Monday, August 1, 2016

#Monday Review - Cage of Deceit by Jennifer Anne Davis (Young Adult, Fantasy)

Series: Reign of Secrets # 1
Format: E-Galley, 284 pages
Release Date: August 25, 2015
Publisher: Clean Teen Publishing
Source: Publisher
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Jennifer Anne Davis's best-selling True Reign series captivated readers from the very first page. Now, get ready to become entangled in the follow-up series, Reign of Secrets. In this new series, follow Allyssa, the daughter of the beloved Emperor Darmik and Empress Rema— and find out what happens after happily ever after.

Seventeen-year-old Allyssa appears to be the ideal princess of Emperion—she’s beautiful, elegant, and refined. She spends her days locked in a suffocating cage, otherwise known as royal court. But at night, Allyssa uses her secret persona—that of a vigilante—to hunt down criminals and help her people firsthand.

Unfortunately, her nightly escapades will have to wait because the citizens of Emperion may need saving from something much bigger than common criminals. War is encroaching on their country and in order to protect her people, Allyssa may have to sacrifice her heart. Forced to entertain an alliance through marriage with a handsome prince from a neighboring kingdom, she finds herself feeling even more stifled than before. To make matters worse, the prince has stuck his nosy squire, Jarvik, to watch her every move.

Jarvik is infuriating, bossy and unfortunately, the only person she can turn to when she unveils a heinous plot. Together, the unlikely pair will have to work together to stop an enemy that everyone thought was long gone, one with the power to destroy her family and the people of Emperion. Now the cage Allyssa so longed to break free from might just be the one thing she has to fight to keep intact. In order to save her kingdom, she will have to sacrifice her freedom, her heart, and maybe even her life.

Cage of Deceit is the first installment in author Jennifer Anne Davis's Reign of Secrets series. 16-year old protagonist Allyssa is the Crown Princess, & only daughter of Emperor Darmish and Empress Rema of Emperion. By night, her alter-ego "Lily" fights crime alongside her best friend Grevik who not only wants to avenge his father, but also become one of the Guards of the city. As the would be heir of Emperion, she knows that she won't be ascending to the crown until she turns 30. But, Allyssa is also aware that the powerful country of Russek has started bullying its neighbors and has already invaded and conquered Mellenia, leaving a bloody trail not unlike that left behind by Vlad the Impaler. 

As with all things, things must change for the sake of her country's future. Allyssa's life takes a huge twist when it appears that she is a bargaining chip to be used and married off in order to justify an alliance between two countries who have a common enemy. Which means that Allyssa may have to give up her hope for finding love, and instead marry Prince Odar of Fren in order to stop Russek, and save both countries from being torn apart. What's even more infuriating, is that Prince Odar brings along a squire by the name of Jarvik who seems to have pure hatred in his eyes for Allyssa. 

I have chosen to read this series first before diving into the author's True Reign trilogy. I choose to read this book after reading Rise, the author's first book in a new series called Order of Krigers which I really liked. I know that the True Reign series takes place years before this series, but as with all things I do, I sometimes do things ass backwards, and then eventually catch up with the rest of the world. I love fantasy novels. I love characters like Allyssa who are eager to do what they can to help save others. I especially love the fact that she's not a Mary Sue in that he's not afraid to fight first, and ask questions later. I was a bit curious as to why it too so long for Allyssa to flip the lid on her real identity to her so called best friend, but in the end, it was probably for the best as things do get a bit dark, and bloody. 

Can I say how pleased I am with the relationship between Allyssa and her parents? Normally, or shall I say more times than NOT, parents and their children don't exactly get along all that well in Fantasy novels. In this case, they actually seem to genuinely care about what her feelings are about arranged marriages while leaving her desire to find her own love behind for the good of her country. I do hate cliffhanger endings. I also enjoyed Marek who is the head of Allyssa's guard. I'm not exactly happy that this book was released in 2015, yet readers won't get to see what happens next until 2017 when Cage of Darkness releases. Maybe because of her new series?

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