Review: Tear Down the Throne by Jennifer Estep
Book two in the thrilling trilogy picks up not long after book one ended. Gemma is back in her home and tired of playing Glitzma. She needs to be polite, gracious, and a bit airheadish. When instead, she really wants to figure out what Milo is up to with her country's stolen gems. If there is one thing Gemma can be described as it is tenacious. She is determined to get to the bottom of this and she's a decent spy. This story is more than unveiling conspiracy theories, fighting foes, and questioning allies. There is a courtly romance interwoven into all the danger. I love it.
Before I go into the fantasy and romance portion, I want to talk about the creatures in this story. I ADORE gargoyles. The ones in here are absolutely fantastic. We meet a new one, Otto, and my heart breaks for him. We see Grimley again and he is still wonderful. We also see more of the strix. Can I just say my heart melts every time I hear about purple puff balls? Baby strix are so stinking cute as Ms. Estep describes them. One of them, Violet, gives me cuteness overload. Every scene with her in it makes me all gooey inside. I wish one of my favourite cartoonists would draw a few of these scenes out. Artist such as PetFoolery or Kat Swenski. The sad events that happen to gargoyles and strix can be drawn by Jenny Jinya. She does animals and sad stories like no one else. Adorable creatures aside, let's talk about Gemma and her "nemesis" Leonidas.
I get Gemma's once bitten twice shy with Leonidas. I just feel so badly for Leonidas. I find him constantly caught between a rock and a hard place. As this story unfolds, we learn more about Gemma's and Leonidas's twisted history. We even learn more about Gemma's mom and it is riveting. I love how this story unfolds in multiple layers. I enjoy the tie ins and how little pieces of information are doled out for me to guess how they interrelate and connect. I read this book in one sitting to make sure my guesses were right. Then I proceeded to read it again to verify places that revealed information nuggets and savoured some of my favourite scenes.
For a man as tormented as Leonidas, he still possesses a romantic heart. His challenge to win Gemma's hand is a grand gesture and he follows through all the way. I am impressed. It shows he knows Gemma better than she thought he does.
There are so many wonderful passages in this story and I look forward to the next book to finish off Gemma and Leonidas' story. This fantasy is recommended for readers who enjoy intrigue, adorable deadly creatures (and plants!), and an enemies-to-lovers theme.
*provided by Edelweiss