Book Review

Review: The Caged Queen (Iskari #2) by Kristen Ciccarelli

Rating: ☆☆☆.5
Audience: Young adult fantasy, no language, a little romance, violence
Length: 400 pages
Author: Kristen Ciccarelli
Publisher: Harper Teen
Release Date: September 25th, 2018
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Once there were two sisters born with a bond so strong that it forged them together forever. When they were angry, mirrors shattered, and when they were happy, flowers bloomed. 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.

Together with Dax and his sister, Asha, Roa and her people waged war and deposed a tyrant. But now Asha is on the run, hiding from the price on her head. And Roa is an outlander queen, far from home and married to her enemy. Worst of all: Dax’s promises go unfulfilled. Roa’s people continue to 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 Reliquishing, 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.

COMMUNICATION IS KEY.

I was missing a lot from this book, namely DRAGONS. WHERE WERE THE DRAGONS? A few cameos was not enough! That’s why I loved the first book. Along with the dragons missing were Asha and Torwin. I was all for them and thought that maybe they’d play a bigger role.

[Actually, I wished this book had continued their story…]

Rebekah was actually a good evil character, she totally went through with her plans! *applause* My emotions were definitely tied up in how much I hated her bitter, self-serving soul.

Y’all. Dax is my precious cinnamon roll no one will hurt. He was better than our main character: Roa. Dax was not a fool. I loved how conniving and heartfelt each action was. He continually sought a better kingdom and if someone *cough cough* Roa *cough cough* would give him half a second she would’ve seen that from the start.

Now on to Roa. I really dislike when it is SO OBVIOUS that one simple conversation could change the entire course of the book. If Roa seriously asked Dax, Hey what’s up?, we wouldn’t even have a story. She was so focused on Essie (understandably to a point, but also this was her major downfall) and Theo (don’t even get me started on how much I don’t like him). I also have a huge issue with anyone sleeping with someone to gain an advantage. It put me off from her entirely. 

This book wasn’t as epic as the first. I couldn’t fully immerse myself in this new story and unfortunately was an outsider looking in. I know some people were really interested in her character from The Last Namsara. So don’t let this deter you if you’re on of those! Each book can be read as a stand-a-lone or together. It’s still pretty writing that is full of court politics and a friend-to-lovers trope.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult fantasy
  • No language
  • Violence (swords, physicality)
  • A love scene that is barely there; an intense kiss or two
Book Review

Review: The Last Namsara (Iskari #1) by Kristen Ciccarelli

The Last Namsara

Rating: ☆☆☆☆.5
Audience: YA, one curse word, violence, minor kiss scenes
Length: 432 pages
Author: Kristen Ciccarelli
Publisher: Harper Teen
Release Date: October 3rd, 2017
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

DRAGONS.

I already love the movie How to Train Your Dragon. And I imagine every one of those dragons like Toothless haha (though okay, they were described as a lot more ‘intense/scary’).

Toothless

All the dragons aside, this book had me hooked. It had all the components that make a solid series starter.

I appreciated that Asha could hold her own, slaying dragons, and watching out for her family. Her love story wasn’t a true given, and not insta-love. This made the conversation stand out more as I kept trying to figure out how it would all end.

Plenty of betrayal and horrid Gaston-like characters. I was plenty enraged by the twists and turns, most things worked out at least.

Gaston
Accurate image of Jarek.

There could be some more backstory for a few characters, but I think that’s going to open up in the second book based on the ending.

Having to hold in a spoiler that would mess with your soul, so if you’ve read it, DM me on Instagram!

One curse word, and some violence [non-gory]. A few minor kiss scenes that stay in the appropriate realm for younger audiences. Very clean book in my mind!