The Caged Queen by Kristen Ciccarelli

It didn’t have the emotional hit that The Last Namsara had for me
The Caged Queen book cover

The Caged Queen is a sequel to The Last Namsara. When I first began reading The Caged Queen, I hadn’t yet read The Last Namsara, so after a couple of pages, I stopped and read The Last Namsara, as although I was intrigued to know more about Roa and Essie, some gaps needed to be filled to truly enjoy this story. My review of The Last Namsara can be found here. The Caged Queen follows on from the events of The Last Namsara, this time from Roa’s point of view, if you haven’t read The Last Namsara please don’t read on.

During The Caged Queen we find out more about Roa and Dax, something happened in their past that both ties them together, and yet forces them apart. Roa is torn between the alliance that will save her people and her need for revenge against the person who harmed her sister. The Caged Queen is a book that is full of court intrigues, as well as learning who you can trust and when you should rely on people. Roa has a long journey that she needs to follow to get to the truth, although whether she will listen to the knowledge she learns is hard to see during her story.

Roa is a strong warrior who has to get used to the ways of palace life. Especially when she thinks her husband is a fool, who can’t manage his new responsibilities to the land. Roa has to learn that the people she believes may help her, also have ulterior motives and merely see her a pawn in their games which have far-reaching consequences both to Roa and the people she loves. Roa’s biggest problem is that she doesn’t realise how out of her depth she is, especially as she is so blinded by her love and rage for her sister’s shortened life.

There are points in this book, which I found frustrating to read, especially how Roa and Dax skirt around each other, neither trusting each other to understand where they are coming from. This does lead to some of the more convoluted storylines as loyalties are tested, but this is a book that is following on from the high stakes of The Last Namsara and managing to raise them. There are a lot of choices that Roa and other characters must make to become the characters they should be, although I did have to keep reminding myself that they are all younger than they seem to be.

I really enjoyed the in-between chapters that introduce us to the Skyweaver and expands the mythology of this world. It was also good to be given Roa and Dax’s story from the past, which gives us more insight into how they came to meet and how they act now. Overall I was really pleased by this story, it is quite a quick read for all that happens during the events of the book. It didn’t have the emotional hit that The Last Namsara had for me, but it did make me want to know what will happen next in this compelling world that Kristen Ciccarelli has envisioned.

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