2018 · Read · Review

Review – The Caged Queen by Kristin Ciccarelli (Iskara #2)

I actually requested this arc before I read book 1… I know, my NetGalley addiction has gotten worse (I hope NaNoWriMo will cure it). And if you have read my review of book 1 (if not here you go), you may wonder deeply why I picked up the second one in the series. The short answer is, the arc request was approved, and I hoped there would be more dragons.

Remember this is a sequel so if you have not read book 1, this review will contain spoilers for you. Just saying…

Thanks to NetGalley and Gollancz for this copy in return for an honest review.

The Caged Queen

by Kristin Ciccarelli


Synopsis by GoodReads


Roa and her sister Essie were born with a bond so strong that it forged them together forever. It was a magic they cherished – until the terrible day Essie died and her soul was trapped in this world.

Dax, the heir to the throne of Firgaard, was responsible. Roa swore she would never forgive him – yet when he came begging for her help to dethrone his cruel father, Roa made him a deal. She’d give him the army he needed if he made her queen.

Now she is royalty, but an outlander; far from home and married to her enemy. And even after everything she has sacrificed, Dax’s promises go unfulfilled. Roa’s people still 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 Relinquishing, 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. . .

The Caged Queen takes readers back to the lush, immersive world of The Last Namsara with a stunning story about the unbreakable bond between two sisters and the sacrifices we make for love.

My Opinion

 3.5 stars




The story follows Roa, the new queen in her new reign along with Dax. I kind of liked Roa as a lead and I did enjoy the story itself, especially the ending. I just didn’t really like any of the characters and the story for the first 75% of the book which left me annoyed. The final 10% though was pretty good 🙂

The Story

I felt the plots in book 1 and 2 were very similar to each other. They are both focused on killing a king, and that isn’t a spoiler either cause it’s in the synopsis. Yes, the first book didn’t have killing the king as the main plot of the first half but it was definitely the main plot in the second half of the book. The two plots are just too close together in terms of trilogy layout. If there was another book in between, I don’t think the book would have felt so similar in plot.

World Building

The sequel doesn’t add much to the existing story that was fleshed out in book 1. It does add a different aspect of Firgaard by adding the rich. I don’t feel it gave a lot to me as a reader just a higher level of annoyance when the villain turned out to be the richest in town, bit too stereotypical for me.

I did enjoy the world building in book 1 though. If felt rich and deep.

Magic System

Something is going on with Roa and her sister and the shattering of glass but I don’t know what it is and it’s not explained.

Also, no dragons until very late in the story, which was a bit too late for me. Dragons were the reason I started this series in the first place and I didn’t get any 😤

The Characters

I didn’t like any of the characters in this book. They were annoying. At least for the first 75% of the book. After that, they did become a lot better.

Unfortunately, this book suffers strongly from the miscommunication trope. Which may turn out to become a pet hate of mine… 🤔

Roa is the narrator and the new queen. She is portrayed as this strong fierce character in the beginning, but her male counterparts constantly put her in a bad light towards the middle. It might not have been the author’s intention but to me they make her look stupid and weak and selfish. There is always a character who is more clever and is constantly plotting ahead of her which means all her plans just causes her more problems. All of these problems could have been solved if there were just some communication! Towards the end though she pulls through.

I have the same opinion of Dax in this book as the previous book which is in essence “GET OUT OF THE WAY DUDE!”. Also, stop referring to the main character as a silly little girl! It’s infuriating! He does change throughout the story but that’s a spoiler so I won’t say anything 😉 but it turned out I liked him after all, though I won’t forgive him for the stuff he did.

Saphire, Asha and Torwin were hardly in this book which was a shame.




There is not much romance which was nice, but when it happens it’s in the end. The main “romance ” in the book is between to sisters and their love for each other. That was refreshing and lovely too read especially in the beginning.


The writing was smooth and easy to read. The pacing was fast and suited the story. I had no issues with the writing. And I ended up reading this book really fast.


I don’t know. The ending was good but I found the main parts of the story too annoying. The miscommunication trope really got to me, and I’m now wondering if it’s becoming a pet hate of mine.

I think am giving up on this series now. I can’t read a book I dislike for 70% of it. I’m not wasting my time, effort and emotions on that. I’m leaving this series be. The end.

If you like this series you will like the second book too 😁

Have you read this? What did you think?

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2 thoughts on “Review – The Caged Queen by Kristin Ciccarelli (Iskara #2)

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