ARC Review: Shielded (Shielded #1) by KayLynn Flanders

I received a free ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Princess Jennesara is the second sibling and therefore is not in line for the throne of Halendi. She’s had some freedom to train how she likes and is highly proficient with a sword. However, things aren’t looking great for her country and since she’s not the firstborn, she’s not allowed to have magic, but she does. Jenna does all that she can to hide her abilities, even if they are small, so that her brother Ren doesn’t feel pressured.

Jenna would willingly fight for her country, but her father has other plans: marrying her off to their neighbor in order to cement a marriage alliance and troops. But on her way to Turia, the Royal caravan is ambushed and Jenna is the only one to escape with her life.

The first 20-25% was all right, but I wasn’t really invested. It wasn’t until Jenna was suddenly alone and forced to survive that I was truly interested in her journey. Jenna is incredibly strong not only physically, but also emotionally. I loved that she took up the mantle of her country and was determined to rat out the spy in her country no matter the cost to her. She would make an amazing ruler.

Eventually, Jenna ends up in the Turian castle and befriends the nobles. I loved how her relationship with the siblings slowly developed. We could see how they each came to clearly care for each other. Also the slow burn between Enzo and Jenna was so good. I am a huge fan.

My only big hang up about this book was the lack of queer characters. Literally, everyone we meet is straight and like while straight people are the norm, there was a big enough named cast of characters for at least one or two of them to be queer.

I really enjoyed this, especially the end and I’m curious to see where this series will go!

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