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July 18, 2020

Shielded by KayLynn Flanders ~ a Review

by MK French


Princess Jennesara of Hálendi knows that her military skills could save her troubled kingdom, but her father wants to marry her to the prince of Turia in exchange for resources. When her royal caravan is ambushed, Jenna soon learns about a new threat to the people. Revealing this threat comes at a cost, and Jenna has to decide if it's worth it.
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Shielded
July 2020; Delacorte Press; 978-0593118535
ebook, print (432 pages); YA fantasy
Magic in Jenna's kingdom is feared, so she has always hidden the streak of white in her hair that indicates she has it. Her magic is generally only something that tells her how her family members feel, not like her brother's ability to heal himself and others. The Wild lands carry magic as well, and that's feared; plants move to absorb creatures within their grasp, animals can preternaturally follow any travelers going through them, and even the water can lull people into forgetfulness. It's an untamed place and is an obvious sign of Jenna's desperation that she travels through it in order to escape the attempt on her life. Instead, everyone else in her caravan dies.

Jenna caught on quickly that she had to safeguard her identity, and I thought it was clever of her to take on her maid's name and role. As difficult as it was for her to go around an entirely different kingdom, she managed to land on her feet and get exactly where she needed to go. She was able to fall in with people that would be central to the war and gathered more information behind the mages that had triggered its start. History is important here; it's not a spoiler to say that the mages from hundreds of years ago that had prompted the founders of the kingdoms to move to this new land are the ones that are now tearing everything apart to get their revenge.

There are wonderful surprises for Jenna even as there are many struggles on the way to the end of the book. She was betrayed on a fundamental level at the start, and all of it is revealed by the end. While she was able to triumph. I feel there are more than enough hooks for a sequel or two. This world is one I would definitely love to revisit.

Buy Shielded at Amazon

Born and raised in New York City, M.K. French started writing stories when very young, dreaming of different worlds and places to visit. She always had an interest in folklore, fairy tales, and the macabre, which has definitely influenced her work. She currently lives in the Midwest with her husband, three young children, and a golden retriever. 


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