by KayLynn Flanders
Date of Publication: July 21st, 2020
I received an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book from the
publisher and TBR and Beyond Book Tours as part of my participation in their tour.
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.
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.
KayLynn Flanders has a degree in English Language and editing, and has been a freelance editor and book designer for over twelve years. Her debut novel, a YA fantasy, will be published by Delacorte Press (Penguin Random House) July 21, 2020. KayLynn and her family live in Utah between some mountains and a lake, and she is directionally challenged without them. She loves reading, writing, traveling, and volleyball, and thinks there’s nothing better than a spur-of-the-moment road trip.
Eeeeeep! I can’t believe I got selected for this!
You guys, this book might just be the most wholesome fantasy book with families involved in it!
So, at first glance, Shielded is pretty much a basic YA fantasy- we have the typical hella talented female lead, who is blessed with powers she has to hide, and has to undertake a journey which ultimately ends up with her fighting the greatest evil of her time. BBBUT, Shielded turned out to be SO MUCH MORE than that!
Here are a few things I loved about this book:
- Jenna’s love for her family: Right from the first chapter, we see Jenna go on and on about how much she loves her family. I realize we get to see this a lot more due to the nature of her powers, and it’s refreshing to have an MC who has and loves her family!
- The Witcher meets Cinderella meets Throne of Glass vibes: Need I say more? This book is like the amalgamation of the best parts of all these books/series. I LOVED the Wild part, and Irena’s family helping out! I’m at the risk of repeating myself, but, wholesome!
- ENZO’S FAMILY!: You guys, this was arguably my most favourite aspect of the book! Enzo is the prince of Halendi’s neighbouring kingdom, Turia, and he is Jenna’s betrothed. His family is ADORABLE! I love how his father and mother also feature quite prominently in the book, and his sisters, Chiara and Mari, are a total blast! Yesilia is THE BEST. All of them share quite a lovely dynamic with Jenna, and all the scenes featuring this family had me grinning. I can’t wait to see more of them!
- Jenna’s not an all-powerful being: Though she is, like all our typical YA heroines, quite powerful, she does get knocked down a lot and I’m really glad to see that. (Do I sound like a sadist? 😋) She is helped by the others a fair amount of time, and that made this book stand out even more.
Now, coming to the reasons why I deducted a star from this book:
- Jenna learns how to use her abilities much too fast: Since it is shown that she’s been learning swordfighting since she was a kid, I’m fine with her kicking anybody’s ass in a swordfight. But Jenna getting to use her abilities with next to no practice and for prolonged periods of time was something that didn’t sit right with me.
- The penultimate fight scene: Umm, all I can say without giving out spoilers is that this seemed much too fast? I would’ve liked a bit more of a struggle.
Ultimately, this book was super fun. If I were to rate it technically, I would’ve given it 3.5 stars, but emotionally it is a 4 for me, hence 4 stars it is. The wholesome parts quite made up for the rest 🙈
Also, there’s a part in the book where something is described as ‘gold strands looped from her temples, down under her ears, and up into [..] the back of her head,’ and I was like 😮 KATARA’S HAIR LOOPIES?!? 😂
Win a Finished Copy of Shielded by KayLynn Flanders (US only)
Start date: August 3 rd, 2020
End date: August 9th, 2020
Have you read Shielded? If you haven’t, I highly recommend you add it to your TBR!