Shielded (Shielded, #1)
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 (Shielded, #1) Details

TitleShielded (Shielded, #1)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJul 21st, 2020
PublisherDelacorte Press
ISBN-139780593118542
Rating
GenreFantasy, Young Adult

Shielded (Shielded, #1) Review

  • Nilufer Ozmekik
    January 1, 1970
    This is another surprisingly amazing installment with its mind-bending, intriguing world-building, well-crafted character development, riveting story-telling, heart throbbing progression and satisfying ending! And let’s not forget to praise the brilliant illustration! Lately the covers of the books are breathtaking and thankfully there are such amazing artists out there to support fantastic reviews with their skilled imaginative minds!I’m not gonna write a long review and take your precious time This is another surprisingly amazing installment with its mind-bending, intriguing world-building, well-crafted character development, riveting story-telling, heart throbbing progression and satisfying ending! And let’s not forget to praise the brilliant illustration! Lately the covers of the books are breathtaking and thankfully there are such amazing artists out there to support fantastic reviews with their skilled imaginative minds!I’m not gonna write a long review and take your precious time. I’m gonna summarize the facts why I liked the book so much:Fact one: HEROINE: Jennesara is decent, trustworthy, likeable character. She is a princess and she is also warrior but she isn’t blood thirsty, looking for vengeance kind of heroine, not excessively badass, tough, wild, violent and obnoxious. She does not have a tragic background story, not suffering from any loss or dysfunctional family drama. Her father tells her to marry with the prince of Turia for benefiting the resources to save their kingdom and she happily obeys her father to save her family. Maybe you may misjudge her for not fighting her way out or blaming her not to have any trace of feminism in her system but she is a real sweetheart to sacrifice herself for the safety of her loved ones and her kingdom.Fact two: BEAUTY OF ROMANCE: I don’t normally love insta love stories but romance parts of this book surprisingly warmed my frozen and cruel heart (daily I pour boiling water on it to feel something but neighborhood kids still call me Cruella de Vil) Fact three: MOVING STORY-TELLING: Of course I enjoyed action-packed, moving, exciting and heart throbbing chapters which were truly unputdownable. Betrayal, lies, family ties intercepted with magic, fantasy and epic romance makes you sigh several times are tasty combination for any kind of readers’ dreamy books. Only thing I didn’t like and resulted with cutting one of the stars was ULTRA FAST PACING! I normally enjoyed fast-pacing and I admitted too many times I’m not a big fan of slow burn fantasies. But in this book, you need extra time to absorb the whirlwind events because too many things happening at the same time and you want to take a break and slow your heart rhythm, feeling like just finished 5K marathon, breathing in and out to gather your senses. So I wish the pace could be a little slower or some of the actions could be saved for the second book. But overall: it’s enjoyable, perfectly- written epic journey, mesmerizing you and captivates your focus, energy, soul and heart at the same time. At the end you keep smiling because you had great time during your reading and enjoy every second of the characters’ journey.So I stick with my exhilarating, actin packed, entertaining, epic four stars! And I cannot wait to read the second book into my hands.Special thanks to NetGalley and Random House Children’s/Delacorte Press for sharing this fantastic ARC with me in exchange my honest review.bloginstagramfacebooktwitter
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  • Holly (Holly Hearts Books)
    January 1, 1970
    A very simplistic but charming read. I enjoyed this. It reminds me of Throne of Glass and The Kiss of Deception in a way. The magic system captured my attention throughout the story and I really liked the different cultures described between the two main kingdoms, one is more snowy/cold with fair skin and light hair while the other is warm with bright colors, darker skin and darker hair but it’s not without its flaws.The story is set at a cat and mouse pace. It’s a lot of hiding. Characters wait A very simplistic but charming read. I enjoyed this. It reminds me of Throne of Glass and The Kiss of Deception in a way. The magic system captured my attention throughout the story and I really liked the different cultures described between the two main kingdoms, one is more snowy/cold with fair skin and light hair while the other is warm with bright colors, darker skin and darker hair but it’s not without its flaws.The story is set at a cat and mouse pace. It’s a lot of hiding. Characters waiting out on enemies to leave. A chase happens and then more hiding again. Those chase scenes get your adrenaline pumping and it becomes a little unsatisfying reading a whole 2 chapters about the characters hiding in a fireplace. When there was a fight scene thrown in, it was written very well. I guess I wanted even more because of that!There are also a couple infuriating plot moments. For instance, a character gets poisoned within the castle. The next day, the king, queen, heir, and most of the soldiers leave and they leave their two little girls alone... where there’s someone obviously very dangerous around.I think this book is a good one to take a chance on because there’s a lot of good things going for it but it’s kinda like holding a juicy gummy bear, dropping it on the ground and having to pick off all the crustys.
