Today, I'm thrilled to be part of 'The Caged Queen' blog tour. Published today in the UK by Gollancz, I'm sharing my review of Kristen Ciccarelli's phenomenal book.
'The Caged Queen' is a companion novel to 'The Last Namsara' which was a standout read for me. This is a book that I was desperate to get my hands on. Once I started it, I was completely drawn into the story and swept away by the adventure, romance and daring of the plot. I would almost say that I enjoyed 'The Caged Queen' even more than Ciccarelli's first book, as the theme of unbreakable love was one that really captured my heart.
The protagonist of the story is Roa, daughter of the House of Song and wife of Dax, the dragon King. Dax is the brother of Asha who fans of the author will already be familiar with. Roa was a wonderful central character. Strong in body and mind, she helped Dax to take the Fiergaard throne, in return for becoming Queen. An overarching theme in the novel is love. The tentative but quelled feelings she refuses to acknowledge for Dax were beautifully portrayed, as well as her undying love for her sister Essie. After a terrible accident, for which Dax was responsible, Essie lost her life and her soul became trapped. Roa would do anything for her sister and is desperate to reclaim her.
I loved the bond between the sisters but for me, the relationship between Roa and Dax was my favourite part of the whole book. They are both hiding from each other and they are both capable of hurting each other because those we love the most, are the ones with the most power to wound us.
Although the book started quite slowly, it just kept getting better and better as it went on. I enjoyed the short sections interspersed throughout which delved into the past and showed events from Roa's childhood and her memories of growing up with her sister and Dax by her side. They provided a lot of additional insight into the characters and their actions.
'The Caged Queen' is an example of tremendous storytelling and beautiful writing. There were some passages near the end that actually brought tears to my eyes. I would highly recommend this book to just about anyone and I really don't think it matters if you haven't read 'The Last Namsara' because this is enough of a companion book that it works well as a standalone novel too. Absolutely magnificent!
Don't forget to check out all of the other stops on the blog tour and look out for #The CagedQueen on Twitter.