Published by Delacorte Press on July 21, 2020
Series: Shielded #1
Genres: Young Adult, Romance, Fantasy & Magic
Source: eARC from Publisher
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.
Shielded is the first book in the young adult fantasy series of the same name by KayLynn Flanders. I really enjoyed Shielded. It surprised me in many ways, and there were aspects that I really enjoyed and an aspect that I wish I enjoyed more, but overall this is a series that I am very interested in continuing on. Shielded is a fantasy book that takes place on a world where magic is not equally distributed. Some kingdoms have no magic, some kingdoms have some magic and there are certain areas of the world where magic literally surrounds you (the wilds). Our story focuses mainly on the kingdoms of Hálendi and Kingdom of Turia.
Our main character, Princess Jennesara, or Jenna, is the second born child of the royal family in the kingdom of Hálendi. In Hálendi, magic is passed to the first born only. But Jenna and her older brother both have magic, which is something that she must hide. (for reasons that are explained in the book, but I won’t get into here) Meanwhile, Hálendi believes that Turia does not have any magic within its’ walls because of a war fought long in the past between all of the kingdoms and the evil Mages. The Mages were defeated and no one has heard from them since. Princess Jenna has been given to Price Enzo of Turia in exchange for supplies and an alliance in a current battle. Jenna and her entourage sets out to meet Prince Enzo when her group is attacked by a Mage. Jenna escapes into the Wilds and the real journey begins.
Shielded was a a great story when it comes to world building. I could vividly picture each of the kingdoms and the wilds and I loved hearing the backstory of the mages. The various points of views were great to add mystery to the overall story, and I have to say that the author kept me on my toes. I did guess a few of the plot twists, but the story took a very different direction that I was initially expecting it to, which I loved. My only complaint was in the romance department. I thought Shielded was very strong in terms of plot progression but I wasn’t really feeling the romance. It was there and I liked both of the characters, but I couldn’t really feel their romantic connection to one another. They just kind of liked each other, but I didn’t feel like it was based on enough foundation. I am certainly interested in continuing on with the story because I am really invested in the plot of the series. I am just hoping that I will come to enjoy the romance more as the plot progresses.
Overall, if you are a plot driven reader that enjoys fantasies with great world building, I think you will really love Shielded. I can’t wait to see where this series is going next.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
- 2020 New Release Challenge
- ARC August 2020
- Flights of Fantasy Reading Challenge 2020