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  • Cindy ✩☽♔
    January 1, 1970
    Rating ~3.5An entertaining, somewhat familiar, fantasy adventure. The Main Characters: Let's start off by making it clear that while our heroine and hero are truly their character archetypes. If you're looking for more morally gray characters, you will not find that here. Like, at all. Jenna is a likable heroine. She is strong, determined, loyal. And while she can certainty fight like a warrior, she is not prone to violence. All she wants is to be with her family, to serve her country. So, altho Rating ~3.5An entertaining, somewhat familiar, fantasy adventure. The Main Characters: Let's start off by making it clear that while our heroine and hero are truly their character archetypes. If you're looking for more morally gray characters, you will not find that here. Like, at all. Jenna is a likable heroine. She is strong, determined, loyal. And while she can certainty fight like a warrior, she is not prone to violence. All she wants is to be with her family, to serve her country. So, although she initially tries to fight it, she agrees to be sent off to wed a prince she has never met, for it means her kingdom will receive the help it so desperately needs. Enzo/Teren is the nice guy of nice guys. He's kind and flirty with Jenna from the start, despite thinking she is no more than a servant tasked with and failing to protect his betrothed. He thinks critically and does not judge Jenna based on where she comes from, despite the looming threat of their nations going to war. The Romance: Not going to lie, it comes on fast. Though, to be fair, it kind of feels everything in this book does. That being said, I'm not mad at it. Do I wish they'd had a bit more time and development? Sure. But that does not mean I did not thoroughly enjoy the bits we did get. It is in no way, some great, all-encompassing love that lights the pages on fire, but it was steady. They're sweet.The Plot/Pacing: It felt like we were inching toward turbo speed at quite a few points. I enjoy fast-pacing, I really do. This, however, felt like a story that could have used a little more fleshing out. More time to establish relationships between everyone and their magical world. And maybe more time spent understanding why the villain, whose reveal was not all that surprising, felt the need to align himself with dangerous mages. I mean, did he truly think they would make him king? It seems naive, and from the bits we got of him he did not seem the naive sort. Anyways, so while this story is in no way the most original thing out there. I found myself liking it all the same. It kind of like rom-com movie plots. In general, you know the formula, you have a pretty good idea of what to expect. The deciding factor at that point is whether or not the cast and chemistry shared among them work for you. And in this case, this worked for me.So if you're looking for a pleasant, straightforward, light fantasy read, this might be the book for you! I received a free ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Huge thank you to Delcorte Press for providing me with a copy to read and review!
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  • megs_bookrack
    January 1, 1970
    ARC received!!!Thank you so much, Delacorte Press! I think this sounds like a super interesting story! ARC received!!!Thank you so much, Delacorte Press! I think this sounds like a super interesting story!
  • Alaina
    January 1, 1970
    I have received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.HOLY COW GUYS! I can't even comprehend what I just read. Wow, oh wow. Loved this book from start to finished and now I need to somehow cope with not being able to dive into the second book right now.Seriously guys, Shielded was so freaking good. My love for Enzo and Jen will forever grow. I will admit the beginning was a little slow for me but after the first chapter, I was hooked. You couldn't pay me to put the book down b I have received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.HOLY COW GUYS! I can't even comprehend what I just read. Wow, oh wow. Loved this book from start to finished and now I need to somehow cope with not being able to dive into the second book right now.Seriously guys, Shielded was so freaking good. My love for Enzo and Jen will forever grow. I will admit the beginning was a little slow for me but after the first chapter, I was hooked. You couldn't pay me to put the book down because I just wanted to know how everything was going to go down. So, a lot actually happened in this book. A lot more than I thought but it was still a really good book. I, of course, couldn't trust a lot of characters because some were acting so weird during random moments. Like why are you acting like this right now?? Ugh! It drove me nuts.. but then the ending made so much sense. My brain was like, "WOW ALAINA! JUST WOW!". The characters, story building, action, and betrayal were all delicious. Heck, even the romance was likable. Wish I got more but I'm hoping I will be happy as a damn clam in the next book. Other than that, I'm trying really freaking hard not spoiling anything about this book. Just know that I loved it and I hope you all do to.I seriously need the next book!
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  • Sheena ☆ Oh, the Sheenanigans!
    January 1, 1970
    “Shielded” tells the tale of Princess Jennesara, who sent off to marry her betrothed to the prince of neighboring Turia in exchange for resources needed to save her Kingdom and when she is in route, a surprise ambushed alters the course of her life forever. Filled with betrayal, world-building, romance, fantasy, magic, and strong family ties (surprising to say the least), the reader is thrown in epic adventure that will have you turning pages faster than you had ever imagined. An “Shielded” tells the tale of Princess Jennesara, who sent off to marry her betrothed to the prince of neighboring Turia in exchange for resources needed to save her Kingdom and when she is in route, a surprise ambushed alters the course of her life forever. Filled with betrayal, world-building, romance, fantasy, magic, and strong family ties (surprising to say the least), the reader is thrown in epic adventure that will have you turning pages faster than you had ever imagined. And let’s just say that during the course of the read, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked this despite some flaws that typically turn me away *ahem*instant love*ahem* and minor weak heroine moments that had my eye twitching but rest assured, there is some decent character development and I am sure future installments will further empathize on that.Nevertheless, “Shielded” helped guide me out of my funky reading slump so kudos to the author because you must be doing something right seeing how I would definitely consider this ideal choice for any reader looking to start 2020 in the right foot.
