Family, Familiars and Friendships – #TheCagedQueen Blog Tour

Hello humans! Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Caged Queen. I actually posted my review of The Caged Queen before being invited on this blog tour and rather than giving you another review (though of course there is always more to say, I thought I’d pick up on some of the themes in The Caged Queen and bring in some other favourites along the way!

Read my review of The Caged Queen.

Read my review of The Last Namsara.

the caged queen kriste ciccarelli

Goodreads Summary:

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 Reliquishing, 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.

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Family

One of the best parts of this book is the way it explores the relationship between Roa and her sister. Roa’s unwillingness to let go of Essie and the way she feels utterly lost in the moments when she is gone is something I think anyone who has lost someone can relate to.

If you love this look at family in The Caged Queen then you should also check out Sisters of the Winter Wood which has a sibling relationship in it. Girls made of Snow and Glass is another great example of playing with family dynamics.

Familiars

But let us not forget that Essie’s soul is not simply trapped in an ephemeral form, she’s trapped in a bird’s body, which kind of makes her a familiar. I’ve talked about this in a blog post before, but I really like it when animals and familiars get brought into a story, I think it adds another dimension to things and can make things more unpredictable. The idea of a bird as the vessel for Essie’s soul is quite powerful when you think about it, Birds exist on land and in the air, kind of caught between the two, much like Essie is caught between two worlds. I’ll hold off from going full English Literature essay on this, but it is an interesting thought.

Some of my favourite familiars include the royal dogs in Garth Nix’s Frogkisser and the homicidal goose in Frances Hardinge’s Fly by Night.

Friendship

The Caged Queen tackles all kinds of friendships, the friendships between people, and how they can become strained when people don’t communicate. The idea of a relationship founded on a long-lost friendship that may or may not flourish. But also the idea of friendships between nations, of alliances. Again, I’m stretching the definition of friendship a little here, but you get my meaning. So much of the driving force in this book is politics, and that politics is primarily centred around alliances. I really enjoyed the moments where Roa had to fight to not compromise what she entered into the marriage for – the rights of her people.

Where friendships are concerned, especially politics, I would recommend reading Mirage and perhaps also A Touch of Gold which I recently finished!

So there you have it, some exploring of themes in the book and some other recommendations to take you on after having finished The Caged Queen. 

I hope you enjoyed my stop on the blog tour, be sure to check out the other amazing bloggers in the blog tour!

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