Member Reviews

TLDR; All in all, while this book could’ve been interesting, instead it was literally just written like shit. 3/10 for interesting premise and ultimately terrible writing.

There is legitimately no other way to describe this book than just aggressively poorly written. While the plot and premise of the book are interesting, and not poorly executed, Elizabeth May’s technical ability to actually write is dense, blunt, and disconnected. Reading this book felt like wading through a nonsense sludge of events that should’ve worked really well together, but instead had no actual coherence to them. While a scene would make sense in isolation, it felt like there was no lead up to anything, no foreshadowing, no discussion of the after effects of an event. Instead everything in the story just… occurs, and then we move on from it. On top of which each event isn’t given the necessary time to percolate in the readers mind, instead made far too short. Combined with the lack of aftermath of anything, this leads to the book feeling incredibly disjointed.

Another issue I had with this book are the character. Firstly, there are too many POVs. Perhaps if the book had just featured the POV’s of the two sisters it would’ve been tighter, instead the book features ~5 POVs, and most of them feel unnecessary and add to the poorly written effect of the book as the author tries to explore an event from as many perspectives as possible. Secondly, the characters are poorly written. I cannot express how much I absolutely hate Vitaly, and how utterly and irrationally annoyed I felt reading any of his POVs. I hate this man and his weird, arguably misogynistic, way of talking about his “wife.” I wish he would die in a hole.

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Received an ARC courtesy of NetGalley and its publishers.

I enjoyed reading this book but it did take a while for me to finish, probably due to me finishing a series I wasn't ready to part with. Very rarely do you get a Russian inspired novel which is set in a fantasy world. This book was made for new adult/adult, and would not be categorized as young adult. As an adult reading fantasy, I loved being able to read a book not from some teenager's perspective. There are two main romances in this novel and one being everyone's favorite trope. I get Throne of Glass vibes from this novel which I enjoyed as well. Overall, this wasn't the best book I have ever read but I will continue to read the series!

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Ever since I read Elizabeth May's The Falconer trilogy, I've been a fan of hers. So to say that I approached this arc with much anticipation is not an exaggeration. And this did not disappoint. Complex, powerful, messy, and addicting, this will pull you in and not let you go. I got echoes of Shadow and Bone (Russia) but this is all of May's own. The sapphic and m/f romances were also interesting and quite promising. Loved the first installment, cannot wait for the rest.

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An intriguing premise that falls a bit short in execution. It starts off very slow-burn for most of the book, and at the end, it feels a bit rushed. The political intrigue chapters stand out, and despite the two sisters being the main characters, I especially liked Katya's POV. I could have done without Vitaly, though. While morally grey bad boys have their charm in this genre, he was just not likable. Overall, not a bad read, but the execution left room for improvement.

I got this arc in exchange for an honest review.

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A unique book that has a great pace and important part in the world but poorly built character motivations and relationships.

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I adore Elizabeth May’s Falconer series, so when I saw she was coming out with a new book I was first in line to request an ARC!

With a premise of overthrowing a corrupt empire, this books a grower.
It’s slow to build, but bit by bit the character sink their dragon talons into you until you need to know what happens next.

And I really wanted to love this book. It has all the right ingredients of a perfect fantasy series:
🔥𝘗𝘰𝘭𝘪𝘵𝘪𝘤𝘢𝘭 𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘳𝘪𝘨𝘶𝘦 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘦𝘴𝘱𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘢𝘨𝘦
🔥𝘓𝘪𝘬𝘦𝘢𝘣𝘭𝘦 𝘤𝘩𝘢𝘳𝘢𝘤𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘴 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘥𝘶𝘣𝘪𝘰𝘶𝘴 𝘮𝘰𝘳𝘢𝘭𝘴
🔥𝘜𝘯𝘪𝘲𝘶𝘦 𝘮𝘢𝘨𝘪𝘤 𝘴𝘺𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘮
🔥𝘙𝘪𝘤𝘩 𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘭𝘥 𝘣𝘶𝘪𝘭𝘥𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘪𝘯𝘴𝘱𝘪𝘳𝘦𝘥 𝘣𝘺 𝘐𝘮𝘱𝘦𝘳𝘪𝘢𝘭 𝘙𝘶𝘴𝘴𝘪𝘢

And yet, it fell short of my expectations.
Full of action and espionage, To Cage a God lacked the development needed to make this an interesting and fresh read. The villain was one dimensional, the character’s backstories rushed, the romance insta-love.

It felt like a debut YA novel- full of potential, but juvenile in execution.

⭐️⭐️⭐️
𝘓𝘪𝘬𝘦𝘥 𝘪𝘵 𝘦𝘯𝘰𝘶𝘨𝘩 𝘵𝘰 𝘧𝘪𝘯𝘪𝘴𝘩 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘣𝘰𝘰𝘬, 𝘣𝘶𝘵 𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘦𝘯𝘰𝘶𝘨𝘩 𝘵𝘰 𝘳𝘦𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘰 𝘰𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘴

A sincere thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an ARC in exchange for an honest review!