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  • Renaissance Kate
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to Random House Children's/Delacorte Press and NetGalley for the ARC!
  • Jessie Sedai of the Black Ajah🥀🐍
    January 1, 1970
    This. Was. EXCELLENT.This checked SO many boxes for me. Rich, dense character development.Beautiful, accurate depiction of combat.Refreshingly unique, believable magic system.A heroine who is a TRUE FREAKING HEROINE, an embodiment of VALOR and GRACE. A leader, a nurturer, a fierce warrior in every way.Just the cutest romance, so cute I didn't even care it was a little insta-lovey. This was everything that I, as a lover of epic fantasy, truly adore in my books. I LOVE slow burn, slow buildup narr This. Was. EXCELLENT.This checked SO many boxes for me. Rich, dense character development.Beautiful, accurate depiction of combat.Refreshingly unique, believable magic system.A heroine who is a TRUE FREAKING HEROINE, an embodiment of VALOR and GRACE. A leader, a nurturer, a fierce warrior in every way.Just the cutest romance, so cute I didn't even care it was a little insta-lovey. This was everything that I, as a lover of epic fantasy, truly adore in my books. I LOVE slow burn, slow buildup narratives that favor character development over plot driving. So readers who prefer a lot of events, a lot of things going on, a lot of arcs, might be disappointed or impatient because it does unfold a little slow and does have a single main point of view. But if you invest that time. I promise that you will be SHEDDING TEARS. The characterization and the relationships that form are just so expertly constructed you can't help but get attached. I need more books like this.I am dying to read the sequel!!Thanks to netgalley for providing a digital copy in exchange for an unbiased review.
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  • Maddie
    January 1, 1970
    ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Firstly, let's take a moment to appreciate this beautiful cover. I thought I hated every cover with a face on it but clearly no. Like, is this not the most gorgeous cover? That's what I thought. Okay, now with what I thought of the book itself. What an amazing start to a series!This story, at its core, is about the bitter-sweetness of leaving your childhood behind as you enter into adulthood. It's about the fear, as w ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Firstly, let's take a moment to appreciate this beautiful cover. I thought I hated every cover with a face on it but clearly no. Like, is this not the most gorgeous cover? That's what I thought. Okay, now with what I thought of the book itself. What an amazing start to a series!This story, at its core, is about the bitter-sweetness of leaving your childhood behind as you enter into adulthood. It's about the fear, as well as the beauty, of the unknown. It's a story about family, about responsibilities, and about the journeys we take to become who we were meant to be.For me, this book's strongest point was the characters. Sometimes, it's easy for characters to feel like dolls, putting on a show they believe the reader wants to see. From the first page, I felt like I was entering into someone's life, watching events unfold. The dynamics between the characters felt natural, organic. Jennesara was such an easy character to root for. She was strong and caring; both a princess and a warrior that never felt the need to sacrifice one for the other. My one critique is that the story felt a bit rushed. Pacing is one of the most common, and unavoidable criticisms for a book. There's a lot that happens, so it makes sense to feel like things flew by just a bit too fast. There were just some events I wish had been given a bit more time, such as the romance. (It's adorable though, so I'll forgive it the minor insta-love.) While this was something I noticed, it didn't hinder my enjoyment of the book, so it really is a minor criticism. Overall, this was a really sweet, enjoyable story and I can't wait to see where the series goes from here.
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  • Taschima
    January 1, 1970
    Shielded is YA fantasy done right. I am so happy that the beautiful cover (which I definitely need in my bookshelf) matches the FANTASTIC story inside the pages. I love the characters, their relationships and development, the dialogue, the steady pace, the plot, the romance, and the world building. That's is 5 stars right there!The heroine, Jenna, is both strong yet vulnerable. She is an eccentric princess who uses her brain in tough situations and doesn't take the easy way out. After a lot of b Shielded is YA fantasy done right. I am so happy that the beautiful cover (which I definitely need in my bookshelf) matches the FANTASTIC story inside the pages. I love the characters, their relationships and development, the dialogue, the steady pace, the plot, the romance, and the world building. That's is 5 stars right there!The heroine, Jenna, is both strong yet vulnerable. She is an eccentric princess who uses her brain in tough situations and doesn't take the easy way out. After a lot of bad things happen to her, one right after the other, she still manages to find her strenght within to keep her going. She is also a bookworm, in fact a lot of these characters are and I AM DOWN WITH THIS. We spend the entirerity of the first half of the book with basically only Jenna for company so she needs to be a pretty good character in order to shoulder the novel. We don't even get to meet the love interest until about 43% into the novel, and then when we do it is full steam ahead! I loved not only Jenna, but the side characters too like the prince of Turia and his entire family.Some things were a bit convenient and made things a little more painless--the author could have made us suffer a lot more than she did (and she did make us suffer) but I am just grateful she made the decisions she did cause I don't think my heart could have taken much more hardship.The romance is...JUST UGH SO GREAT. The characters work well as a team and support each other's endevours--a team that works well together is bound to make me happy. There is also a case of mistaken identity (well, a couple of cases of that) and it just makes the tension even better cause...I love those. They just have this connection that is undeniable, but does not feel forced in the least. Feels completely organic and meant to be <3The magic system is interesting. We have magical weapons and artifacts, a lost/hidden library full of treasures and knowledge, the race to uncover magical secrets...It is all very thrilling. The heroine is not well versed in the magic, and this is not a case in which she is totally OP (over powered). She has a decent magic source that she slowly learns how to use to her adevantage. The "rules" aren't many yet, for example I don't know the limits to the heroine's ability (what can she do, what can't she do) but I think, and hope, this is something that will be further explored in the sequel.WHICH I CAN'T WAIT FOR if you haven't noticed.A note on my previous update after reading the book:BUT REALLY the braid is part of the secret keeping so I wasn't that far off with my orginal thoughts.Previous update:"An ancient evil, a broken kingdom,and one girl with the secret to save the world."Is the secret how to make a kickass braid? Cause If so, IM DOWN!
