Cage of Deceit by Jennifer Anne Davis
I read Cage of Deceit for the Self Published Fantasy Blog Off and can confirm that it has progressed through to Fantasy Book Review's internal semi-final stages. The opening episode of the Reign of Secrets trilogy is set a generation after the events of the True Reign saga. The author advises us that there won't be a 'neat, tidy wrap up at the end of this book' and that she 'enjoys leaving people hanging from cliffs.' This intrigued me from the get-go.
In the third person perspective, readers follow Allyssa. She is a princess who is the daughter of Empress Rena and her husband, the war commander Dermik. She is beautiful, elegant and intelligent, leading her to be desired by numerous suitors throughout the land. She has a content yet sheltered existence in the palace. She also acts out a mysterious double existence and moonlights as Lilly, a peasant lady who aims to eradicate crime in her city with the help of her true friend Grevik. Grevik, however, has no idea as to Lilly's true identity. It is only when Allyssa enters the city at night, unbeknown to anyone, that she can truly break out of her cage.
The world, politics and histories seem deep and well-crafted even though the action is only really set within Emperion and its surrounding areas. I'm certain in the following stories readers will see events much further afield. It starts off quite slow, switching between Allyssa's daily and night time errands whilst introducing and fleshing out her relationships with other members of the ensemble and gradually building up a really interesting and complex protagonist who I absolutely cared for. I'd definitely class this a YA fantasy of which I've admitted before I am not an expert, but for teenagers (ladies especially) looking to lose themselves in a deep fantasy world featuring arranged marriages, political turmoil, unpredictability and a main character they wish to root for then there is a lot to enjoy here. The narrative contains great royal balls, assassins, an unbearably arrogant prince and a squire whose motives are anything but transparent. It always seems like there is so much more going on behind the scenes or just out of Allyssa's reach that readers aren't privy to and therefore keeps us engaged and guessing. The ending was pretty intense as was promised although I did predict the big twist. That being said there are still many unknowns and loose ends waiting to be explored and explained in the following two entries. I'm looking forward to venturing back to this world as soon as I can. All in all, I had a pleasantly positive experience reading this. My only real criticisms are that it took me awhile to get used to words like 'geezer' and 'blimey' being spoken in this environment and very occasionally a word would be repeated a few times within a page when alternatives may have flowed better. As you can see I'm 'scraping the barrel' here to find anything negative which loudly expresses the overall quality of this story. Cage of Deceit is an exciting, absorbing political fantasy experience that is expertly polished with reference to the writing and editing. Davis already seems to have a large following and I can understand why. A highly enjoyable SPFBO tale that younger fantasy book lovers will probably adore and one that I devoured within 24 hours.
This Cage of Deceit book review was written by James Tivendale
All reviews for: Reign of Secrets
Cage of Deceit
Reign of Secrets #1
Sixteen-year-old Allyssa appears to be the ideal princess of Emperion—she’s beautiful, elegant, and refined. She spends her days locked in a suffocating cage, o...
Have you read Cage of Deceit?
We've found that while readers like to know what we think of a book they find additional reader reviews a massive help in deciding if it is the right book for them. So if you have a spare moment, please tell us your thoughts by writing a reader's review. Thank you.
Cage of Deceit reader reviews
7.5/10 from 1 reviews
There are currently no reader reviews for this book. Why not be the first?
Write a reader review
Thank you for taking the time to write a review on this book, it really makes a difference and helps readers to find their perfect book.
More recommended reading in this genre
Six of Crows
Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price - and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy, Kaz Brekker. Kaz is off...
The Gentleman Bastard Sequence
They say that the Thorn of Camorr can beat anyone in a fight. They say he steals from the rich and gives to the poor. They say he's part man, part myth, and mostly stre...
The Riyria Revelations
Michael J Sullivan
Royce Melborn, a skilled thief, and his mercenary partner, Hadrian Blackwater, make a profitable living carrying out dangerous assignments for conspiring nobles--until they...
A tale of Einarinn
Juliet E McKenna
In Einarinn, the secret of magic is known only by an elite few. They live in deliberate isolation, under the watchful eye of the Archmage. But nothing last for ever. Livak ...
The Way of Shadows
The perfect killer has no friends. Only targets. For Durzo Blint, assassination is an art. And he is the city’s most accomplished artist, his talents required from al...
Artemis Fowl Series
Just twelve years old and already he's a criminal genius, plotting to restore his family's fortune with a spot of corruption and kidnapping. Kidnapping a fairy for ...
Lex Trent series
Law student Lex Trent’s world is inhabited by fearsome magicians, ageing crones and a menagerie of Gods and Goddesses. And while Lex is seemingly dedicated to his leg...
The Crown Tower
Michael J Sullivan
Two men who hate each other. One impossible mission. A legend in the making. Hadrian, a warrior with nothing to fight for, is paired with Royce, a thieving assassin with no...
The Northern Sunrise
Rob J Hayes
There comes a point in every thief's life where one has to take stock of all that they have achieved. We have stolen almost everything there is worth stealing: Prince H...
The Ancient Blades Trilogy
Born and raised in the squalid depths of the Free City of Ness, Malden becomes a thief by necessity. Now he must pay a fortune to join the criminal operation of Cutbill, lo...
The Thief Who Pulled On Troubles Braids
Amra Thetys lives by two simple rules—take care of business, and never let it get personal. Thieves don't last long in Lucernis otherwise. But when a fellow rogue...
Meet Easie Damasco, rogue, thieving swine and total charmer. Even the wicked can't rest when a vicious warlord and the force of enslaved giants he commands invade their...
In Wilder Lands
The wilding Estin just wanted to be left alone, find shelter and food, and live to a nice old age. With war escalating around him, these may be beyond his reach. Instead, s...
A teenage assassin kills with a single kiss until she is ordered to kill the one boy she loves. This commercial YA fantasy is romantic and addictive like a poison kiss and ...
Jade is the lifeblood of the city of Janloon - a stone that enhances a warrior's natural strength and speed. Jade is mined, traded, stolen and killed for, controlled by...
Looking for more suggestions? Try these pages:
- Recommended high fantasy books/series
- The thief in fantasy literature
- Recommended books/series featuring royalty, monarchy and empire
Books of the Month
A selection of books - old and new alike - that were a joy to read.
Forget the old days. Forget summer. Forget warmth. Forget anything that doesn’t help you survive in the endless white wilderness beyond the edges of a fallen world. Lynn McBride has learned much since society collapsed in the face of nuclear war and the relentless spread of disease. As the memories of her old life continue to haunt, she...
Paris was supposed to save Hallie. Now... well, let’s just say Paris has other ideas. There’s a strange woman called The Chronometrist who will not leave her al...
A corrupted city. A dark dream of power. Luke is a prisoner, condemned for a murder he didn’t commit. Abi is a fugitive, desperate to free him before magic breaks his...
The Fifth Empire of Man
Rob J Hayes
The Pirate Isles are united under Drake Morrass’ flag, but the war has only just begun. There’s still a long way to go before he’s able to call himself Ki...
Ian C Esslemont
After the disappointments of Li Heng, Dancer and Kellanved wash up on a small insignificant island named Malaz. Immediately, of course, Kellanved plans to take it over. To ...
Age of Swords
Michael J Sullivan
Raithe, the God Killer, may have started the rebellion by killing a Fhrey, but long-standing enmities dividing the Rhunes make it all but impossible to unite against the co...
A Time of Dread
The Ben-Elim, a race of warrior angels, once vanquished a mighty demon horde. Now they rule the Banished lands. But their dominion is brutally enforced and their ancient en...