Fantasy Thriller Book Review | The Russian Cage by Charlaine Harris

#1 New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Charlaine Harris is at her best in this alternate history of the United States where magic is an acknowledged but despised power in this third installment of the Gunnie Rose series.

Picking up right where A Longer Fall left off, this thrilling third installment follows Lizbeth Rose as she takes on one of her most dangerous missions yet: rescuing her estranged partner, Prince Eli, from the Holy Russian Empire. Once in San Diego, Lizbeth is going to have to rely upon her sister Felicia, and her growing Grigori powers to navigate her way through this strange new world of royalty and deception in order to get Eli freed from jail where he’s being held for murder.

Russian Cage continues to ramp up the momentum with more of everything Harris’ readers adore her for with romance, intrigue, and a deep dive into the mysterious Holy Russian Empire.

Goodreads Rating: ☀️☀️☀️☀️☀️

Lizbeth “Gunnie” Rose is back, and she is a changed young woman. This latest story in the Gunnie Rose series has a mystery and lots of action, but it also has a different Lizbeth from the one l met in the series’ first book. I love the depth Lizbeth’s maturing adds to the series, and I hope you will too!

From page 1, I noticed that the whole tone felt different in Lizbeth’s story’s latest installment. It is more sedate and reflective as the cracks in Lizbeth’s armor gave me peaks into the very soul of a character who works very hard to keep everyone out. She is almost 21 and has been adulting since she turned 16, and she joined her first gang. But she has been too busy protecting her heart, soul, and everything of personal importance to truly let readers in. Finally, through her relationship with Eli, I witnessed her grow and change into a more mature young woman in this story’s installment. Wow, the character blows me away with the new depth and intriguing layers.

I love that Felicia, Lizbeth’s sister, played a more significant role in this story. Finally, I learned more about her and found that I enjoy her fiery determination and how she leads with her heart. She acts as a beautiful foil to Lizbeth, reflecting and making lifestyle differences shine. I hope that I will get to see a lot more of Felicia in upcoming stories and continue to witness her part in her sister’s growth and maturity.

I also enjoyed finding out a little more about how this world, an alternate timeline of our world, came to be. Each story, so far, finds Lizbeth in a different country that was once the USA. The US separated into five other countries, each with its unique identity – New America, Holy Russian Empire, Texoma, Dixie, and Brittania. Very, very slowly, the reason for this is coming to light, and I find it fascinating, mainly, I think, because of how divided the country is in our current timeline.

The mystery of how and why Eli finds himself in jail and the resulting action and suspense as Lizbeth work to get him out kept me on the edge of my seat. I love the innovative plans Lizbeth creates using magic and her skills to think on her feet and turn every situation sunny side up. When Gunnie Rose is in her element, I have to sit back, relax, and enjoy as the story unfolds.

If you are looking for a fantasy series that will help you reflect on what’s going on around you, the Gunnie Rose series will help you see things differently while you sit on the edge of your seat, waiting to make sure everything turns out ok.

7 Replies to “Fantasy Thriller Book Review | The Russian Cage by Charlaine Harris”

  1. Great review, Tessa. I especially like that you noted the character growth and the world-building. I like to see these things expand as a series continues.

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    1. I do too, which is probably why it stood out to me so much. I hope that continues. The main character is at an age where she should be doing some serious maturing and changing.

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    1. It definitely is. I really want to know what caused the change in history. It seems like it happened just before the time of the Russian Revolution. So intriguing 🙂

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  2. You really grabbed my attention when you mentioned the US is divided into five different countries. Alternate timelines fascinate me. I read Harris’s True Blood series and a couple of others, so I’m sure this is something I’d enjoy.

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    1. I’ve really been enthralled by it. It runs almost borderline YA fantasy since the main character is a true young adult.

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