The Gilded Cage by Lynette Noni is the second in The Prison Healer trilogy. The first book ended with a shocking reveal that I never saw coming. Ms. Noni ups the ante with yet another reveal that left me reeling and wanting to throw my Kindle across the room. Honestly, I think Ms. Noni delights in torturing her readers with these reveals and then making us wait for answers.
Yet, The Gilded Cage is not all fireworks and roses. I had some issues with the main character this time around. Kiva spends a lot of time waffling between her various choices, and frankly, her inability to choose becomes tedious and repetitive. Even though readers only know as much as Kiva knows, the right answer is so damn obvious that her continued waffling becomes nothing but a distraction that bogs down the story.
Once she makes her choice, though, the story begins to soar into a heart-pounding trajectory with more twists and turns than a roller coaster. The story becomes much more than a revenge story as Kiva begins to realize that revenge may not be the answer and that family is not always what you want it to be. As she comes to some hard truths, your heart breaks over and over again for her as you realize that the story is not going in the direction you really want it to go.
Because of her ability to surprise you, Ms. Noni’s The Gilded Cage is highly addictive. Some of her reveals are not all that exciting or surprising, but they are fascinating all the same for what they expose about the characters. Except for a lot of angst-fueled scenes in which Kiva can’t make up her damn mind, the story itself is just as exciting and tense as the first book. Plus, with that ending, the series finale may just become my most-anticipated release of 2022.