Ideally read The Last Namsara first as some of the events and characters appear in this book. There may be some slight spoilers in this review, the unavoidable ones.
Set in the kingdom of Firgaard after the overthrow of a tyrannical king, The Caged Queen chronicles two stories, the lives of sisters Roa and Essie, and the story of the king and queen of a changed kingdom.
Roa, now queen as part of her pact that won Dax his throne must find a way to reconcile her feelings for her husband and her scrublander loyalties, while finding a way to save the twin she once thought lost forever.
Having only recently read The Last Namsara, so it was fresh in my mind, meant I found it quite easy to slip back into Ciccarelli’s world. I could see the three groups quite clearly from her descriptions but also from how I pictured them in the previous book.
I felt that the characters of Roa and Dax were fully fleshed out as not being the focus of the previous book they’d felt rather thin before. I quite enjoy a series where you meet the different characters in their own stories, while also encountering them elsewhere, as Tamora Pierce has done for years; building up a sort of map of all the conjoined stories, deepening the world created within.
I liked this book, I enjoyed learning more about the kingdom, going to the scrublander homes and seeing their lives as well as the extreme wealth and privilege of some Firgaarders.
The writing is strong and absorbing, the characters well written and empathetic, the world building excellent. My only complaint was that there weren’t as many dragons in this one. I like dragons.
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*this post features sponsored or gifted items but all words and opinions remain my own.