ARC Review: Capture the Crown by Jennifer Estep

Title: Capture the Crown

Author: Jennifer Estep

Series: Gargoyle Queen #1

Genre: Fantasy

Pages: 464

4 stars – It was really good
4 stars – It was really good

“Spy the storm brewing, and you won’t get struck by lightning. Ignore the clouds, and you’ll get burned to a crisp.” 

Gemma Ripley has a reputation for being a pampered princess but that is just a persona that she uses to hide behind. She is a powerful mind mager and a spy for her kingdom. When she goes undercover to find out who is stealing large amounts of tearstone she finds herself face to face with her enemy, Prince Leonidus Morricone of Morta. 

I have been eagerly waiting for this book since I found out she was writing a spin-off series with Gemma. I loved the Crown of Shards series and everything about this world. Gemma is no longer the scared child we met in that series. She is now a powerful, strong, and courageous woman who is determined to protect her kingdom. While at times she was slightly childish for her age, I really enjoyed Gemma as a heroine. I found her abilities fascinating and I can’t wait to see how they grow throughout the series. 

“My magic might be a storm, but it wasn’t caused by other people’s thoughts and feelings. Not really, not fully. No, that storm of emotion was all mine. My power, my feelings, my love and pain and rage. I was the true storm. Unpredictable. Uncontrollable. Unstoppable.”

Leonidus was a great hero. I loved a troubled and tortured hero and he fit that perfectly. He knows how his family, and him, is perceived to the world. Everyone hates them and fears them, which is warranted, but Leonidus isn’t like the others. I enjoyed his determination to show Gemma that not all Martans were evil and that it’s just a few bad apples who are corrupt. I can’t wait for Leo and Gemma to be reunited, especially since there is so much tension and feelings between them. This is going to be a very slow burn of a relationship. 

“…Leonidus Morricone was most definitely a strix at heart – a beautiful creature that was capable of great violence at any moment.”

Overall, this was an amazing start to a new series and I love that we are still getting glimpses of characters from the Crown of Shards series. I hate that we have to wait till next year for the next book but I will be eagerly waiting for it. 

Trigger Warnings:

  • Torture, on page and referenced
  • Child abuse and torture, referenced
  • Siblings trying to kill each other, referenced and attempted

*ARC provided by Netgalley for an honest review.*


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