The Gilded Cage
– Lynette Noni –
The Prison Healer #2
Published 12 October 2021
Lynette Noni seems to take pleasure in her readers’ pain. That’s the only explanation for the cruel ending and the build up in this book that had me putting down the book and needing time away to just breathe and recover and psych myself up again for more torment. But it’s a good pain. Sometimes.
The Gilded Cage is the second book in The Prison Healer series. It picks up soon after the first book concluded. Kiva and Jaren have escaped Zalindov. Kiva and Tipp have moved into the River Palace with Jaren and his family. It’s a whole other world from the despair of the prison that was her home for so many years. While Jaren is ready to lay the world at Kiva’s feet – including fulfilling her dream of training at Silver Thorn healing academy, now Kiva is out of prison, she has the opportunity to reconnect with her brother and sister and rejoin the rebellion. Kiva is torn between her growing feelings for Jaren and his family and the knowledge that he will make a good king and her loyalty to the rebellion cause, seeking justice for her father and brother and fighting alongside her siblings.
The Gilded Cage is a great book and fulfils that second book in the series place well. There is time to get to know Jaren and his family and now that we readers and Kiva can see beyond the prison walls, we get a better idea of the world and political climate. Kiva is challenged pretty early on with conflict between her loyalty to family and the rebel cause and her relationship with Jaren. By the end, I was just done. There was so much pain she could have avoided by being honest or by making stronger decisions. But then I guess we wouldn’t need a sequel. So, prepare yourself for a big ending and the set-up for an epic third book.
Jaren is an absolute sweetheart in this book. Strong, compassionate and understanding, he offers so much to Kiva and it’s hard not to feel that she completely and utterly betrays his trust. That’s why I took so long to read this book – I needed breaks and my family needed breaks from me screaming at the pages “just tell him, you idiot” or “choose him!!” Sign.
Politics, romance, scheming, plots to take down a kingdom, family conflict, betrayal, kidnapping, friendship, secrets revealed, more betrayal. There is lots to keep readers glued to the pages and I know, like me, readers will be clamouring to get their hands on the next book in the series, which is sure to be just as agonising but also just as delicious. Can’t wait.
The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.
Category: Young adult fiction
Themes: betrayal, romance, family, rebellion, politics, fantasy, magic, siblings
Reading age guide: Ages 12 and up.
Advisory: Sexual references, references to possible sexual relationship, violence, injury, kidnapping, physical violence, references to death and medical procedures.
Published: 12 October 2022 by Clarion Books
Format: Hardcover, paperback, ebook. 448 pages.