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  • AJ
    January 1, 1970
    ”Dark triangle tops of evergreens framed the canvas of the sky. The stars were mere pinpricks of light, yet they bathed the world in their glory.” This is one of my favorite books that I’ve read in a while. Amazing and interesting world building, unique magic, characters that are interesting enough for you to get attached to etc.Jennesara was honestly a amazing main character. She wasn’t a damsel in distress, she wasn’t full of anger or rage from a troubled past, she was just a bad ass prince ”Dark triangle tops of evergreens framed the canvas of the sky. The stars were mere pinpricks of light, yet they bathed the world in their glory.” This is one of my favorite books that I’ve read in a while. Amazing and interesting world building, unique magic, characters that are interesting enough for you to get attached to etc.Jennesara was honestly a amazing main character. She wasn’t a damsel in distress, she wasn’t full of anger or rage from a troubled past, she was just a bad ass princess who could could saver herself and the people around her. I felt the romance was well written in the story and it wasn’t a insta love! Which felt right for this kind of story so I was happy about that.The pacing was fantastic and I felt the story grasped my attention and interest from the very first chapter. I’m very happy there is going to be more book(s) in this series and this book was a fantastic way to start it off! I highly recommend everyone read this book.5/5 🌟’s
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  • Kathryn Thompson
    January 1, 1970
    I read an early copy of this book and was completely swept up in the characters and world building. A completely magical read. I can’t wait for KayLynn Flanders’ talent to be released into the world. Amazing debut. Where is book 2?!
  • Kelly
    January 1, 1970
    After too many YA Fantasy flops in a row, I finally found one that I actually enjoyed! Can you believe it? Shielded hooked me from the start and while the reveals and the direction of the plot was pretty predictable, I liked it nonetheless. Shielded doesn't re-invent the wheel but gives you a good story with a nice touch of romance (which I really liked) to keep you entertained. The characters in here were really well done. I was rooting for them and I teared up a little at one particular scene. After too many YA Fantasy flops in a row, I finally found one that I actually enjoyed! Can you believe it? Shielded hooked me from the start and while the reveals and the direction of the plot was pretty predictable, I liked it nonetheless. Shielded doesn't re-invent the wheel but gives you a good story with a nice touch of romance (which I really liked) to keep you entertained. The characters in here were really well done. I was rooting for them and I teared up a little at one particular scene. One of the things that stopped me from rating it higher was the villains and some short passages toward the end that seemed immature and imo needed a bit more editing. I feel like the villains was one of the weakest points in this book. The "evil mages" described by color were so generic and cliché I was actually disappointed in that aspect. I'm not even sure if they have another motivation to find that library where powerful artifacts are hidden other than gaining power and get their revenge on the descendants of Kais, the one who banished them. Overall, a really good start to the series and I'm interested in reading the sequel which is saying a lot for a ya fantasy! Hopefully, the second book will be even better. I'm nervous but hopeful. (Thank you for letting me read and review an arc via Netgalley)
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  • Aly
    January 1, 1970
    Holy crap I loved this! From the first chapter I was hooked and the whole book was fantastically written. Jennessa is a great character, she's a fighter and loves her family more than anything. Her adventure was so much fun and I liked the various friendships she made along the way. Enzo is a cutie and his sisters were fun characters. The world building was well done, I understood what happened without feeling overloaded. Great pacing and the romance was sweet. I can't wait for this to come out Holy crap I loved this! From the first chapter I was hooked and the whole book was fantastically written. Jennessa is a great character, she's a fighter and loves her family more than anything. Her adventure was so much fun and I liked the various friendships she made along the way. Enzo is a cutie and his sisters were fun characters. The world building was well done, I understood what happened without feeling overloaded. Great pacing and the romance was sweet. I can't wait for this to come out so the world can see how marvelous it is!! Thank you to NetGalley and Random House Children's for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Jules ✨
    January 1, 1970
    ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
  • Nicole (FearYourEx)
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to netgalley and the publisher for the early review copy!3.5/5 stars I had to think about this review a bit and let it set in before I gave it a number rating. Sorry in advance this review will likely be a little spoilery.While I loved the idea of the story, it was a really quick read, and had a good amount of action there were a couple things that bugged me. In this book Jennesara is the princess of Halendi and they need more resources from a neighboring nation, Turia. Her father sets Thank you to netgalley and the publisher for the early review copy!3.5/5 stars I had to think about this review a bit and let it set in before I gave it a number rating. Sorry in advance this review will likely be a little spoilery.While I loved the idea of the story, it was a really quick read, and had a good amount of action there were a couple things that bugged me. In this book Jennesara