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This one had a ton of potential to me, but for some reason it just didn't hit the mark. I think the way that each chapter felt like the last sentence was trying to be a cliffhanger just didn't make me intrigued to keep reading. I think that a lot of people will really enjoy this, it just wasn't for me. The worldbuilding was very interesting, and the magic system I'd like to learn more about.

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To Cage A God follows two foster sisters in a fantasy world influenced by Imperial Russia. An evil Empress controls the land with the power of a dragon god embedded in her bones. Almost all nobility in this world have some type of dragon gods inside them, but our two main characters also have dragon gods inside of them courtesy of childhood experimentation done by their It. To overthrow the evil regime one sister (Sera) must reconcile with someone from her past who does not know she has a dragon god inside of her, while the other sister (Galina) must go undercover inside the palace to get close to the empress and her well hidden daughter.

Thank you to NetGalley and DAW for the opportunity to read and review this book. I had initially requested a copy of this book for review when I heard rumors that it would be a featured book by Illumicrate in 2024 and this book did not disappoint!

It is not often in a book that I enjoy all of the characters that we follow, but in this book I genuinely liked every character (other than our evil empress character, but shes not exactly supposed to be likable) I enjoyed the interactions and relationships that developed between all of the characters and I enjoyed the romance that developed between the two main couples. Be aware that this is not a YA book - this book has some spice!

While the plot of the book isnt exactly groundbreaking it did a good job at worldbuilding and did leave me wanting more. If this book is continued as a duology I will absolutely read the second book, but if it doesn't then I think it stands well enough as a stand alone and ended at a point that would still satisfy most readers.

Overall I am giving this book 4 stars, I really enjoyed it and was surprised by how much I liked it. I look forward to owning a copy of this for my own home library and will definitely post about this book on my social media (TikTok and YouTube) closer to it's release date.

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4.5/5 ⭐

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

🔥This book was beautifully written and the author does an amazing job at showcasing the different personalities of the two sisters--Sera and Galina. Their relationship was beautifully done, and you can tell that they really care and want to protect each other. They both each have their struggles and trauma that still plagues them, and having a dragon-like god inside them doesn't make it any easier. These two sisters are preparing for a rebellion, and will have to push through these struggles if they want to succeed!

🔥This book is Imperial Russian inspired, and I can't speak on the accuracy of what the author did with that, but for someone who is not familiar with it, I was a little confused throughout the book. I really did enjoy the politics in this book though, especially seeing the interactions with the villain in this book--Queen Isidora. This book kept me entertained from the start to finish and the pacing was nicely done. It was nice seeing the different POVs of the other characters that played an important role to the story and the two MC's life. I enjoyed all the characters and their interactions/relationships with each other, but just the two sister's POV would have been just as fine as well. The magic system is unique and interesting, but I would have liked to seen more background information on the god power and the magic system, especially when it came to people bonded to lesser gods and their abilities as it was a little bit confusing.

🔥All the issues I had with this book only knocked half a star off, and otherwise, I'm looking forward to what's to come in book 2 of this duology!

Thank you to Colored Pages Book Tours, Daw Books, Netgalley, and the author for this ARC! All opinions are my own.

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So many things I love about this book, but I don't want to give spoilers haha it was a bit slow the first 25 percent but it was worth it, I loved all the characters and seeing their perspectives, loved the world building. Thank you netgalley for the arc

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I was excited for this book so I'm really disappointed to say I just didn't enjoy it. We have a Russian revolution inspired fantasy where gods are captured into nobility's bodies through some genetic bone inscription. This sounds strong, I like the sound of all of those elements. Unfortunately, it just falls a bit flat across the board.

While we start with this prologue scene of a little girl, Galina, surviving an attack by godsfire, we then jump ahead some 20 years to Galina with her sister., Sera We don't really get more than some glimpses of what happens in that time except that Sera's mother, Irina, learned how to etch the wording into the bones and cage a god to commoners. Other than this mention, we don't actually see any god caging happen. I think a better title would've been To Uncage a God, since that's what actually happens.

It's Russian revolution inspired so it shouldn't surprise anyone Irina uses this knowledge to further a rebellion called The Faithless, because the ones who follow the rulers' gods are called The Faithful, and it doesn't work. Sera picks up the rebellion after her and Galina's quiet life is disrupted. I don't have too much a problem with this as a concept but it wasn't fleshed out well in my opinion. In fact, Sera later says "What do you think matters more to me? This stupid mission, or you?" which is very touching but also, she literally thought of and proposed this mission! And Galina is reluctant but then goes with it because of course she does.

All that said, it feels like we're dropped into a story halfway told. We don't get Irina's workings, we don't get more than the glimpses of their pasts that are supposed to make us understand their motivations and reluctances, but it feels like you're putting a puzzle together when you don't even know what all the shapes look like.

