Title: The Caged Queen (Iskari #2)
Author: Kristen Ciccarelli
After I finished this, all I felt was overwhelmingly conflicted. When I first heard that The Caged Queen was going to be a companion novel told from Roa’s POV, I was initially disappointed that I wouldn’t be following more of Asha and her story. Although I wasn’t a huge fan of Roa in The Last Namsara, I found her backstory and relationship with Dax to be intriguing, and so I attempted to go into this book with an open mind. Unfortunately, it still didn’t stand up to my enjoyment of The Last Namsara.
I really love the world that Kristen Ciccarelli has created here, and she’s a talented author whose compelling writing can easily draw you into the story. And even though I appreciated being back in this world and with these characters, I spent a majority of this book extremely frustrated. Probably 99% of the issues and conflicts that happen could have been solved if Dax and Roa had simply talked. The lack of communication between them caused so many unnecessary understandings and after a while I began to get both annoyed at Roa and at the plot. There were so many of my favorite tropes employed here: enemies-to-lovers / childhood friends-to-lovers / arranged marriage but the fact that I found no enjoyment in them because of all the poorly done angst really speaks to my disappointment.
For the most part I enjoyed all the characters, even Roa began to grow on me at some point. Dax quickly became my favorite character in this series: he’s a sweet cinnamon roll who must be protected at all costs and I, for one, would love nothing more than to reach into this book and pull him out of the pages and into my life. The other really disappointment aspect about The Caged Queen in comparison to the first book was there were NOT ENOUGH DRAGONS. Those wonderful creatures hardly make an appearance, so I really hope there are more in the next book.
I found The Caged Queen to be an enjoyable enough companion novel, but there was a lot of plot lines that frustrated me to the point that it really affected my liking of the book overall. Too much miscommunications between the characters leading to unnecessary conflicts and not enough dragons!