is the princess of Halendi and they need more resources from a neighboring nation, Turia. Her father sets a betrothal of her to Turia's prince and doesn't tell her until right before she is to leave. Of course there are betrayals and lies and nothing goes as planned. This was expected. She runs away into the Wild where nobody makes it out alive from. Naturally, she makes it out alive and the Wild seems to aid her. I'd like to read more about the Wild and the magic of it. I feel like the Wild was the most intriguing part of the story.She gets out and makes her way to Turia and ends up in Turia's castle. And not only does she end up in the castle she ends up saving the lives of several royals in the family while she pretends to be someone else. And with absolutely zero proof that she isn't someone out to harm the royal family she is suddenly GUARDING ONE OF THEM as their personal guard. Okay, yea no this needed to be expanded upon more because it made me roll my eyes. A royal family is not going to choose a guard for the Princess that is from the country that just declared war on them. No. The other part that drove me nuts? The romance. It was unnecessary the way it was done. If it were expanded upon more I would like it a lot more. But it basically goes from him saving her to them making eyes at each other to OMG WE ARE IN LOVE.All in all I enjoyed this book and will continue the series, but I really hope everything is expanded upon. Especially the Wild and the magic system.
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  • Kate (katereads13.blogspot.com)
    January 1, 1970
    Huge thanks to Random House Children and NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review. I know this story is suppose to be in comparison to Sorcery of Thorns and Furyborn but don't think that is an accurate comparison. The story didn't put an emphasis on libraries and there were more characters involved rather than the protagonist heavy Furyborn.This was such a fun simple story. Jennesara is a princess born with magic she was never suppose to inherit. On the way to her betrothed, her w Huge thanks to Random House Children and NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review. I know this story is suppose to be in comparison to Sorcery of Thorns and Furyborn but don't think that is an accurate comparison. The story didn't put an emphasis on libraries and there were more characters involved rather than the protagonist heavy Furyborn.This was such a fun simple story. Jennesara is a princess born with magic she was never suppose to inherit. On the way to her betrothed, her wagon is attacked and she is stranded in a magic forest. Jennesara escapes, is picked by up the royal guard and taken to the castle of her betrothed. Under a false name, she does her best to save her kingdom and the prince she comes to love. The rest of the action follows these events.I enjoyed this story a lot. There is not enough to be said about the magic system in this book. It was unique, special, intriguing and fresh. The plot was simple and predictable at times but the way it was written kept me interested. I fell in love with these characters and I easily connected with them. I loved the magic forest and Jennesara's relationship with it. The author did an excellent job of creating villains by giving each of them an individual voice. The book was fast paced, the political elements were interesting and the action kept me locked in. I'm looking forward to reading book two.
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  • Alexandra Scarpello
    January 1, 1970
    DNF @ 70%Y'all, I cant with this book. I notice the top reviews are waxing over how incredible and beautiful this was- I can't. Did we read different books. Imagine it- the most generic YA premise ever. A princess who is defiant and lives in a just sexist enough universe to be frustrating universe- but also not quite sexist enough to cause her trauma. She has magic, but its a secret! Forced marriage! Traveling! More traveling. More...wait...what?So heres my issue with this one. It took until abo DNF @ 70%Y'all, I cant with this book. I notice the top reviews are waxing over how incredible and beautiful this was- I can't. Did we read different books. Imagine it- the most generic YA premise ever. A princess who is defiant and lives in a just sexist enough universe to be frustrating universe- but also not quite sexist enough to cause her trauma. She has magic, but its a secret! Forced marriage! Traveling! More traveling. More...wait...what?So heres my issue with this one. It took until about 45% of the book for anything to happen. I mean it. I kept expecting to see plot movement of any kind, but theres more walking in this book than a Lord of the Rings Joke. Over half of this book is the main character moving forwards her destination, talking out her anxieties- and just when you think the story is about to begin...wait...it doesn't. Our Heroine finally makes her way to her destination (the plot) , where readers can be treated to her standing around, making friends. talking about her anxieties, sort of finding her betrothed to be kind of cute. Standing around...And the characters aren't even interesting enough to stand around with. It's a series of generic, good natured folks with mild, milk toast personalities making surface level observations. If you are looking for character conflict, character development, character growth, or perhaps even actual characters- find a different book.I was hoping maybe we would get a little court drama at least, but nope. I've never read a YA book and thought to myself "this is wordy and unnecessary complicated" until this day. I finally had to just cut myself free and DNF the book entirely. I wouldn't recommend this to anyone, unless you get really jazzed about NOTHING HAPPENING. If someone can explain the early review hype to me, that would be great, because as another early reviewer, I am not in that camp. No thanks. One Star.
