Shielded is impressive, fast paced and perfect YA high fantasy with strong characters, descriptive and captivating world, lovely OTP and well written actions and twist and turns.
Shielded (Shielded #1) by KayLynn Flanders
Publication Date : July 21st 2020
Publisher : Delacorte Press
Genre : YA / Fantasy / High Fantasy
Pages : 432
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.
*** Note: I received e-copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to PRHGlobal for free copy. ***
Shielded was amazing and impressive high fantasy novel that revolved around Jennesara and her love for her country and family. It was about family, love, sacrifice, friendship, betrayal, and good vs evil.
Writing was gripping, beautiful, vivid and fast paced. I couldn’t put this down until I finished the book. It was first person narrative from Jennesara’s (Jenna) perspective. Her voice was enchanting and I loved reading this world and her conflicting situation through her view. Everything in this book- plot, characters, world and development- was perfectly written. This is kind of book you can go blind and enjoy more without knowing anything about it.
Plot was intriguing with The Waiting Evil trope. It started with character introduction, customs of Hálendi, how war at borders was affecting everyone, and how Jenna got surprise just a day before her seventeenth birthday about her betrothal to prince heir of Turia and has to leave behind everything she loved to save her kingdom. Jenna was second born and she kept a secret that she too was born with magic like her brother to avoid conflict and fulfil her mother’s dying wish but she got another surprise when her father gave her magical artefacts before she left indicating he knew about it. On her journey to Turia, her caravan was ambushed by greater threat to kingdom than they have thought.
It was interesting to read how Jenna would survive the wild magical forest, if she would reach to Turia, what she would do once she reach there, how she would confront King of Turia, and if she could help in saving her people, her family, and kingdoms from the mages of legend.
Characters were realistic and well written. Most of them were likable which made it hard to guess who was betraying the kingdom. Even the villains were interesting and I enjoyed reading more about them. My most favourite characters were Jenna and Enzo.
Jenna was fiery, fierce and strong female character. She was amazing warrior and knew how to fight but her father kept her from studying magic and tried to keep her safe from war. She knew more about magic only recently and yet she could figure things out. She was not good at strategizing and plans but she was smart and knew kingdom politics well. I admired her love for her brother, father and kingdom, the way she kept her magic secret to keep throne secure for her brother. She was burdened by the secret and she feared the conflict if her secret came out or if she turned against her brother like stories in legend yet she handled the burden and guarded the secret so well. I enjoyed her journey through wild that made her stronger and more developed. Her time in Turia and all the scenes from her secret identity to its revelation showed how amazing she was not just from outside but from inside.
Enzo was lovely to read. He was strong, smart, great warrior but little less fierce than Jenna that balanced their relationship. We know him more through his relationship with Jenna. I will talk about it letter.
Family dynamic was amazing. I loved Ren who would made everyone want to have brother like him. He cared and loved his sister with whole heart and soul. He was Jenna’s partner in crime. Jenna’s father was amazing. I loved him when he gave those artefacts to Jenna and showed why he was strict with her and how much he loved her. Enzo’s family was lovely. His grandmother, Yesilia, was best healer of kingdom and everyone respected her. I liked her for supporting Jenna during her stay. Enzo’s father-King Marko was cunning but fair king and I liked him whenever he showed up. Queen Cora, Enzo’s mother, was motherly character and two sisters- Mari and Chiara- were fabulous, especially Mari who was mischievous, strong for her age, knew every corner of the castle and best at hiding. Chiara was great too. She was not warrior like Jenna and yet I loved reading about her and there is going to be more about her in next book.
World was mesmerizing. It developed gradually. As the plot progressed we know more about history of Plateau and Continent and how three kingdoms of Plateau were divide, what was their custom and how they helped each other and how war was affecting all three kingdoms, magical artefacts, magic, story of hidden magical library, and the Mages and their powers. It was all mind-blowing to read and was perfectly balanced with characters, plot, and romance.
Romance was lovely. Both Enzo and Jenna never met each other before, they didn’t communicate before betrothal as Jenna didn’t knew anything about it. When they met, they developed friendship and their feeling for each other grew as they spent more time together, even though Enzo didn’t know whom he had brought to palace. Jenna’s dilemma to reveal her secret or not, Enzo finding another betrothal, and danger hunting Jenna added more tension to their relationship. I was curious to see when Enzo would discover her true identity and how he would react, and when it was revealed, it made their ship even more interesting.
Action scenes were thrilling and exciting to read. There were so many twists and turns in the book. Some were good, some were surprising, and few I could guess easily. Climax was tense and filled with magic, action, and revelation of Jenna’s identity. Last and major twist before the final battle was surprising. (well, I made mistake, I read synopsis of second book which made it easy to guess for me what would happen next so I advise don’t read synopsis of second book before you finish this one.) But when the curtain was lifted from the face of traitor I was shocked and I couldn’t guess what he did next. End was just perfect. Next book Untethered is going to be my most anticipated book in 2021.
Overall, Shielded was perfect definition of high fantasy with strong characters, descriptive and captivating world, lovely OTP and well written actions and twist and turns.
I hope you enjoyed this post. Let me know in comments what do you think about this book and my review, have you read this book already or going to add it to TBR. Your favourite strong female character?
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