Book Review: Shielded (Shielded #1)

shieldedTitle: Shielded

Author: KayLynn Flanders

Pub. Date: July 21, 2020

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5


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.


This will be a spoiler free review. Thanks to Netgalley for providing a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

I read this book in one day.

I couldn’t put it down.

It wasn’t what I expected…in the best way possible.

I honestly thought this was a Nordic/Viking retelling of some sort, and while there are clear influences, it’s really just this epic fantasy book, with amazing characters, a vivid world, so much conflict, survival, bad assery, and romance.

As I was reading, I had so many thoughts and suspicions. Thank goodness, I had a friend who’d already finished the book to talk to about it. A lot of my suspicions ended up being wrong, but in the best plot twisty way possible. The ending shocked me. I wasn’t expecting it at all.

Ugh, I can’t even talk about what I want to talk about because they’re all spoilery things, but this book starts off with one seemingly potential love interest, and then KayLynn presents another potential love interest AND HONESTLY BOTH SCENARIOS, I’M COMPLETELY TRASH FOR. If you’ve read the book, you know, and if you haven’t, you have so much to look forward to. Oh my god, it’s so good.

I loved Jenna. She’s kind of your average fantasy heroine, stuffed into the princess role, even though she’d rather be out fighting. But with that being said, she’s badass AF, and literally never catches a break. I thought I was rough on my MC? Poor Jenna…she’s every inch a badass warrior and fighter and it shows. That girl would sacrifice her life, if it meant protecting anyone. Her life gets flipped on its head, and she questions everything she knows. She struggles to survive, find answers, deal with her trauma and navigate the word after it. She does everything to protect herself, and those she cares about. She comes to realize that the things she thought to be the worst thing to happen to her, really isn’t…at all.

Do you like Princes in disguise?

You’ll like Enzo. He’s this mix of cocky and goofy. Loyal and caring. He’s charming and I think he wants to see the best in people – willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.

There’s this scene at the very end where he exudes this childlike excitement, before we’re left with a cliffhanger and raging need for book 2, and it’s adorable.

I love the progression of Enzo and Jenna’s relationship – even if it’s pretty unorthodox and not 100% honest all of the time. There are good reasons for their lack of communication, trust me. The way everything plays out by the end of the book, after all the twists and reveals – that KayLynn artfully crafted – you can’t help but love them even more.

As for Ren, Jenna’s brother – I really loved him as well. I love a supportive older brother. Especially considering the history in this book of royal siblings. He was always behind her, supporting her, and their bond is super wonderful. I can’t say too much, because, again, spoilers, but I think you’ll like him too.

Now, because I love this book so much, I reached out to KayLynn for a little something extra. She was looking for bloggers to help promote Shielded, since it’s debuting during Lockdowns – so no big events – sadly. So, I reached out, wanting to help in whatever way I could, to promote this book. She gladly gave me an excerpt to share with you all, which will hopefully – fingers crossed – convince you to read Shielded when it comes out.


Ren shifted the stack until the Turian royal family peeked out. I tried to shut that book, but he grabbed it from my hands and pulled it closer.

“Researching magic, huh?” His smile grew crooked. “Magic . . . and Turian men?”

A blush burned in my cheeks, and I dropped my forehead on the table with a thunk. “How am I going to face this alone?”
“I think the whole point of a betrothal is that you won’t be alone.”
I scowled at him, but he only waggled his eyebrows at me, eyes sparkling.
I pushed him, hard enough to knock him out of his chair, but he held tight to the table. Underneath his teasing exterior, his tether flared with worry.
“I’m serious, Ren. I know a bit about their customs, but not enough to marry their prince. I . . .” I fiddled with the end of my braid. “Will I have to hide it still?”
Ren pursed his lips and stared out the large windows. “You can never tell anyone about your magic,” he whispered, so quietly I almost missed his words.

“Researching magic, huh?” His smile grew crooked. “Magic . . . and Turian men?”

A blush burned in my cheeks, and I dropped my forehead on the table with a thunk. “How am I going to face this alone?”

“I think the whole point of a betrothal is that you won’t be alone.”

I scowled at him, but he only waggled his eyebrows at me, eyes sparkling.

I pushed him, hard enough to knock him out of his chair, but he held tight to the table. Underneath his teasing exterior, his tether flared with worry.

“I’m serious, Ren. I know a bit about their customs, but not enough to marry their prince. I . . .” I fiddled with the end of my braid. “Will I have to hide it still?”

Ren pursed his lips and stared out the large windows. “You can never tell anyone about your magic,” he whispered, so quietly I almost missed his words.

My fingers, suddenly cold, shut the book on the Turians. I’d kept my secret for seventeen years; I would have to continue keeping it. But the thought of not having Ren there, not having a confidant, made the burden heavy.


Ugh, just reading it again makes me so excited and so rage-y that I have to wait for book 2, and book 1 isn’t even out yet. Did that make you excited? I think this little snippet gives so much insight into Jenna and Ren’s relationship, and just how much of a bond they share. Ugh. I just love them so much.

Oh, and the world building. It came to life in my mind. I binge read this in one day, and now two days later (as of writing this post) I can still picture the Wild, Turia, Hálendi and the various other locations Jenna occupies. Scenes vividly came to life in my mind, characters, their expressions, what the felt. Hell, I felt every aspect of this book. I’m surprised I wasn’t sore when I finished, because poor Jenna.

Shielded has everything you could want in a fantasy book. It’s full of twists and magic and romance and friendships and familial bonds. And the story isn’t over yet. So much has happened, Jenna has survived so much, and her journey isn’t over yet. This is very much a sit down, read in one sitting kind of book, that will leave you wanting more. So, when it comes out July 21, 2020, make sure you have it preordered. You want this book as soon as possible.

3 thoughts on “Book Review: Shielded (Shielded #1)

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