Cover Image: To Cage a God

To Cage a God

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Member Reviews

Galina and Sera’s mother was a monster. She believed in a cause– taking down the nobles who rule with the power of gods– but she tried to do so with an act of unspeakable evil: experimenting on her two daughters, Galina and Sera. Carving runes and injecting them with mysterious serums, she managed to capture a god in each of them. But now dead and with the nobles still in power, it’s up to Galina and Sera to progress the cause.

This is a fantasy inspired by early 20th century imperial Russia and its civil unrest. However, the setting has been divorced from the complex political situation that led to that unrest– the sisters’ mother is probably the most interesting villain, but she dies off-screen and we’re left with a stereotypically evil empress. The only moral greyness rests in Sera’s love interest, a rogueish baddie who’s soft for only her.

I think this will gain some fans because of the setting and the romance, but I found it bland other than the chronic illness rep.

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I was so excited for a new Elizabeth May book! This was a bit slow going in the first 1/4 of the book but once the story got going I couldn't put the darn thing down! I'm excited to get my hands on book 2!

Thank you for the chance to read early!

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I inhaled this book! This is the first book I have ever read by May, but it certainly won’t be the last.

Sisters Sera and Galina are both running from the past while trying to control the gods that have been forced to live under their skin. They become reluctant weapons in a fight to free their country from despotic rule. The sisters are force to be reckoned with by themselves and even more so when they stand together.

Sera is reunited with a former lover in their fight to bring down the empress. Galina finds herself sharing quarters with the princess who stirs long forgotten feelings in her and her god.

This book was great and I plan to read it again now that I have a physical copy. The characters were expertly written who each had their own story/background, but May tied it all seamlessly together to the overall story. The story, for me, was unique and not one I had read before. I’ve read my fair share of stories where humans interact with gods, but I have never read a story where humans are physically tied to gods. The world building was excellent and the attention to detail helped make the story leap off the page. I highly recommend this book.

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To Cage a God is one of those books that throws you into the world with no set up/explanation and you kinda have to figure out things as you go along. The good side to this is there's no long exposition dumps. The bad side is that sometimes things aren't ever really fully explained. Which is kind of how I feel about the magic system here. Its very interesting system and I hope we learn more about it later on as I have a lot of questions.

Overall this was a fun read, but nothing that blew me out of the water. The characters ended up just being OK for me, as well as the romances. I didn't find myself rooting or attached to any one. I think most people would be drawn to Vitaly, but he didn't do much for me. I strangely needed him almost more deranged and morally lacking? I did enjoy some of his and Sera's interactions. Galya and Vasilisa felt too insta love, even with certain characteristics in place.

I'll definately pick the sequel. The world and magic system is interesting enough that I would like to know more.

Thank you NetGalley and DAW for the ARC. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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It’s rare that I DNF a book. Very, very rare. This book, unfortunately, has to join the one (1) other book I’ve ever DNF’d.

I don’t think that To Cage a God was bad at all, I just don’t think it was for me. It felt like it dragged in the beginning and I really just… couldn’t get into it. I swear I tried. Maybe I’ll try again in the future when I’m feeling ready to give it another go, but for right now, I just can’t.

DNF’d at 15%.

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To Cage a God by Elizabeth May is a wonderful compliment to Hannah Whitten's For the Wolf/For the Throne and Kathrine Arden's The Bear and The Nightingale.

We follow Galina and Sera, two sisters who are tasked with taking down the gods who rule their people. The story is beautiful with vivid storytelling and characters you root for the whole time. I recommend this book to people who are interested in Eastern European folklore and storytelling.

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Note: I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. Thank you, NetGalley and publishers.

To Cage a God is a romantasy inspired by Slavic, Eastern European fairy tales and folklore, perfect for readers who love Sarah J. Maas or Rebecca Yarros. Centuries ago, the nobility had discovered a way to cage dragons in their own bodies and use those dragon’s abilities to oppress the normal humans who live a miserable existence at the whims of the nobles. This is the story of two sisters in more than blood who have found their own truest loves and a reason to live.

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WOW! I would define it a mix of grimdark and romantic fantasy set in world with slavic elements.
Gripping, twisty and fast paced. War and love, two strong and very powerful sisters, archaic gods.
There's a lot to love and I can't wait to read the next book in this duology
Highly recommended.
Many thanks to the publisher for this ARC, all opinions are mine

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Sisters with god-like powers thanks to a special bone-grafting done by their mother are destined to overthrow an empire. The first in this dark fantasy duology will land with those who enjoy their romantasy with darkness and violence.

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I was very curious to read this title because the premises are really captivating but unfortunately the reading didn't go as I hoped.

This book has so much potential but it is not being exploited.
The setting is rich, vivid and fascinating but everything remains very superficial and at times confusing.

Unfortunately, the story sometimes gets lost in useless resolutions and filler scenes that slow down the pace and honestly bored me a bit.
Even the characters don't shine and it's a real shame.

I really expected something more!

Thanks Netgalley e the publisher for the e-ARC!

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I wanted so badly to love this one. The cover is stunning and the summary sounds absolutely amazing. Unfortunately, this book just wasn’t for me.

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Thanks to NetGalley for providing me with an electronic copy of To Cage a God.

I really enjoyed this one! I found all of the characters compelling, the magic system interesting, and boy was I rooting for the romantic relationships involved. The writing itself was lovely, and while I found the pacing slow at times, I don't think that it took much of my enjoyment away while reading but I did find myself skimming some of the longer worldbuilding sections.

