Cover Image: To Cage a God

To Cage a God

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Member Reviews

To Cage a God was fast and easy to read. That’s really the only good thing I have to say. It was generic and full of clichés. The fantasy world lacked any real depth and the characters were boring.. I think this book tried too hard to be “smart”. It reads like a bad YA book but is marketed at NA. This books potiental was through the roof but was poorly executed.

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Sera and her foster sister Galina have gods caged inside their bodies. Their mother infused their bodies with these gods so that they would wield godpowers and essentially be turned into weapons to be used against the oppressive empire. However, power comes at a cost and not all the gods appreciate their cages and hosts. While Galina infiltrates the empress’s palace from the inside, Sera works on the outside with a rebel leader.

I didn’t love this book and I didn’t hate it. I was actually very neutral about it. It is a fast read. It’s entertaining to a degree. It is Russian inspired (with names and whatnot), which didn’t add to the book or take away from it. It’s advertised as a romantasy, but I didn’t really fr the romance vibes much nor was it all that spicy.

This is the first book of the These Monstrous Gods duology. I have no regrets reading the first book but will not be continuing on with the second.

This book kind of reminded me in part of The Priory of the Orange Tree as it had strong female leads, dragons, romance, and godpower. I would say it’s more like Priory than Fourth Wing as advertised.

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Rating this a 4 because I think it deserves higher than the 3.5 it currently has on here (compared to other books that I liked less that are currently rated much higher), but my personal rating is right around a 3.5.

I liked this far better than I thought I would have based on other early reviews. It’s definitely (aaaaalmost fatally) overwritten, but I found the story interesting enough to overcome the places where the writing stumbles. Also, because I read an ARC, my hope is that some of the more annoying bits of writing that other reviewers have highlighted will be corrected in the final version for publication.

The Russian backdrop is much less important to this novel than the marketing would make you think, which is neither good nor bad. Definitely Russian Revolution inspired, but beyond that, the cultural influence is present pretty much only in the occasional onion dome mention and in the use of patronymics.

The mythology itself feels entirely new and not derivative, but unfortunately is pretty under explained. Beyond the holes left in the mythology, To Cage a God feels like a standalone novel.

I loved Galina, Katya, and Vasilisa, but was meh on Sera. The only thing in the entire book that fell COMPLETELY flat for me was Vitaly. I hate when a character insists over and over that they’re a dirty rotten rat bastard/hardened criminal with no empathy, but at every point chooses to act like a nice enough dude, and Vitaly comes off as such an okay guy that it’s hard to believe his relationship with Sera is the thing that gives him a moral compass (or whatever).

Overall, solidly okay novel! I’m always a sucker for sapphic fantasy and I’m really interested to see how more people feel about this one!!

Thank you to Daphne Press and NetGalley for the ARC <3

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An inventive, war-torn world filled with gods and a vast chasm between those with power and those without, and long-shot rebellions.

[NOTE: Unless otherwise stated, my NetGalley feedback is not a blurb or endorsement. If a publisher wishes to use any part of my comments for promotional purposes, please contact me or my agent via email. I would prefer not to include star ratings but NetGalley won't let me post without one, so all will be 5 stars.]

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“ To cage a god is divine. To be divine is to rule. To rule is to destroy.”

Although short, this book packs a punch. I enjoyed every minute I spent within this world and I cannot wait for book two. I’ve read little Russian inspired fantasy and this did not disappoint.

I love the difference between the two sisters gods and the relationship they had with them.

This was a fun fast paced read and I cannot wait for the next book in this duology

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Thank you to Daphne Press and Netgalley for providing an eARC to review!

From the blurb alone, I highly anticipated this read. I enjoyed the dragon magic and the slavic lore, but it took me a minute to get into the book. I enjoyed the characters, the relationship between the two sisters, and the general landscape/vibes of the book. Had I been a little more invested in the overall lore and plot, I think I would've really enjoyed it!

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I almost gave up on this one. Character development in the beginning is lacking, which made it hard to connect with the story. The writing itself is good, but it just took too long to feel like I could immerse myself. The end of the book, however, was much better and I'm glad I stuck it out to finish.

Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC.

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I really enjoyed the beginning of this story. I love a good faux Russian setting; the first chapter hooked me, and Sera and Galini seemed like they would be people I was going to enjoy getting to be in the heads of while we take down the ruling power. That being said, while in the beginning I like Sera's POV it ended up being short-lived. We ended up with 5 different points of view, and I would have been happy with two of them. Galina, I liked seeing her in the thick of it, overcoming her dependence on alcohol and getting into a position to take everything down. I also enjoyed a secondary character's POV, Katya. Now, she had a reason to be a part of the rebellion, and I enjoyed all of her scenes immensely.

I liked the ending, it was nicely action-packed, and it wrapped up rather with no cliffhangers.

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I was stepping out of my comfort zone with this book. It isn't in the genre that I typically read. It was an interesting read and I liked it more than I thought I would. The reviews that I saw made me a bit nervous.

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Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing an ARC of this!

I had such high hopes for this book, but sadly, they were not met. The premise of the book was right up my alley, and I was super excited to read it, but once I did, it fell flat. The main reason for that was that I honestly really only cared about Sera's POVs and her relationship with her love interest. Her chapters were the most interesting to me while everything else fell flat.

The pacing of the book also set me off the book. It was super slow and I just couldn't get into it enough to really get myself excited about what I was reading, even when it was a Sera chapter. I would say that if you are not a fan of slow pacing to not read this.

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Thank you Netgalley for this arc in exchange for an honest review. I ended up really enjoying this book! I wasn’t sure how I felt about it at first but as the story progressed I really got into the lore and the world. I really like how a lot of this story focuses on a sister bond that is more important than anything else. Galina and Sera were really interesting main characters and I liked that we had a couple more POVs sprinkled into the story. It was very well rounded and the world was really cool and had a great magic system. I also appreciated the disability rep and the strong female leads. I’m excited to see where this story goes!

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In a fantasy world inspired by Imperial Russia, the ruling class rules with the power of dragon gods. Magic is literally etched into their bones, allowing them to literally cage these draconic beings and siphon their power. But some years ago, Galina and Sera's mother learned this process herself, using her daughters as guinea pigs. Now grown up, the two will divide and conquer to bring down a kingdom.

As Galina infiltrates the palace under the guise of a wronged noble child, Sera reconnects with her roguish lover — who still has no idea she wields the same power as their imperial oppressors. With Galina established as the "Common God," the pair work to bring her dragon god's power to its full potential. As Sera rekindles her romance and Galina finds herself falling for an isolated princess, the clock is ticking. Their lives, and the lives of their spies and allies, are on the line. And if they don't unleash their god powers on the ruling class, it might be turned on them instead — be it from the inside or the outside.

To Cage a God leans heavily into physical pain (both passive and self-inflicted) as being part and parcel of its magic. While it makes for excellent metaphors and dialogues across the board, there are times when it pushes a bit hard. If you're a fan of hurt/comfort stories, that might be a bonus. That aside, it's a rare inspiration for a fantasy setting, and one that's played with beautifully. This is the first book of a duology; and while the first book was interesting, the setup for the second sounds like it will be even better.

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I DNFed this after about 4 chapters. The writing was repetitive and choppy. I'm sure this book is for someone, but I am definitely not the target population.

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Thanks to DAW for the copy of this book!

TO CAGE A GOD is a slow-paced fantasy with Imperial Russian themes. While I thought the concept was interesting and it held my attention for awhile, this was just too slow for me. A third of the way in, we're not really even sure if there will be romance or not, and the dragon-gods-within-people concept sounds cool, but took awhile to form and was a little confusing.

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Definitely one of my favorite books in 2024 already. Wonderful world building, while being funny and smart. Definitely reminded me of an adult Six of Crows kind of vibe. The banter was sharp and witty. I can't wait for the second one.

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The beginning of this book felt very dense and hard to get through. Once I was able to get the hang of the plot and world building it became a bit more digestible. I really liked what the relationship of Vitaly and Sera could have been, but I feel like it got too muddled and their morals quickly feel away. Without getting too much into the plot, I feel like they never held up the morals each of them built separately.

