About the Book:
Title: Conquer the Kingdom
Author: Jennifer Estep
Series: Gargoyle Queen #3
Page Length: 432
Publication Date: March 7, 2023
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Synopsis: Magic reigns, plots abound, and a new love might not conquer all, in this must-read finale to the epic Gargoyle Queen trilogy by international bestselling author Jennifer Estep.
Time is running out for crown princess Gemma Ripley. Despite being a cunning spy and a powerful mind magier, Gemma hasn’t been able to track down the most dangerous enemy her kingdom of Andvari has ever seen. Adding to her worries is the Sword and Shield tournament. With gladiators flocking to the capital city of Glanzen, Gemma can’t tell who is friend—or foe.
Determined to protect Andvari at any cost, Gemma hatches a bold plan, but things aren’t what they seem. Soon, everything she holds dear is being threatened, including her burgeoning relationship with Prince Leonidas Morricone.
With the kingdom she holds dear slipping through her fingers, Gemma will have to conquer her fear and unlock the true secret of her magic—or watch her friends and family die and her beloved Andvari fall . . .
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Conquer the Kingdom is an epic conclusion to the Gargoyle Queen series with its immersive world-building, fast-paced and suspenseful action, and impressive character growth.
One of the things that stood out to me the most about the entire series was the depth of the world-building. The author has created a rich and complex fantasy world, complete with its own mythology, cultures, and politics. It’s a fascinating world of magic, gargoyles, strix, and more. Plus, the action in the novel is non-stop, and I found myself on the edge of my seat during the intense and vivid battles. The final confrontation between Gemma and Milo was so worth the wait!
The character growth was also fantastic, especially Gemma’s. She is fierce and capable, and she becomes even stronger as she learns more about her powers. She is a great leader and truly wants the best for her people. Leo has always been my favorite, though. I love a morally grey, brooding MMC, which is how Leonidas appeared in the first book. Now, we see so many different sides to him, and I couldn’t get enough! Also, how did Estep make me like one of the villains of the story?
And the side characters were just as engaging and compelling as the protagonists. Reiko and Kai have my heart, and I love the gargoyles and strix. They all added such depth to the world-building. I found myself rooting for them just as much as the main characters. They all add a unique and fascinating dynamic to the story, and their personalities are distinct and memorable. I adore the grumpy Grimley and the super sweet strix Lyra, and the relationship between the gargoyles and Gemma is particularly heartwarming, and their loyalty and bravery add an extra layer of depth to the plot.
The romance, of course, was another highlight of the book for me. The chemistry between Gemma and Leo was electric, and their relationship was everything! They love each other so much, and they’ve survived so many obstacles. It’s not easy for the pair, as many of the people in Gemma’s kingdom don’t trust Leo or treat him well, and their relationship continues to be put to the test. Their chemistry is palpable from the beginning, and it’s refreshing to see a strong and capable woman in the lead role who is also vulnerable and allowed to experience complex emotions. The representation of women in this series is excellent overall, with many of the female characters being strong, capable, and independent. I love seeing female characters who are just as, if not more, fierce and skilled as their male counterparts.
Though this is a spin-off series, I have a feeling that there will be a spin-off of this series too. There are several hints throughout the book that this is not the end, and one character in particular did not have the conclusion I expected. I have a feeling this character could be a focus of a future story. Fingers crossed! Special thanks to the publisher for sending me an advanced copy of the book. All thoughts are my own.
- The action and adventure.
- The romance!
Be sure to check the content warnings before starting this series, as there are elements that could prove triggering to some readers. Also, this is not a standalone, so you should read the first two books before starting this one.