(Reign of Secrets #1)
Published by: 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.
What intrigues me most about a story is the depth of its characters and the secrets it holds. A book titled Cage of Deceit certainly lives up to its name. Back and forth these characters have secrets they keep from those around them, with just a few being revealed and many teased throughout the book. How frustrating! Enjoyable, but frustrating.
By tease I mean truly, repeatedly, almost jokingly dangled the truth to some nefarious plot these characters conceived. I’m actually a bit upset now that I didn’t start a tally on how many times a character was ready to reveal some mystery before being interrupted. I mean this in the best way, of course, who doesn’t love a good cliffhanger? Especially writers?
I’m not a fan of spoiling too much for the reader so here’s what I have to say. This book has amazing characters! Sometimes when a book tends to have so many characters and plot lines, minor and even major characters can bleed together or seem one-dimensional. I really felt that everyone in this book was very real though. They were flawed with occasional quirks and awkward moments. They teased one another in a way that you knew they had a history beyond the pages. Inside jokes and past events came out and were so refreshing to find in the day-to-day conversation. The action scenes had you rooting and the amazing imagery made it easy to imagine you walking alongside Allyssa and sharing her hurried life as a princess, vigilante, and key to discovering the secrets to prevent a war in her kingdom of devastating proportions. Sound exhausting? Alyssa takes naps. I found this oddly hilarious and endearing to her character.
Of course, Jarvik’s character as well shone through in this story. Despite his overall bossy and sometimes shifty actions, there was something so likable about him. He clearly has only the best intentions for the kingdom he came from and seems to stop at nothing to reveal any nefarious plots in Emperion. Right to the point of enraging a certain temperamental princess.
I do have to say that when I first started this book it seemed to be a very lighthearted story. As it developed, the pace and Allyssa really grew in maturity. Her friendships, her determination to be a good princess, and her relationships with the people she loves really grew. She took responsibility for her actions and remained quite selfless even when people called her spoiled or didn’t see her true self. Still, she remained strong in who she was and made decisions the reader can admire.
About the Author
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.
(Clean Teen Publishing Mystery Box)
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