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  • Ali Corvere
    January 1, 1970
    Shielded may seem like a run of the mill debut. There have been so many books published within the last 5 years that have similar features. There's a strong female lead that's deeply opposed to her inevitable betrothal. There's war. There's a handsome prince. It all sounds very familiar. HOWEVER. i really enjoyed this. The beginning is very info dumpy and the writing is awkward at times but the story is entertaining and the characters kept my attention. plus, THERE'S A MAGICAL FOREST.The author Shielded may seem like a run of the mill debut. There have been so many books published within the last 5 years that have similar features. There's a strong female lead that's deeply opposed to her inevitable betrothal. There's war. There's a handsome prince. It all sounds very familiar. HOWEVER. i really enjoyed this. The beginning is very info dumpy and the writing is awkward at times but the story is entertaining and the characters kept my attention. plus, THERE'S A MAGICAL FOREST.The author has a lot of potential and I will definitely pick up books by her in the future.
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  • shre ♡
    January 1, 1970
    curse my weakness to beautiful covers, CURSE IT.
  • Amber
    January 1, 1970
    I received a complimentary copy of this Ebook ARC from the author, publisher, and netgalley in exchange for an honest review.Jenesara is a Princess who is soon to be 17. When her father the King tells her that she is to be wed to a Prince in another nation, Jenesara is saddened and submits to her father's wishes even though she wishes to help save their kingdom with her magic. It is only when she is attacked by a shadowy figure that her life is in danger. Can she escape those that wish to harm h I received a complimentary copy of this Ebook ARC from the author, publisher, and netgalley in exchange for an honest review.Jenesara is a Princess who is soon to be 17. When her father the King tells her that she is to be wed to a Prince in another nation, Jenesara is saddened and submits to her father's wishes even though she wishes to help save their kingdom with her magic. It is only when she is attacked by a shadowy figure that her life is in danger. Can she escape those that wish to harm her and can she save her kingdom before it is too late? Read on and find out for yourself.This was a pretty good action-packed fantasy adventure. If you enjoy these type of reads, be sure to check this book out when it officially releases to bookstores and everywhere ebooks are sold on July 21, 2020.
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  • Amanda
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you Netgalley and Random House Children's Press for the ARC in exchange for my honest review.Summary: The kingdom of Hálendi is in trouble. Jennesara "Jenna" has magic, but has kept it a secret from everyone except her brother. He also has magic, but this is acceptable as he is in line to inherit the throne. Jenna's future is simpler, she is betrothed to a foreign king and must continue to keep her secret. But things are not always what they seem, and as she is on her way to this new land, Thank you Netgalley and Random House Children's Press for the ARC in exchange for my honest review.Summary: The kingdom of Hálendi is in trouble. Jennesara "Jenna" has magic, but has kept it a secret from everyone except her brother. He also has magic, but this is acceptable as he is in line to inherit the throne. Jenna's future is simpler, she is betrothed to a foreign king and must continue to keep her secret. But things are not always what they seem, and as she is on her way to this new land, she is ambushed and her future changed. Can she help stop the war, learn to understand her magic, and rise become what she has always wanted to be?I DNFed this book shortly into it. I felt that, even for a children's fantasy, it was too simplistic. Nothing was left for us to figure out or learn along the way. On page one, we learn about Jenna's crush and her magic, and very shortly after we learn that she want to be a soldier but her father will not let her. Instead she is to marry a foreign king. At that point I knew this story had nothing special to offer me. Also, a large piece of information is happened upon my random chance in the first chapter, something that bothers me as a plot device. The book cover and summary drew me into the story, and while the authors writing wasn't bad, the subject matter felt unoriginal and the story read like I was being told the information and not learning it along with the characters.I think that this might be a good book for young 8-12 year olds first being introduced to fantasy, but after that it does not stand up to other books in the genre.
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  • Jackie ϟ Bookseller
    January 1, 1970
    I received an ARC of this title from the publisher via Edelweiss in addition to a beautiful physical ARC in exchange for an honest review.4/5 stars: ★★★★☆"Don't dwell on the past- it's not where you're going."In Shielded, we meet Princess Jennesara, second-in-line for her throne and frustrated with the lack of respect she receives from her people and the secret about herself that she must keep forever. Regardless, she loves her father and brother, and is therefore shocked when she finds out that I received an ARC of this title from the publisher via Edelweiss in addition to a beautiful physical ARC in exchange for an honest review.4/5 stars: ★★★★☆"Don't dwell on the past- it's not where you're going."In Shielded, we meet Princess Jennesara, second-in-line for her throne and frustrated with the lack of respect she receives from her people and the secret about herself that she must keep forever. Regardless, she loves her father and brother, and is therefore shocked when she finds out that she has been betrothed, without her knowledge, to the crown prince of the neighboring kingdom. She agrees to travel to meet him, but only because her country is threatened by war and needs extra support. Then, on her journey there, her group is attacked by a powerful mage. Everyone she knows, including her father and brother, are killed, and while Jenna escapes, she must run for her life, fight strange magical enemies, and hide her identity against all costs for fear that the mage will find her again. In the meantime, she manages to make her way to the kingdom and castle she was originally bound for, seeks refuge there, and befriends the ruling family as she searches for the history of her attackers and the means to defeat them.OOF, that felt like a lot of plot to recount, and it was! This was absolutely non-stop action, and if I wasn't in a reading slump, I think I would have absolutely torn through this. Jenna's story of survival, secrecy, and learning who she really is felt pretty unique, though not entirely. The reason this has a star subtracted is that, while it does have unique features, it's by no means a complete stand-out YA fantasy. There's still a girl (born a princess at least, which is a little different) who never thinks she was powerful but suddenly is, who must save the world from a terrifying and barely-understood force, while also falling in love with the person she technically should not.Anyway, what Shielded does best is entertain. There are plenty of twists, some of them a little too convenient, but if you're looking for an entertaining, mostly light-hearted tale about love overcoming hate, this is your book. Plus there's magic, romance, unique world-building, and a deep history to uncover as you read, too. I enjoyed this one, and I look forward to future books that I hope will explain more about the magic system and the world's interesting history and geography (and more Prince Enzo, YUMMY).
