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Capture the Crown  By  cover art

Capture the Crown

By: Jennifer Estep
Narrated by: Lauren Fortgang
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Publisher's Summary

Best-selling author Jennifer Estep returns to her Crown of Shards world with an all-new trilogy and a bold new heroine who protects her kingdom from magic, murder, and mayhem by moonlighting as a spy. 

Gemma Ripley has a reputation for being a pampered princess who is more interested in pretty gowns, sparkling jewelry, and other frivolous things than learning how to rule the kingdom of Andvari. But her carefully crafted persona is just an act to hide the fact that Gemma is a powerful mind magier - and a spy. 

Gemma is undercover, trying to figure out who is stealing large amounts of tearstone from one of the Ripley royal mines when she encounters Prince Leonidas Morricone of Morta - her mortal enemy. Gemma tries to steer clear of the handsome prince, but when she finds herself behind enemy lines, she reluctantly joins forces with Leo. Also coming to Gemma’s aid is Grimley, her beloved gargoyle. 

Despite the fact that Andvari and Morta are old, bitter enemies, a dangerous attraction sparks between Gemma and Leo. Further complicating matters is Leo’s murderous family, especially Queen Maeven Morricone, the mastermind behind the infamous Seven Spire massacre. 

The closer Gemma gets to the stolen tearstone, the more deadly plots she uncovers. Everyone is trying to capture the crown, but only one queen can sit on the throne....

©2021 Jennifer Estep (P)2021 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about Capture the Crown

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Not the best

I really enjoyed the series so far. I even liked the new direction of focus for different main characters. What I couldn't get past was the implausibility of the story. [SPOILERS AHEAD]

Gemma claims to be a spy but acts like she couldn't spy her way out of a paper bag. She has bad PTSD so isn't fully functional but gets to go on dangerous spying missions?? She's the lone heir to the kingdom but somehow it's her doing the dangerous grunt work? The bad guys are 1 dimensional and comically so. The evil superweapons are some arrowheads that make wounds more ouchie? Even the love story is dysfunctional.
I did not care what happened to these characters because I was too tired cringinging from all the nonsensical things that kept happening. I am disappointed.

3 people found this helpful

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It was enjoyable

I enjoyed the book for the most part. There was a lot of weird noises the author had to “make” that were getting annoying like “clink, clink, clink” clump, clump, clump” “tap, tap, tap” etc. so many times. I’m sure there were other ways the author could have conveyed those sounds/images.

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Not good book

I love Jennifer estep, Have all of her books, But this one is almost like her last Series Crush the King and I hate i can't return this series.

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Excellent series

Really enjoyed this series by Jennifer Estep, looking forward to the next book that comes out in may. If you like this series you will love the series elemental assassin. It is one of my favorite series, I highly recommend it.

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Good story. Not so good language.

Just the “f” word way to much for me and totally not needed. To bed. I would have bought more for this story.

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Drowns in flagellation and unbelievable spy craft

Is this YA or not?
This book follows Princess Gemma, 17 years after the massacre that kicked off book 1 and Everly’s story. Gemma is now 29 years old, but the narration, writing, and behavior make it feel like she’s 19. Indeed, with the amount of shivers up her spine and tingles in her stomach, or his eyes roaming over her or something flickering across his face, or the fact that there’s not so much as a kiss, you’d think this would be firmly in YA territory. But, there’s an extreme amount of F bombs and a huge chunk of palace intrigue revolves around Gemma thinking about who is F ing who. It was jarring and out of place (and for a medieval fantasy setting, the author could just as easily used other words, like bedding or tupping or sleeping with).

So little magic or magical creatures
Gargoyles, dragons, and giant bird-steeds play a sadly small part in the story. Moreover, other than Gemma’s mind mage abilities, other magical acts are few and far between. This was 90% clunky palace drama and 10% fantasy.

So many silly, predictable, nonsensical plots (SPOILERS ahead):
I was doubtful that anyone other the Princess Leia could carry off high stakes espionage… and sure enough, one of my annoyances was the unbelievable plot about a princess, known for her glitz and glam, going undercover. At least Batman hid behind a mask. This Princess goes from towns, to mines, to enemy castles and we’re supposed to believe she spends days and weeks not being recognized? And those that do recognize her don’t call her out? And those charged with protecting her just let her constantly endanger herself?

Gemma is TSTL
Hours and hours of (1) Gemma’s self flagellation for freezing in the face of danger when she was 12,
(2) Gemma believing the worst of Leo, while anyone with half a brain could see there’s more to the story, and (3) Gemma insisting on playing spy, on her own, instead of letting the real pros at least help. This last bit was what really got to me. Gemma was the exact opposite of the smart, older, skilled warrior princess that I was hoping to find.

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Unusual I have read other books and enjoyed them.

This is the first audio book I have experienced. I have been pleasantly surprised by the quality of the readers performance and how much I enjoyed the story. well done to the author and the the reader. I found myself up late at night to finish the book

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Enjoyed this

Action and light romance abound in this book. Surprising that a princess would dare venture in as a spy, but it made for an interesting story. The narrator did a great job with providing unique voices for each character and appropriate tone inflections for each scene.

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Skip "Kill the Queen" and just start here

Despite the constant repetition of "I'm so traumatized by what happened 16 years ago." instead of showing it. And repeating half of the new information a dozen times over, this spin-off is already so much more interesting than Everly's story. I just hope the author gives this series a proper ending instead of leaving half of everything open-ended. The author made the characters 29 and 30 but if it wasn't stated at the beginning, I would have thought they were 16-19.

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Great Book

I loved this book. I've read all her books and it was so hard to go to bed I just wanted to keep listening. I'm hoping for more more please.

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  • Karlby71
  • 08-17-21

Not what you think !!!

The story is taking place in the same realm as the first 3 book
But
It’s 17 years later you end up in a children’s book with very long words.
It’s the most infantile Estep book ever !
Fortgang is brilliant as always !
When this is submitted I’m returning this goodnight story for seven years !

A very sad Estep fan !
Denmark

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  • Jessica Wolfe
  • 07-19-21

A Pleasing Addition to the Series

I have to admit, I had slightly forgotten the story that came before this by the time I listened to the new installment. However, the story was creative and clever if quite dark and violent in places (torture anyone?). The narration was good and story held my attention, hope there is another book soon!

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  • Poppey
  • 07-19-21

A Good Start.

This was a good start to what promises to be as good as the previous trilogy. My only unfavourable comment would be that Authors should not be allowed to write just one book whilst keeping the reader/listener hanging on the edge with no second book in sight! Just an observation.