Overall, very enjoyable, great LGBTQ+ and disability rep, and interesting plot!

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I really enjoyed this book. I think it was well written and I was attached to the characters. My only issue is that some of the story didn’t like up and make it confusing to follow.

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4.5 ⭐️s
Oh man! This is an EPIC story! Imperial Russia, Fantasy, Dark romance?!!! Wow! I could not put it down! That ending though!!
Following through 2 different romances, epic world building and the characters that just jump off the page.
There are something I hope we get more of, more connection to the characters because they are interesting I just feel like we have so much more to discover. I’m excited to see what book 2 brings us.

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- I don’t know why this didn’t hit me like I wanted it to. I liked the second half more than the first, but only because I finally started to feel like I knew more about the characters. I just didn’t feel connected to these characters or like I knew them how I wanted to. I felt the most connected to Vasya and Katya, and I really wanted to feel connected to the sisters but just didn’t. The relationships felt insta-lovey and surface level. I did not like Vitalik even though I usually love morally grey characters. He felt very “dude bro,” would not stop with the sexual innuendos, and made a bunch of unintelligent choices without enough info that made no sense to me for being such a “professional.” The Magic felt very surface level. I’m not sure why people were being bonded to dragons in the first place. It was a really cool concept but I feel like I don’t really know anything about it. Which I’m assuming more will be revealed in the next book, but I wish I had gotten more info now in book one to pull me in. None of these criticisms felt dire or particularly annoying. I just didn’t vibe with it like I wanted to 😭 Which makes me sad bc the concept is so cool.

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The cover on this book is right up my alley, and the description was so fascinating--it's a real shame I didn't end up liking this a ton. I was expecting a more....cut-throat isn't the right word...but a more intense and thrilling ride. The pacing in this story was surprisingly slow, which you would think could help me understand the world-building seeing as I had extra time to cook in it, but I was still confused by it. This story wasn't horrible, and I thought that the concept was really interesting, but the execution bordered on boring at times. I wanted more depth all around, but less meanderingly paced. Sometimes, I felt my brain wanting to start skimming just to combat the pacing, but I persevered.
I would be interested in more from this author in this world, because with the groundwork laid I feel that a sequel could actually be really good.

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Thank you for the Arc! I had been watching this book since I saw it pop up on Amazon. I was very interested based on the blurb.

So let's get into it...

The beginning of this book felt a bit dense and hard to get through. There wasn't much world building. I felt like we are just thrown into a world with little explanation.

We jump between 5 different character’s POVs which is a lot! It makes it a bit frustrating. I think there were far too many POV's for a single book especially one this length.

The concept behind the plot was great, I loved the idea of Gods being caged within people and the amount of power they would be able to yield.

I could see how this could lead to the characters having god complexes and believing they’re better than the commoners. However, I feel like the author could have excecuted this concept more in depth.

The magic system is unique and interesting. Dragon Gods pulled from their realm to be put into the physical bodies of human hosts.

Overall I think the book fell short for me personally. It was a bit confusing at times and didn't flow well enough for me to be pulled in. I felt like my interest was short lived.

I would give this a 3 star.

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I wanted to love this book because when I first read the blurb it had so many things I usually like, but in the end it was an okay read with some parts I thoroughly enjoyed and others that fell a little flat for me. I think my main problem was the pacing, which was slower than what I usually like for a good chunk of the story. This definitely made it a longer reading experience and I found myself a little confused with the worldbuilding at times which is inspired by Imperial Russia. However, I enjoyed the magic and the dragon gods as it was a good concept.

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To Cage a God
by Elizabeth May
These Monstrous Gods #1
NetGalley ARC
Pub Date: Feb 20, 2024
Ages: 18+

Bones painfully grafted as young children by their mother, commoners Galina and Sera have unwilling gods in their bodies. The girls were remade to become weapons to overthrow the rulers who were born as vessels for the same gods.

Galina poses as nobility, gaining entrance to the palace, but still at the mercy of the Empress, a tyrant with a powerful fire-welding god, who takes pleasure in burning people alive.

That's pretty much the story. It wasn't bad, but it did drag along. The two sisters both get their own chapters, (as do a few others), Galina in the palace and Sera outside attempting to finish their mother's work to create a serum that will do something extra to Galina's god, but what that is is not explained very well. Other information and backstory about the gods and how everything came about is missing. The point of view from a few of those gods could have given the story more depth.

The romance, ehh... of course that had to be added, though not too graphic, but it was only filler and really not needed in that much detail.

A lot is missing from this book: the magic and the world, but there is plenty about Sera and her husband. Remove the romance and give more love to the world, magic, and those gods, and BAM a better story.

Will I look for the next in the series... Nah.

2 Stars

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*Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a copy in exchange for an honest review*

Elizabeth May has been a favourite author of mine since I found The Falconer trilogy back in grade 11. The Falconer trilogy continues to be one of my favourite series of all time, and when I heard that May was releasing an adult romantasy, oh my GOD was I excited. And this? TO CAGE A GOD exceeded my expectations.

First of all, both the US and UK covers are two of the best covers out there. Secondly, this book was phenomenal. I was never bored. The pacing was amazing. The story was so GOODDDD. I'm desperate for more. I need the next one.

If you've read The Falconer trilogy and love the banter between Aileana, Kiaran, Aithinne, and Derek, oh my god you are in for a TREAT in To Cage A God!!!!!!!! I was hoping for banter, and I got what I wanted.

Elizabeth May, you've done it again.

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