We jump between 5 different character’s POVs which is a bit too much for my liking. It constantly had me disappointed when we would switch to a character I didn’t care as much for (Katya lol).

The concept behind the story was great, I quickly fell into the idea of Gods being caged within people and the amount of power they would hold. I could easily see how this could lead to these very people have god complexes and believing they’re better than others. However, I feel like the author could have excecuted on this concept better, almost all of the world building was show no tell which made it really hard to really get into the plot line.

Arc provided from netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review

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To Cage A God is a thrilling story of love, sedition, and revolution set against the backdrop of a Russian inspired fantasy world.

Galina is orphaned when the empress razes her village to the ground with her godfire, leaving her as the unintended sole survivor. She is soon adopted by Irina, a revolutionary who is determined to grant godpower to the common people using a combination of science and long buried historical texts. Galina and her foster sister Sera become Irina's greatest weapons in her revolution - the first commoners in centuries to weild godpower - but when Irina is caught and killed by the empress, the sisters go into hiding.

One of the things I love so much about this book is that it begins after so much history has passed. Their foster mother is dead, her attempted revolution failed, and Sera and Galina are living quietly in hiding, trying to forget the scars that their mother left on them in childhood. Following the assassination of the emperor, Sera decides its time that they dive back into the fray, and she convinces Galina not only to accompany her, but to infiltrate the palace in an attempt to overthrow the empress without inciting a war between the nobility and the common people.

The magic system in this book is wild to think about. Dragon gods are summoned from their realm to dwell within the physical bodies of human hosts, and those hosts are able to weild the God's power. The dragons are physically caged within their human's body, writing and moving between their internal organs. Insane, but also really cool.

The story is told from multiple perspectives, many of which are introduced about a third of the way through the story. Elizabeth makes sure each character has distinct goals, personalities, and secrets, and she engages each one actively in the unfolding of the story.

The book has a satisfying story arc that ends with a violent confrontation, but it leaves enough threads unresolved to set up well for a second book.

The relationships in this book crackle with fiery romantic tension, and the large cast gives the author room to work in so many of my favorite tropes - second chance romance, enemies to lovers, forbidden love, princess & commoner. She even sprinkles in a handful of knife to throat moments that will make the fantasy romance lovers swoon.

I recommend this book for those who love stories of magical revolution, diverse casts of characters, Russian inspired fantasy worlds, and morally gray heroes and heroines.

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Unfortunately this book did not work for me. The writing felt like the roughest first draft, the sentence structures clunky and hard to read despite the short chapters. Nothing was fleshed out enough and there was virtually no prose. The premise was excellent and I was really interested in where the story could go, but the execution fell completely off because of the pacing and above mentioned issues. I would have guessed this was a debut author’s work had I now known of their previous titles.

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To Cage a God is a bit of a misleading title as the Gods ( or dragons) have already been caged or rather attached to humans. The ruling class have inherited their caged gods and lord over the rest of the population literally ( the rest are called supplicants). Sera and Galina are two sisters who are their exception in that their mother has manage to attach Gods to them in an effort to defeat the powerful and of course evil Empress ( and the nobility).
I received a copy of the book for a free and unbiased opinion.

The book was a quick read and entertaining, requiring little effort. I loved the chapters from Sera’s point of view and would have happily read more about her and her poor judgement in men but the POV’s are shared between her and a few other people. I have to confess that I did find some of these POVs seemed to slow down the pace of the book and the action but then it did push forward the romantic elements of the book.
But while the book is entertaining, this wasn’t for me because of the romance, which seemed to take precedence to the sisters getting on kick- starting the revolution. There were some broad strokes of world-building but not enough- I would have liked to learn more about the society, the magic, the science, and the politics.
While the book is heavy on the romance, there are some darker themes particularly around the Empress’s treatment of her handmaiden, Katya.

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Unfortunately not a hit for me- it wasn't terribly, but it also wasn't terribly exciting. I found myself bored more often than not, and the magic system wasn't my favorite.

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