I want to start off by thanking HarperCollins for the opportunity to review an ARC of Crush the King by Jennifer Estep.
I consider myself a bit of a milkshake connoisseur.
Given the choice between cookies, brownies, ice cream, pies (of all varieties), cupcakes, and milkshakes, I’d choose a milkshake every time.
My favorite is plain old chocolate, but I’ve tried many flavors, including the peanut butter and jelly milkshake from Disney’s 50’s Prime Time Diner in Hollywood Studios.
It’s not as bad as it sounds, I promise, but neither was it my favorite.
Regardless of the type of milkshake I get, there’s something that absolutely must be included:
Whip cream with a cherry on top.
The milkshake is fantastic on it’s own, but these added elements make it all the better.
Crush the King is the cherry on top of an absolutely amazing series.
Crush the King Review
If I have to read the words “long game” one more time I’m liable to snap.
Now that I’ve got that minor annoyance out of the way everything else I have to say is nothing but brilliantly glowing words of affirmation.
It’s been awhile since I read the first two books in the series, and I appreciated that the author provided a bit of a recap for me in the first chapter of Crush the King.
I fell right back into the story and it got moving fairly quickly.
If there’s one thing I love, it’s a book that puts the pedal to the metal early and never lets up.
That’s Crush the King in a nutshell.
Anyone who’s ever made a milkshake knows there’s a few steps that are crucial to making the perfect treat.
There’s a few things you need: vanilla ice cream, chocolate syrup, whip cream, and of course…a blender.
Gathering the ingredients is a crucial first step into any great dessert.
Likewise, laying the groundwork for Crush the King’s epic conclusion starts from the very first page of the book. As much as I despise the phrase, Everleigh really is playing “the long game.”
Everything that happens, including a few flashbacks, are laying the groundwork for a greater scheme, so pay attention. You’ll enjoy the climax so much more if you do.
There’s quite a bit of clever foreshadowing going on you won’t want to miss.
Mixing it up
The moment you turn on the blender, you release a flurry of chaos inside the cup.
That’s the best way to describe what’s going on in the middle of Crush the King.
This book is all about the Regalia. It’s a tournament for the seven kingdoms of the land to come together and find out who has the strongest warrior.
Hang on to your seats as you’re swept along a fierce dance competition, an intense game of cards similar to Rook, and battle of strength in the arena.
From the barbed words of her enemies to the sharp points of their blades, Everleigh is dodging attacks and assassination attempts around every corner.
But she’s not merely playing defense this time, she shows her claws and begins to fight back. Everyone thinks that Evie is weak, but she’s about to prove them all wrong.
Sweet sweet satisfaction
That first sip of a milkshake is sheer perfection.
All that hard work and it’s finally paid off. That’s the ending to Crush the King.
I’m not positive if this third book in the Crown of Shards series is the last or not. From what I’ve been able to discover, Jennifer Estep has plans to continue writing in the world of Crown of Shards, but it may be a different character.
The ending does leave room for more to the story, but it also neatly wraps it with a bow, or puts the cherry on top for a complete story.
If no more books were written, I’d be perfectly satisfied with this ending. But if Estep chooses to write more, I’ll be equally excited.
There is, however, one aspect of Crush the King that might disappoint others.
Those romance lovers out there.
While there is romance in the earlier books, it’s all but devoid in Crush the King. Oh, there’s a sex scene. And it’s rather explicit. But that’s it, and it’s fairly early on.
Sorry if that bursts your bubble.
I like a good romance subplot as much as the next person, but I don’t need it, and I was totally fine with the story how it was written.
Crush the King was a blood-pumping roller coaster of a ride from start to finish.
Looking for more great books?
Check out my review of Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson