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Conquer the Kingdom by Jennifer Estep

Jennifer Estep writes such satisfying trilogies. The finale of The Gargoyle Queen series, Conquer the Kingdom, is just one more example of that. It is that magical combination of action, suspense, and romance that she blends so well for all her stories, especially for this conclusion of Gemma Ripley’s story.

As in the previous two novels, one of my favorite elements of Conquer the Kingdom is Gemma’s and Leonidas’ burgeoning relationship. I appreciate that Ms. Estep moves the relationship forward in each book. Flirting evolves into kisses that become declarations of love and decidedly more than kisses. It’s a natural relationship progression, and it keeps things interesting. The trilogy would be so dull if we were still in the flirting phase after three books and many months together.

In addition, I can’t help but love the secondary characters a bit more than Gemma. Yes, she is feisty, determined, brave, intelligent, and attempts to be the antithesis of a stereotypical princess. But she is still a princess and a spoiled one at that. My heart belongs to the secondary characters. Not only do they have some of the best lines, but they also force Gemma to think beyond her privileged lifestyle. The secondary characters remind Gemma that not everyone grows up in palaces or has family members who adore them.

The end of Conquer the Kingdom suggests another trilogy in the works. I am not sad about this possibility. Ms. Estep makes each one different enough to feel fresh and unique while including enough familiar figures and aspects of the world to ensure the reader knows that the stories connect. This means more magic, romance, fierce female characters, and action. After thoroughly enjoying the entire Gargoyle Queen series, including Conquer the Kingdom, I am excited about future books by Ms. Estep!

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