She was raised to be beautiful, nothing more. And then the rules changed . . .
In icy Dasnaria, rival realm to the Twelve Kingdoms, a woman’s role is to give pleasure, produce heirs, and question nothing. But a plot to overthrow the emperor depends on the fate of his eldest daughter. And the treachery at its heart will change more than one carefully limited life . . .
THE GILDED CAGE
Princess Jenna has been raised in supreme luxury—and ignorance. Within the sweet-scented, golden confines of the palace seraglio, she’s never seen the sun, or a man, or even learned her numbers. But she’s been schooled enough in the paths to a woman’s power. When her betrothal is announced, she’s ready to begin the machinations that her mother promises will take Jenna from ornament to queen.
But the man named as Jenna’s husband is no innocent to be cozened or prince to charm. He’s a monster in human form, and the horrors of life under his thumb are clear within moments of her wedding vows. If Jenna is to live, she must somehow break free—and for one born to a soft prison, the way to cold, hard freedom will be a dangerous path indeed…
Note: I have not read any of Kennedy’s Twelve Kingdoms novels so I can’t speak as to how this relates to those.
Review – Love love love it.
Let’s start with our main character, Jenna. Raised to be sheltered, taught to be submissive and groomed to be obedient – she was her mother’s crowning joy. Which was the problem in the end.
Empress Hulda did her job too well – yes Jenna had no knowledge of the outside world, but Hulda taught her the importance of POWER. Having it, using it, not sharing it. Hulda taught Jenna that one day she would have power – a woman’s power, but it was far more remarkable than a man’s.
Except Jenna learns there is little in her Mother that would induce her to be kind towards Jenna. Jenna is just another tool after all.
I loved Jenna. I loved how she didn’t make her choices in a rush. She understood the gilded prison she was trapped in, but didn’t want to rush into an unknown world that she could fail in. Knowledge was the true power and Jenna wanted it all.
I appreciated how we got to see how Jenna’s life was – while the story is told in the past tense (by Jenna from some future point in her life), our narrator doesn’t gloss over her naivete or senseless moments. She’s brutally honest.
While the story does take some time to develop fully (by almost the 50% point Jenna had only just met her fiancee and learned some awful truths about what life would be like) it’s better for it. I suspect understanding Jenna’s position and thought process will be crucial going forward.
All in all I’m VERY excited for the next book, EXILE OF THE SEAS (due out in September 2018)
Want to Know More?
Published by: Rebel Base Books
Release: June 12, 2018
Series: The Chronicles of Dasnaria Book 1
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