Your first review for the week.
Customary warning: This is a reminder that these are my personal opinions. My thoughts and feelings are not your thoughts and feelings. I may not always be the target audience for a book; sometimes I am. If I do not like a book, that doesn’t mean you’ll dislike it. If I love a book or simply like a book, you may hate it. Take everything I say with this knowledge. If it sounds interesting to you despite what I’ve said, then go ahead and read it. You’ll only know you like something if you read it yourself.
That being said… Spoilers ahead.
The Caged Queen by Kirsten Cciccarelli
Synopsis From The Book
Once there were two sisters born with a bond so strong that it forged them together forever. Roa and Essie called it the hum. It was a magic they cherished—until the day a terrible accident took Essie’s life and trapped her soul in this world.
Dax—the heir to Firgaard’s throne—was responsible for the accident. Roa swore to hate him forever. But eight years later he returned, begging for her help. He was determined to dethrone his cruel father, under whose oppressive reign Roa’s people had suffered.
Roa made him a deal: she’d give him the army he needed if he made her queen. Only as queen could she save her people from Firgaard’s rule.
Then a chance arises to right every wrong—an opportunity for Roa to rid herself of this enemy king and rescue her beloved sister. During the Relinquishing, when the spirits of the dead are said to return, Roa discovers she can reclaim her sister for good.
All she has to do is kill the king.
Initial Thoughts Before Reading:
According to the facts, this book is a companion to The Last Namsara, not a direct sequel. I suppose that means I’m diving into this world blind once again. I don’t feel too bad about that actually. There are worse things that I could be diving head first into.
100% There are probably like, ZERO dragons in this book. But I’ve already committed and the premise seems interesting. What else can I do with this? Ignore it and may it will go away? No.
Initial Thoughts After Reading:
This is a really awesome book. I actually forgot to write this weeks ago, so whoops. But I really liked it!
The book takes place after the events of The Last Namsara. We follow Roa, Dax’s queen, as she navigates the world as queen now. She and her sister Essie, who is trapped in the body of a hawk, are trying to help each other in this world. Roa keeps seeing how incompetent Dax is as a leader and wants nothing more for peace to happen. She speaks with Theo who reveals that the Skyweaver Knife, a knife with the ability to bring back the dead, does exist and he found it.
It is revealed that Essie died to save Dax’s life, and that Roa blames him for it. The two travel to Firgaard from the scrublands, and deal with difficulties. Once back at the capitol, Dax goes back on his word to Roa and Roa turns to Bekah and Theo. Bekah makes it so that Roa will kill Dax by kidnapping Essie.
Roa begins to love Dax, as she realizes that he was pretending to be incompetent to keep everyone on their toes. She finds out that her friend and brother are in love and Theo betrays Bekah. Ultimately Roa betrays Dax, and then she is dragged to the execution block by Bekah to force Roa’s hand.
Instead, Roa kills her sister’s soul, setting her free. The book ends with Roa and Dax living happily, and changing the world as they can.
What I Liked:
Roa; It took me a moment to understand her, but then I loved her. I was sorry for her misunderstandings, but understood where they came from.
Dax; Ah Dax. I had to do a double take to The Last Namsara, because I did not remember him being such a fool. Then I realized he was faking. Then Roa realized he was faking, and I loved him all the more for it.
Theo; He’s a bully, but he cares, and when it comes down to it, that’s what matters. He did the right thing, and for that I can forgive him.
Essie; Beautiful Essie, that I adore. I’m sorry that she was trapped and dead for the greater part of the book, but when told in flashbacks she was brilliant.
Bekah; I wrote a few choice words on my note book for her. Which, I suppose, only explains how visceral my hate for her was. Good job with that.
Lirabel; Beautiful Lirabel, you are amazing.
Magic; The continuation of the magic was nice to see.
Scrublands vs Firgaard; I remember wanting to know more about them as a people. This book gave that, and for that I am beautifully pleased. We got to see how the differences between races and cultures took hold in this book as Dax tries to mitigate the waves of that clash.
What I Would Have Liked or Changed:
I do with I got the conversation between Roa and Dax after the events with Bekah, to see how they made up.
“You hoard your thoughts like a dragon.”
“Never underestimate a fool.”
“You think love is as fragile as that? Like a stalk of wheat, easily broken in a storm? That’s not what love is… Real love is the strongest kind of steel. It’s a blade that can be melted down, its form changed with every bang of the hammer, but to break it is a task no one is capable of. Not even death.” – pg 346