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The second book in the Prophecy of the Forgotten Fae, called A Cage of Crystal, by Tessonja Odette is a rewritten version of Veil of Mist (Lela Trilogy). This was the first ever series by the author. While the book may be fully rewritten there are plot changes, name changes, and other modifications. I never got around to reading the original trilogy though it had been on my TBR before it was unpublished. So, I’ve gotten to read this story fresh.
I did receive an electronic copy of the book early (Advanced Reader’s Copy/ARC) in exchange for an honest review. I have pre-ordered a paperback copy, so it can join my bookshelf collection. Since I know this is a series I’m going to return to in the future, and even if I didn’t get an ARC of this book I was planning on reading it after the first book. That being said in this review of A Cage of Crystal, there might be some bias since I was ecstatic to receive an advanced copy, but I’m still going to give my 100% honest opinion.
A mysterious crystal.
A legacy of shadows.
The prophecy unfolds…
Cora never dreamed of returning to her old life, but with her kingdom at stake and her brother’s life on the line, she has no choice but to reclaim her former title. Yet with new changes come new dangers, this time in the form of scheming royals with cruel politics. If she can play their games, she just might keep her crown. But can she say the same for her heart?
Prince Teryn has already betrayed Cora’s trust, first with a lie, then with a kiss. Now all he wants is her forgiveness. If he’s lucky, maybe he’ll win her affection too. But just when he manages to convey his deepest feelings, he makes a fatal mistake that unleashes an old threat in a terrifying new way.
Thrust into a web of lies, deadly magic, and hidden memories, Cora and Teryn must uncover secrets of the past to secure the future of their kingdoms. If they fail, darkness will return in a way no one will see coming.
And it will be wearing the face of the one Cora loves most.
- Published: January 31, 2023
- Page Count: 592 pages
- Genre: YA Fantasy
Thoughts on A Cage of Crystal
Similar to A Throne of Shadows, A Cage of Crystal is told from the 3rd person (limited) view of multiple characters: Teryn, Cora, Larylis, and Marleau. With the main two being Teryn and Cora. Honestly, I preferred Cora and Teryn over Larylis and Marleau. Marleau is a hard character to like considering she’s so arrogant and spoiled. But her POV is needed for that outsider perspective on what’s going on, as she’s one of the few that doesn’t know what’s going on. So, while the first book in the series introduced us to the world and the magic system, this one focused more on politics. This is where Marleau’s POV is important to see how things are playing out on the outside. Larylis is important as well since he’s not with the other three, so his perspective gives us inspect into what’s happening in the rest of the world. And his adjustment from going from bastard to king.
Especially as women are not considered proper heirs to the throne. Marleau only gets to marry Larylis after lying that she was with child (something that becomes true after their wedding night), and Teryn hands over his throne to his half-brother. Meanwhile, Teryn proposes a year-long engagement to Cora, so they have time to fall in love (granted both of them already love each other but refuse to acknowledge it). But Cora never planned on staying in the long term, only long enough to see her brother take the mantle of the throne again without anyone meddling. However, that is made impossible when Morkai possesses one of the main characters and forces Cora’s brother to turn the throne over to her with the condition she gets married. Which she doesn’t want to do knowing she’s cursed to die childless thanks to Morkai.
Outside of politics, there is more world-building included as we learn Morkai’s (Desmond’s) motivation and history. Not to spoil what happens, but as mentioned one of our main characters becomes trapped within Morkai’s crystal that Cora recovered from the battlefield at the end of the previous book. Through the crystal and the soul trapped inside, we also learn more about the prophecy, though if it points to Cora I’m not entirely sure. Considering the fact that Morkai cursed her as a child, Marleau stands a good chance as well at being the mother. I guess we’ll have to wait until the conclusion of this trilogy to find out which is the case. If it’s Cora, then she has to break a curse and needs to conceive a child. If it’s Marleau, then they just need to survive long enough for her child to be born. I’m leaning towards Marleau considering the dragon didn’t bond with Cora. Granted, Cora is the one that is linked to unicorns more so than Marleau. Though Marleau did call for the heart’s hunt and sent her suitors off to kill a unicorn. So, it’s a toss-up.
Unlike the first book where it took me 40% of the book to get into it, I couldn’t put this book down from the get-go. I desperately wanted to know how everything was going to play out. First with the marriage to secure an alliance between the three kingdoms and then with everything surrounding the crystal. Not to mention Moraki’s return and everything that went down because of that. One of the main characters is sapped of almost all their life and looks like they’ve got one foot in the grave. Hopefully, with time to heal their appearance and health will improve. Though I’m not exactly holding my breath on a full recovery.
So, overall I would give A Cage of Crystal 4.25 out of 5 stars. I can’t wait to see how this trilogy ends as let’s just say it left off on a major cliffhanger especially now that we know another world is dying due to what happened regarding Moraki’s father, King Darius, who is still very much alive. And the only way to fix everything is to tear down the veil, which requires the true Moraka to be born.
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