As far as the characters, I just didn't like any of them. Maybe Katya, maybe. Vitaly is by far the most irritating and did you know he's a thief? If you forget, don't worry, it's reminded no less than ten times. His dialogue and interactions with Sera are so cringe. Like almost to the point where you have to wonder if May knows how normal interactions go. Sera meanwhile is half the time logical to a fault and half the time about to make stupid choices like flying off to a jailbreak without a plan. Go for it, see how that works. She sort of tells her husband off for thieving but then later in the palace says 'I see rubies. Fence it.' which doesn't really track with her previous opinions and also, who talks like that?

And the romance was so awkward, cringe, and felt just forced at times. I'm all for tension and pining for someone but the whole 'You must command me' and when Galina and [redacted] have their moment I was sitting there wondering how we got there.

If this was a debut book, I think I could be more forgiving but I'm pretty sure it isn't and there is so much that could be improved that I just can't say too much in favour of it. I don't see how there is going to be a second book out of this. It feels like a standalone, which would make sense for the pacing. Otherwise, Irina's story leading into Sera proposing this new plan should've been the focus and second book leading to everything here. Instead, we have a story that already started, pieces we don't completely get to see, and somehow we're meant to follow this into another book.

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This is an extremely dark ramnce fantasy, that will keep you flipping the pages! This epic is based on imperial Russia and the dark politics of this world. I could not read fast enough!

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*thank you to netgalley and the publisher for an early copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*

Oh wow this was different. It was a bit slow to start off with plus I’m not a big fan of third pov but eventually I got used to it. It felt a bit info dumpy but once I got into it I couldn’t stop reading.I like multiple povs and the romance side of the story. I recommend to give this book a go. Thank you!

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I highly recommend TO CAGE A GOD. Brilliant worldbuilding, layered characters, taut pacing, beautiful prose, realistic banter, and interwoven social commentary on privilege, To Cage a God has everything I could want in a book. A perfect read.

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This was one of my most anticipated reads for this upcoming year and I was beyond thrilled to receive this arc.
The writing was eloquent and the story itself was absolutely astounding. The imperial Russian world was so well done. The romance aspect was exactly what I love in fantasy romances. I felt like this was written just for me with some of my favorite tropes. The found family was chefs kiss.

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I really liked this book, once I got past most of the rough parts. Some of the writing had me stop and reread parts, just by how it was worded, but the baseline was great.

I do wish there was more world building and more backstory. I wouldn't have minded a extra few pages just to learn more. I think it did lack in the sense of that part.

Past that, I really fell in love with our two main girls. I also enjoyed being able to see the handmaids POV, and the princesses POV. The guys POV was hit or miss with me. The only thing it gave was a shocking twist.

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I enjoyed reading this, it's a page-turner, and appreciate what it tries to be. It’s fast-paced, the characters are likable and you can tell Elizabeth May is a storyteller who knows what she wants in her world. The concept of dragon gods being caged into a person was also the main theme that attracted me to this new release and it didn’t disappoint in that general concept. I did have ups and downs, mainly from writing choices that leave me hungry.

The writing is too descriptive for me. The story starts in the middle and everything from before is explained through exposition. That means I couldn’t experience or explore any struggles or surprises on my own. The magic system is also explained through this style, which left me hungry for mystery. All the information was available to me and I never experienced any danger. I was hoping for a few twists but nothing came.

There’s also an absence of a voice for these caged gods. It remains descriptive and I was hoping to see more of their personal struggle, maybe even a pov.

Then there’s the two romances. The F/M romance is already existent and described. It’s based on estrangement and reunion but I never rooted for it. I just had to accept they have the hots for each other. The F/F romance is more up to my taste, it’s based on more complex feelings and it’s experienced from the start. I did really enjoy the romances independently, I experienced some heated moments. But I do feel like a lot of it was fragmented and mistimed.

Overall, I enjoyed this and I would love to read the sequel and see how everything wraps up. I hope the gods get more of a voice and mystery is added. After all, Elizabeth May does seem to know how to build a world and I’m still intrigued to know more. I just need a little more depth to love this. Thank you, DAW, for the advanced reader copy!

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At first I thought maybe I’d missed something, as this book started off running, and I wasn’t sure about some characters, and certain plot points. As time went on, I got more invested, and did end up enjoying the book, and will be looking for the second in the duology.

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TCAG is a romantasy set with a background inspired by imperial Russia. There are gods, magical powers, numerous POV's, politics, rebellion and two different romances (one being sapphic)
I loved the dynamic between the sister's and now they would do anything for eachother. There was great banter and a lot of action and difficult moments for them to handle. This book was a solid reminder that all of our actions have consequences, some unintended. I always love strong FMC and seeing women overcome adversity. I am definitely looking forward to Book 2!

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Really loved reading this book. The characters and their dynamics were amazing. The magic system and the adventures were all so fun to read as well as the queer representation. Thank you to Netgalley for an advanced reader copy.

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