Kristen Ciccarelli


Published by Gollancz

27 September 2018


Trade Paperback £12.99 | eBook £6.99 | Audiobook £19.99


Lavish, romantic and magical, The Caged Queen is a new stand-alone story set in the world of The Last Namsara

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 Relinquishing, 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.

Kristen Ciccarelli hails from Ontario’s Niagara Peninsula where she grew up on her grandfather’s grape farm. She’s made her living as a baker, a bookseller, and a potter, but now writes books about bloodthirsty dragons, girls wielding really cool weapons, and the transformative power of stories.




I received a copy from the publisher which I voluntarily reviewed. This does not affect my opinion in any way!


The Caged Queen was an enjoyable read even though it took me a while to get fully immersed in the story. I think this is because I didn’t really connect at first to the characters but after a while they grew on me. Roa’s character and story-line were intriguing enough but I wish we could have a bit more of Dax.

The author skillfully weaves snippets of lore and past events with current events to enlighten and tease the reader at the same time and I felt this really added to the whole reading experience.

I think what I missed most was the Dragons in this installment of the Iskari series. The presence of Dragons is what piqued my interest in this series and after getting to savour that in the previous book, I came to this one with the expectation of seeing the Dragons receiving more page time which unfortunately wasn’t the case and took away a bit of my enjoyment.

That being said, I enjoyed the overall story enough to want to continue the series and see what else the author and her characters have in store for us readers.