting revenge with Jennesara, and protecting my family and flashing my crooked smile with Enzo. This book was packed with so many goodies, and I eagerly ate them all up.
Now I’m hungry for my second helping…
KayLynn Flanders is a graduate of Brigham Young University, with a degree in English Language and a minor in editing. When she’s not writing, she spends her time playing volleyball, reading, and traveling. She lives in Utah with her family, and thinks there’s nothing better than a spur-of-the-moment road trip. Her debut novel is Shielded.