Shielded by KayLynn Flanders
Released: July 21, 2020
I LOVE THIS BOOK.
There, I said it.
I've been reading a lot lately (thank you, Covid-19), and this is seriously one of the best books I've read this year. I couldn't read it fast enough, and yet read it far too quickly because now I'm sad it's over.
Before I get too far ahead of myself, here's a short synopsis of Shielded:
Princess Jennesara isn't the heir to the throne--meaning she shouldn't have even a little bit of the magic inside her. She's content with being the princess everyone thinks is a little strange, as long as it keeps her alive and her brother as the heir. But, everything changes when her father arranges her marriage to a neighboring kindgom's prince. With her brother on his way to stop a war waging on their northern border, Jenna sets out to marry a prince she's never known. Before they make it to her new home, however, their caravan is attacked and Jenna must flee into the Wild to save herself, and the future of her kingdom.
I am here for it all: a princess in disguise, plot twists, rich magic, a rich fantasy world, and of course a little love to go along with it all. I am so excited that this is only the first book because wow do I need more. It was truly action packed and fast paced, keeping my turning the page from beginning to end.
Flanders created a world that was rich in detail, and I felt like I had stepped right into it from the beginning. The Wild was an entity of it's own and I hope there's more of it, or places like it, in any future book in this world. I love when the world itself has magic within. It reminded me a bit of Game of Thrones meets The Witcher in the separation of their world and even bits of the magic.
Jenna isn't just another princess--she has magic, she can fight, she's smart, and she'll do anything to save those she loves. As far as protagonists go, she's easily one of my new favorites. I loved reading as she progressed from the strange princess to a warrior to be reckoned with. With her cold, warrior kingdom, she reminded me of a Viking princess, and I love me some Vikings.
The fighting scenes were action packed and I loved that Jenna was at the heart of it. It's great seeing a princess not so much in distress! In fact, she was doing the saving--of herself and others, which was really refreshing. It was interesting to watch her grow into this magic she has inside of her and how she uses it in battle.
I also really enjoyed the magic system, and how the history and lore of the land helped shape and guide the story. It made it more real and grounded, and much more interesting to read. I'm a history nerd, even for history that isn't real, apparently.
As always, I'm a sucker for even a little bit of love in books and this one did it for me. I felt it, man. I liked that it wasn't the focus, but that we got to see it blossoming. Instant connection isn't for everyone, usually myself included, but it felt right for me and I enjoyed it for a change. Forbidden love gets me every time.
Flanders also plants some excellent plot twists in her already amazing novel. I'm not one for spoilers unless absolutely necessary, so I'll keep those to myself, but know that everything may not be as it seems. I love the feeling of pieces coming together--I love a good a-ha moment!
Overall, I highly suggest you add it to your To-Be-Read pile. You won't regret it!