My Rating ~ Four stars
RELEASE DATE: 7 October 2021
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
The Gilded Cage is book 2 in The Prison Healer series. Please be aware that the blurb and my review for The Gilded Cage may contain spoilers for The Prison Healer! You can find my review for The Prison Healer here
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.
Thank you to Hodder & Stoughton for providing me with a copy of this book, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.
The Gilded Cage picks up right where The Prison Healer ended, Kiva has escaped the death prison, Zalindov and is with Jaran, living in the palace. Her plan has always been to betray him and his family to the rebels, but that becomes harder and harder for her to believe in as she gets to know them. Her family comes first though, so she can see no other way through.
Ok, look, I love this series SO much, but the whole way through this book I wanted to reach through the pages and throttle Kiva. She was just too….stupid. I mean, I get loyalty to family but holy crap, it only goes so far, right? Apparently not. Kiva spent so much time trying to play both sides, creating so much turmoil, not keeping her mouth shut when she should have, that she just ended up coming across as spineless to me. For the first half of the book I could barely breathe, hoping, with each secret, things would work themselves out and she would be able to stop lying to everyone and choose a side. At about the 3/4 mark I started thinking she deserved whatever she got. Plot wise it was great for betrayals and twists but character wise, I just couldn’t stand her.
The story was SO good, I was just frustrated with her as a character, which made it difficult for me to care about her at all by the end. However, Jaran was a brilliant character, again, and I absolutely loved Caldon! Actually, I think he was my favourite character in the whole book. He was sassy and arrogant, but with an incredible backstory that made me like him more with every page. I also loved that we still got to have Tipp as a fairly main character in this book! He was such a big part of The Prison Healer and I was hoping he wouldn’t entirely fade into the background as the story moved forward.
The political intrigue and twists were great and I’m really looking forward to finding out how they all play out in book three. Lynette’s writing is phenomenal (even her ability to make a fictional character infuriate me so much 😄) and I highly recommend reading this series! I’m sure Kiva will redeem herself in my eyes in book 3. Right? Right?!