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  • Lee
    January 1, 1970
    This book was gifted to me on Netgalley but all opinions are my own. I was initially drawn to Shielded because of the beautiful cover. The depiction of Jennesara on the front is absolutely gorgeous and instantly had my attention. The contents, however, lost me. The plot sounded super interesting but ended up being super lackluster. I didn't care for the superfluous amount of info dumping at the beginning. The first 3 chapters felt like reading a text book. I understand trying to establish your w This book was gifted to me on Netgalley but all opinions are my own. I was initially drawn to Shielded because of the beautiful cover. The depiction of Jennesara on the front is absolutely gorgeous and instantly had my attention. The contents, however, lost me. The plot sounded super interesting but ended up being super lackluster. I didn't care for the superfluous amount of info dumping at the beginning. The first 3 chapters felt like reading a text book. I understand trying to establish your world and your magic system but I felt like it could have been done better. Even after the gush of facts we are still left with middling world building and a magic system that wasn't fully coherent. The rest of the story was just sort of boring and predictable. It reminded me a lot of Truthwitch and Falling Kingdoms, both of which I hated and DNF'd for all the same reasons. The one positive that I have is the main character. Jennesara is very well written in places and even though I didn't enjoy the book as a whole she is an excellent example of a strong female that middle grade girls will dig. She's very similar to Ciri from the Witcher novels, witty and determined but also compassionate. Sadly though, the rest of the book's shortcomings over shadowed this one excellent character.
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  • Amanda Bradburn
    January 1, 1970
    Mini Review!I received this arc from Delacorte for my honest opinion! my thoughts, now and always, are only my own.I gave this book 4.25 stars, you should know that up front. I enjoyed this book wholeheartedly. That said,it starts slow and as an avid fantasy reader, I was a little bored. I was frustrated at points by the main character's naivete, and I very nearly gave up around the halfway point just because I was on a time crunch.I'm SO GLAD I didn't give up. What I failed to realize in the fi Mini Review!I received this arc from Delacorte for my honest opinion! my thoughts, now and always, are only my own.I gave this book 4.25 stars, you should know that up front. I enjoyed this book wholeheartedly. That said,it starts slow and as an avid fantasy reader, I was a little bored. I was frustrated at points by the main character's naivete, and I very nearly gave up around the halfway point just because I was on a time crunch.I'm SO GLAD I didn't give up. What I failed to realize in the first half is that it was building quietly and steadily toward an ending I absolutely adored, with rescues and bravery and the value of found family. I loved this book.
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  • Amanda (MetalPhantasmReads)
    January 1, 1970
    This PAINS me but I'm putting this book down. I started it back last month in February and I've decided that it's not keeping my attention. While the protagonist is good and genuine and the mention of a magical library is interesting, I've been losing interest...I possibly may give this a try in the future, since the author is local to me and a great person, but I wasn't wowed by this. Mini review to come after my blog hiatus!
