This is a companion to The Last Namsara. The synopsis and my review will have some spoilers from book one.
The Caged Queen by Kristen Ciccarelli
Kristen Ciccarelli’s distinct brand of lyrical, haunting fantasy continues in the companion to her bestselling debut, The Last Namsara. Perfect for fans of Kristin Cashore and Renee Ahdieh.
Once there were two sisters born with a bond so strong that it forged them together forever. Roa and Essie called it the hum. It was a magic they cherished—until the day a terrible accident took Essie’s life and trapped her soul in this world.
Dax—the heir to Firgaard’s throne—was responsible for the accident. Roa swore to hate him forever. But eight years later he returned, begging for her help. He was determined to dethrone his cruel father, under whose oppressive reign Roa’s people had suffered.
Roa made him a deal: she’d give him the army he needed if he made her queen. Only as queen could she save her people from Firgaard’s rule.
Then a chance arises to right every wrong—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 discovers she can reclaim her sister for good.
All she has to do is kill the king.
I have no idea why I waited so long to read this. I loved The Last Namsara.
One sign I’ve noticed early on in a book of a sign I’ll love it is that I plan to read the first thirty pages. I feel that the bath water is cold and I’m on page 70. I get so lost in it that I am unaware of my surroundings. That’s what happened with this one.
This book isn’t fast paced. But it’s the right blend of slow paced mixed with some heart pounding parts that keep you interested. If you’ve been following my reviews for awhile, you know that I love hate to love romances. Without ruining anything from the ending, this book covered the disinterest, to friends, to enemies, to friends pretending to be lovers, and more. Roa and Dax became friends when she was around 9 and he was 11. Her sister, Essie, really liked him, too. Things were good until Essie died and Roa blamed Dax for it.
After uniting to defeat the King, Dax and Roa are now married, but not sleeping together. She still feels guilt over breaking Theo’s heart and she thinks she loves him. I’ll say it now without anything from further in the book, but I didn’t like Theo. I don’t know why. I think I just adored Dax. Roa hated him. She thought he was sort of dumb, a horrible fighter, and someone who just didn’t care. She was afraid he was going to be a weak king. And she needed him to help her people by opening trade again. Roa also watched Dax flirt with other girls, even her best friend. Rumors were spreading that he was sleeping with another girl every night.
Roa found out that the Skyweaver’s Knife was real. The legend stated that to bring back someone who is uncrossed, the person who caused her death had to be stabbed with the knife on the night of Relinquishing. Essie never crossed over. Her soul became a hawk and Roa and Essie could hear and feel each other’s thoughts. Roa was broken without her sister, but wasn’t sure she could kill Dax, even if she hated him. Throughout the book, we see Roa battle with her inner self over her sister, Dax, and becoming a murderer. When she finds out that there is a group in the council that wants to overthrow Dax, things become both easier and harder to decide on. Roa has to do intel within a short amount of time so the king can be killed. Her hands are tied by something that happened.
Along with Roa and Dax, Safire is back. We also get a small bit of Asha, Torwin, and the dragons. While I wish there was more of them, I found myself fully engrossed in the story of Dax, Roa, Essie, and Theo.
I gave this book 5 stars and cannot wait to read the third one.
Warnings for a lot of the same things as book one. Slavery, captivity, a little talk of sex, violence, killings, oppression.
Have you read The Caged Queen? Did you read The Last Namsara?