Book Review

Book Review: The Gilded Cage (The Prison Healer #2) by Lynette Noni

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: YA Fantasy
Length: 448 pages
Author: Lynette Noni
Publisher: HMH
Release Date: October 12th, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads


Kiva trades one cage for another when she leaves behind a deadly prison for a deceptive palace in this dark and dangerous sequel to The Prison Healer, which Sarah J. Maas called “a must-read.”

Kiva Meridan is a survivor.

She survived not only Zalindov prison, but also the deadly Trial by Ordeal. Now Kiva’s purpose goes beyond survival to vengeance. For the past ten years, her only goal was to reunite with her family and destroy the people responsible for ruining their lives. But now that she has escaped Zalindov, her mission has become more complicated than ever.

As Kiva settles into her new life in the capital, she discovers she wasn’t the only one who suffered while she was in Zalindov—her siblings and their beliefs have changed too. Soon it’s not just her enemies she’s keeping secrets from, but her own family as well.

Outside the city walls, tensions are brewing from the rebels, along with whispers of a growing threat from the northern kingdoms. Kiva’s allegiances are more important than ever, but she’s beginning to question where they truly lie. To survive this time, she’ll have to navigate a complicated web of lies before both sides of the battle turn against her and she loses everything.


Gratefully I didn’t get a lot of book two syndrome here! This kept the pacing up and the action moving.

I liked where the plot headed this round. Learning even more about the kingdom and the rebels. Finding out a lot about the history and meeting a whole bunch of new characters. Nothing was overwhelming and it only enhanced the story at present. I love having a further grasp on the world and magic system.

Kiva was my main letdown. For someone who just spent 10 years in prison not trusting anyone, she sure throws trust around like candy. I thought it was pretty obvious who Kiva shouldn’t have listened to, buuut in risk of spoilers I’ll keep it there. Kiva could have done more for herself this round rather than focusing on one minor plot matter, so I’m hoping for more from her in the last book.

I also missed Jaren!! Kiva hung out with Cal (not a love triangle situation!) more often than Jaren and I wanted more soft moments between my ship. I can’t say I was fully feeling Kiva and Jaren together as much as I wanted. Again, another point I hope changes in the last book. Jaren is the absolute gem of this series. HE’S SO SWEET.

Things end on a wild note. While I saw the reveals coming this time I didn’t see how the ending would shake out. I’m definitely intrigued and grasping at straws for what happens next and can’t wait for the next book.

Overall audience notes:

  • YA Fantasy
  • Language: very little
  • Romance: make-outs
  • Violence: physical and magical altercations, kidnapping and torture, murder
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: depictions of drug abuse and addiction

Instagram || Goodreads

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