Rating: 4.5/5 stars
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Binge read (n.):
1) When you get so engrossed in a book that you read it in one sitting.
2) To read a book (usually for school) in the course of a day; most times when you were given a long period of time to read the book in the first place.
3) The impulse to finish Reign of Secrets without giving a darn about sleep, work, food and other nuisances, such as zombie apocalypse, alien invasion etc.
So, let me be your Gandalf guide to this world of adventure and swoony romance!
“I don't need to hear my mother's speech. I know what my destiny is, and I'm ready to face it.”
What is this about?
Following her traumatic imprisonment and the horrors she faced in Russek, Alyssa has finally a choice: live her life as peasant, away from court and its politics that suffocate her, or resume her role as the crown princess of Emperion, whose stability and freedom is more precarious than ever with the Russek queen bent on destroying Alyssa's family. Alyssa is pondering on her options when a letter arrives, informing her that the person who broke her heart is in danger and needs her help. Now Alyssa will join a former assassin, her father and prince Kerdan, who may seem like a brute but he is surprisingly kind, on a dangerous mission and a frantic attempt to keep her kingdom safe.
“For us to survive this tomorrow, I need you to be the fighter I know you can be. I need you to be you.”
Is Cage of Destiny a worthy conclusion to Alyssa's storyline?
Hell yeah! This series is getting better and better; as soon as I finished Cage of Darkness (which, as the title suggests, was way darker that the first installment) I inhaled Cage of Destiny. The third novel of the Reign of Secrets series followed Alyssa's journey to healing, to making choices in accordance with her own will and needs. It was heart-pounding and nail-biting, featuring schemes, skirmishes, espionage and everything you expect in a YA fantasy adventure. Darmik's active role and his protective-father-scenes were a precious treat, and I couldn't help but reminisce about the wonderful moments I spent with him and Rema in the past.
Did Alyssa stop being reckless and acting without thinking?
Do donkeys fly? Alyssa's character evolution was tremendous throughout the series, but sadly that's a trait she didn't shed. Having said that, I admired her love and devotion to her people, I was mourning alongside her for the loss of innocence and her horrible experience in the hands of her tormentors, and her guilt for her first kill. All those emotions were perfectly depicted, they made her real a person you couldn't help but root for.
And now the million dollar question: Kerdan or Odar?
If you asked me a book ago, I wouldn't be sure. Now the answer is crystal clear: Kerdan *insert heart-eyes*. At first I begrudged Jennifer for the way she handled Odar's character, but gradually I saw the truth; the person we met in the first book was not the real Odar. His feelings were pure, but he was too scared to follow his heart, leading to a series of bad decisions. Kerdan, on the other hand, was a multi-layered character, with his lethal and agressive side co-existing with his kind, generous and tender one. He didn't try to stifle Alyssa, he was always supportive without ignoring her flaws, and he managed to win me over. His banters with Darmik had me cackling like a hen, and his moments with Alyssa were brimming with passion and affection, making my heart burst from my chest.
“I swore never to trust anyone ever again. Then you come blazing into my life like a raging fire and burn down my resolve. And now, here we are.”
Do I recommend this series?
Yes, yes, a thousand times yes! Jennifer Anne Davis is an extremely talented author, her stories are a wonderful blend of action, politics, war and romance and definitely deserve more attention. Just give me Oath of Deception already!