Today will be the first of many blog tours that you will be seeing on my blog in the next few months. I am so thrilled and incredibly thankful to be a part of the blog tour for Cage of Deceit by Jennifer Lynn Davis hosted by Xpresso Book Tours.
This is a FANTASTIC YA fantasy you won’t want to me miss.
Cage of Deceit by Jennifer Anne Davis
(Reign of Secrets #1)
Publisher: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: August 25th 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Jennifer Anne Davis’ best-selling True Reign series captivated readers from the very first page. Now, get ready to become entangled in the follow-up series, Reign of Secrets. In this new series, follow Allyssa, the daughter of the beloved Emperor Darmik and Empress Rema— and find out what happens after happily ever after.
Seventeen-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 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 country 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.
Let me just start off by saying that this is my new favorite YA fantasy book. I do not normally pick up fantasy books but I can say, without a doubt, that out of the handful that I have read this one is up there at the top of my list. The characters, the impending romance (which I particularly enjoyed), and the plot set this book up to be an amazing start to Jennifer Anne Davis’s new series.
Allyssa, our protagonist, is fearless, sassy, badass, and passionate towards what she believes in and the people she cares for which sets the tone for the entire book because all you can do is just root for her and at the same time wish she was your best friend. Having a strong, ‘don’t get in my way because I am going to do what I believe in regardless of what may be right’ kind of female character was so empowering to read. Allyssa may be a princess and the heir to Emperion but quintessential princess she was not. She can fight, wield daggers, take down men twice her size, spar in hand to hand combat, fire a bow and arrow, and stand up for her beliefs in world where princesses are regarded to maintain an image and all of what was just mentioned is a direct violation of that image. She is also hilarious and her character seemed to jump off the page due to her larger than life personality. It was wonderfully refreshing to read about a female character who spoke her mind and could match the skills of almost any man in her life.
In addition to her relationship with Jarvik, which I will be touching upon shortly, I absolutely loved Allyssa’s relationship with her parents. Her parents did not take on the usual trope of insisting and/or deciding upon what Allyssa is and is not going to do in accordance to being the princess of Emperion. Yes, there were moments here and there, but that was purely because of the political aspect that comes up in the book in regards to the impending war that is going to happen against Russek. Even when her parents make it perfectly clear that, in order for peace and stability to remain in Emperion because of the raging war, Allyssa must marry Prince Odar of Fren, they still tell her more than once that if she is not comfortable doing this that is okay and that they will find another way to fight back against Russek. There was no ‘you must do this because we say so’ conversations and I found that to be so heartwarming because here you have a king and queen who care deeply about their daughter’s feelings and opinions despite the fact that it would be unbelievably beneficial and fortuitous if she married and solidified an alliance with this neighboring kingdom. It was also adorable to read their interactions because Allyssa and her parents tease and make fun of each other and have this very casual rapport with one another which was ususual because of the obvious fact that they were her parents. It was another anomaly of what you usually see in fantasy books and I welcomed it wholeheartedly.
Now, the relationship that I was the most invested in was Allyssa’s ‘I hate you… maybe I can trust you…oh, I might like you’ relationship with Jarvik who is Prince Odar’s squire and best friend. I honed in on this relationship from their very first interaction where you could spot the hostility and loathing from a mile away. Their banter in the beginning was so entertaining. I love when romantic relationships start out like this because you know that slowly but surely they are going to grow on each other and feelings will form. On top of that, the added “forbidden” aspect that Allyssa was supposed to be marrying the prince just made it even more intriguing. If the progression of a relationship like this is done right, you will be constantly wondering when are they going get together or admit their feelings or even have the ever important first kiss and this is something that I think Jennifer Anne Davis did SO well. Of course, my opinions may be a little biased because I am a sucker for romance but, as you slowly see them trust one another and take the daggers out of their eyes when they are together this train of thought of ‘when are they going to kiss?…. is it going to happen now?…. WHEN is it going to happen?’ starts to form. (I tend to be more vocal with these things so I instead yelled them out loud while I was reading.) Wanting to see what happened next between these two characters amongst all the other action and issues that arose is what fueled my desire to see how this story would end.
All in all, you have a kickass yet selfless female protagonist, a ‘will they, won’t they’ romance, along with action and suspense sprinkled in throughout the story, and a cliffhanger that makes you wish you had the next book ASAP. These elements add up to Cage of Deceit being an amazing, addictive, and fantastical read. If you like fantasy, I would highly recommend you check this book out. And, if you need something to pass the time while you wait for the next one, I would check out Jennifer Anne Davis’s other series, The Key, which is what I intend to do. It takes place in the same world as this one only from Allyssa’s parents’ perspective so you able to see their story and how it came about.
Jennifer graduated from the University of San Diego with a degree in English and a teaching credential. Afterwards, she married her best friend and high school sweetheart. Jennifer is currently a full-time writer and mother of three young children. Her days are spent living in imaginary worlds and fueling her own kids’ creativity.
There is a tour wide international giveaway as well where you can enter to win…
Clean Teen Publishing Mystery Box!!