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  • Nia •ShadesOfPaper•
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you Random House Children’s and Delacorte Press for the ARC.Blog | Twitter | Instagram | BlogLovin’ Thank you Random House Children’s and Delacorte Press for the ARC.Blog | Twitter | Instagram | BlogLovin’
  • ♠ TABI ♠
    January 1, 1970
    so many good tropes in this blurb also helloooooo cover
  • Taylor
    January 1, 1970
    “It was a strange thing, to be so close to your fate yet miss it entirely.” This book was a real stunner. From the cover to the contents it didn’t fail to impress. The plot was original, the characters were engaging and even with its length I only found myself wishing there could be more.I adored Jennesara as a heroine. Reason #1: her toughness wasn’t shoved in my face. You know those female MCs where it’s stated over and over how strong they are? Not here. We see Jenna be weak, vulne “It was a strange thing, to be so close to your fate yet miss it entirely.” This book was a real stunner. From the cover to the contents it didn’t fail to impress. The plot was original, the characters were engaging and even with its length I only found myself wishing there could be more.I adored Jennesara as a heroine. Reason #1: her toughness wasn’t shoved in my face. You know those female MCs where it’s stated over and over how strong they are? Not here. We see Jenna be weak, vulnerable, suffer and have to lean on others. But through that her strength of character is what shines. Sure, she can wield a sword and fight with the guys, great but what really stood out to me was her commitment to those she cared for. Her determination to do what was right and protect the people she loved even if it might cost her. That’s a heroine I can root for.Enzo was just as wonderful for her counterpart and love interest. He was the epitome of everything a prince should be: kind, self-sacrificing, dedicated to his people and the safety of those around him. His treatment of Jenna was so admirable. Respecting her from the beginning, honoring her opinions, her strengths, trusting her and being there for her when she needed him. Their relationship was perfect. I hardly ever say that about a book couple because usually there are at least a few things I would change, but with these two there’s nothing. The way they were able to share each other’s burdens while still having moments of softness and laughter made their romance come across in a realistic way and not so rushed.Every side character was just as good as these main two. I adored Enzo’s two sisters Chiara and Mari. They allowed Jenna to feel a closeness with people other than her family, with which she didn’t necessarily have anything in common, other than a sheltered royal life. Her brother Ren was a surprise in the book, for reasons I can’t quite say as it would spoil too much but his jokey, forthcoming nature was a good offset to her reserved one. Plus it was cute how protective he was of her when it came to Enzo. Enzo’s guard Luc is one of those characters I feel like there’s way more to be explored that hasn’t been yet so I’m excited to see the potential of where that might go. And Yesilia was sweet as a sort of motherly figure for Jenna, furthering her knowledge of magic and caring for her when she was hurt. Even the villains, the mages, had a complexity and interesting quality to them that took them away from being one-dimensional. Honestly I would love to have a prequel just on the mages, the Ice Deserts and Kais.The pacing of this book was excellent. It gave the feeling of being on an epic journey with Jennesara, going through everything with her as she experienced it. The cut-aways to the mages only added to the sense of drama and expectation as the story mounted to the conclusion. Nothing felt rushed or out of place. I felt like I learned everything I needed to about the world, how the magic worked and what the stakes were going forward. But the good part is, there’s still so much more to be explored. Even with all the lovely detail given in this book, I can tell there’s a lot left unsaid and more to come, which is so exciting. I can’t wait to find out more about Jen’s tethers, what will happen between Turia and Halendi, the mage’s ultimate plan, the Wild and on and on and on.This book had everything I could’ve asked for. An epic story that grows the characters into stronger people while not changing the core of who they are, magic that’s alluring to learn about while still making sense and an expansive world that comes alive on every page. I can’t recommend this story enough. In a genre that likes to repeat itself it’s nice to have something fresh and new, a concept this book delivers on in spades. I look forward to the next book in this series, and hopefully many more to come from this author. After all, for this to be a debut, I am amazed.– I voluntarily read and reviewed an e-copy of this book I received through NetGalley from Random House Children’s/Delacorte Press. All thoughts and opinions are my own. –Review on my blog: Babbling Books Blog
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  • Tina
    January 1, 1970
    I could tell it was going to happen. About 70% through this book I felt myself slow down because I knew the end was coming and I wasn't going to be ready for it. One of the bad things about reading new books is the very long wait between the end and the release of the next book in the series. I very much enjoyed this book. I liked it enough that I'll probably be buying a paper copy when available. I can give it no greater praise because my bookshelf space is limited. I can't say it was completel I could tell it was going to happen. About 70% through this book I felt myself slow down because I knew the end was coming and I wasn't going to be ready for it. One of the bad things about reading new books is the very long wait between the end and the release of the next book in the series. I very much enjoyed this book. I liked it enough that I'll probably be buying a paper copy when available. I can give it no greater praise because my bookshelf space is limited. I can't say it was completely new and groundbreaking. But that doesn't mean there is nothing to love. The writing was good, the world-building was good. The characters were loveable except for the bad guys who gave you the willies in all the right ways. I know some people hate the insta-love but felt like there was a believable connection.Jenna: Her people are warriors with magical abilities. She is trained with a sword from a young age. In fact she can kick butt in the training field. Even though she is well able to defend herself she leads a very sheltered life. She is not allowed to leave the castle and seems to avoid a social life. Partially because her mother died unexpectedly when she was young and her father (The King) tries to protect her. She also separates herself because of her magical ability. Which the second-born heir shouldn't be born with. Her magical ability is marked with a white streak in her hair and she is always worried about being found out. To protect her from from a threat her father secretly betroths her to the neighboring kingdom. Even though she faces some tough challenges in her life she is not a whiney little baby. She is tough but not bloodthirsty. She is kind and loyal. Overall I just really liked her.Enzo: Oh Enzo you dreamboat! *Drool* Handsome, brave, a good fighter. He has dark curling hair and a slightly imperfect smile. And smile he does! He's Kind and quick to laugh. I kind of have a crush. Please don't tell my husband. *wink*The ending was very satisfying. I'm forever grateful to the author for not prolonging the painful wait with a cliffhanger. To conclude I want to thank the publisher and NetGalley for allowing me to read this book in exchange for an honest review. I sincerely hope you all me to review book 2. I'll be eagerly be watching for it to come available.
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