Review: The Caged Queen by Kristen Ciccarelli

Posted by Jessi (Geo) on December 14, 2018 | 0 Comments

Review: The Caged Queen by Kristen CiccarelliThe Caged Queen by Kristen Ciccarelli
Series: Iskari#2
Published by HarperTeen (9.25.2018)
Genres: High Fantasy, Young Adult
Format: Hardcover, 400 pages
Source: I own it

4 Stars

Once there were two sisters born with a bond so strong that it forged them together forever. When they were angry, mirrors shattered, and when they were happy, flowers bloomed. 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.

Together with Dax and his sister, Asha, Roa and her people waged war and deposed a tyrant. But now Asha is on the run, hiding from the price on her head. And Roa is an outlander queen, far from home and married to her enemy. Worst of all: Dax’s promises go unfulfilled. Roa’s people continue to suffer.

Then a chance to right every wrong arises—an opportunity for Roa to rid herself of this enemy king and rescue her beloved sister. During the Reliquishing, when the spirits of the dead are said to return, Roa can reclaim her sister for good.

All she has to do is kill the king.

My thoughts

Love withstands all things. Even death. Especially death.

This didn’t quite have the magic that The Last Namsara did, but I still really enjoyed it! It was a great companion novel! Don’t expect to see much of the characters you loved from the first book. Or dragons. If you can destroy that expectation before you ever go in, you’ll enjoy this one a lot more. I was pretty disappointed that there were no dragons or Asha.

I loved the magic involved and the bond between Roa and Essie! It was so magical and strong, and I love that their bond was powerful enough to transcend death. Roa was willing to give up everything for Essie, it was quite beautiful!

“Like a sailor who needs the heavens to find his way home, you were my own star, burning in the night. Helping me find my way.”

I love how this book showed that things aren’t always as they seem, that sometimes things aren’t just black and white. I don’t want to say much else because I don’t want to give anything away, but I just adore the way the romance is set up! ALL THE FEELS! View Spoiler »

“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.”

I am very happy with the way that everything played out in the end! It seemed to be headed toward disaster and heartbreak, and while it was an emotional ending, everything wrapped up quite nicely. Not too perfect (because we all know I’m a masochist and don’t like HEAs), but bittersweet!

Overall Assessment

Plot: 4/5
Premise: 4.5/5
Writing style: 4/5
Originality: 4/5
Characters: 4/5
World-building: 4/5
Pace: 4/5
Feels: 4/5
Cover: 3.5/5
Overall rating: 4/5

Jessi (Geo)

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