“Shielded will charm young readers with its determined heroine and magical lore.”Cecelia Beckman, Sheaf & Ink
A Princess willing to do anything to keep her kingdom and family safe. Even at the cost of concealing her magic. Jennesara on her seventeenth birthday takes on a perilous quest to save her kingdom.
There was a thread to this story that kept me wanting to read more. It was a bold color. Bright and unyielding, lacing the fabric of the story together. It held each tightly interwoven seam snug and secure in the overarching narrative. That thread was Jennesara getting to her betrothed. It was my only thought as I flipped each page.
While Kalynn Flanders novel uses an excessive amount of fantasy troupes, there was one major opportunity she missed. Fully capturing the dynamic between Jennesara and her betrothed in a way that most YA fans have come to adore.
That feisty, back-and-forth. The sultry sass and banter that builds between two characters. Like a slow burn, to the point readers are screaming “Kiss already!”
Jennesara and her prince seemed more of a diluted version of the YA norm. Where everything is hand-picked, easily attained, with no major struggles or losses, delivered neatly for a nice happily ever after. And the romance between the two was more of the young teen variety.
A Few More Thoughts…
Believe me, I want those happy endings, but I want them earned. That goal is always something the main character fights for. And there is plenty of fighting in Shielded. Jennesara is a warrior. But along the way her journey is too easy. Everyone is too willing to go out of their way to make it all work out for her.
Jennesara doesn’t have those moments where she’s mentally and physically buried up to her waist in muck and grime, no good option, and worse outcomes. Where she uses clever wit and has cleverer company to get out of a less than ideal situation all the while looking exceptionally good doing it.
Although there are sections in the novel that have an overflow of lengthy exposition, Shielded has qualities a younger audience would enjoy. Amiable characters, magical lore, political intrigue, and a stead-fast heroine who readers will cheer for until the very end.
Happy Reading ̴ Cece
RATING: – Adequately Inked
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publication Date: July 2020
Audience: 12 and up
Jacket Art: Ales Dos Diaz
Jacket Design: Regina Flaith