Cage of Deceit by Jennifer Anne DavisReign of Secrets #1
Published on August 25, 2015 by Reign Publishing
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Sixteen-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 the 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 kingdom 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.
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I was pleasantly surprised with Cage of Deceit. I went into this book not knowing that it was actually a spin-off of another series. Knowing that, I’m not sure if the issues I had were because I haven’t read the first series or based solely around this book.
First, I unfortunately found it highly predictable. It’s a YA fantasy and there’s a war going on. It’s not a new sort of story and that’s alright, but that also means that I was looking for something to set it apart from the rest.
In terms of characters, Allyssa was the strong heroine princess and that was great and all, but something about her didn’t quite work for me. She grew on me later on in the book but for a while I wasn’t much of a fan. The rest of the cast wasn’t anything extraordinary but they moved the story ahead. They all seemed fairly flat. I needed more personality to bring them to life.
Near the end I started to feel more invested in their lives but then the book… ended. So… not great timing.
All the secrets were annoying. This book seemed ruled by the fact that no one wanted to reveal anything to Allyssa. Perhaps I was missing something from the previous series as to why there were so many secrets but it got old. Between that and the info dumps, I struggled to excuse the plot holes. The predictability led all the way up to the end where Davis left off on a MASSIVE cliffhanger. It left me highly unsatisfied with the book as a whole, especially since I already had no issues figuring out what would happen each step of the way.
This wasn’t a stand-out YA fantasy by any means though I can see potential in the characters and story that I hope is realized in the sequel. And perhaps I’ll check out the first series to provide a bit more background.