To Cage a God

DAW. (These Monstrous Gods, Bk. 1). Feb. 2024. 384p. ISBN 9780756418816. $28. FANTASY
Natural-born alurea, those with gods summoned into their bodies, are used to control and hold power, causing division between the alurean nobles and the commoners. One woman, however, finds out how to cage those gods in commoners’ bodies, using her daughters Sera and Galina as unwilling hosts. Those sisters, now adults with brutal, powerful deities trapped inside them, become weapons of the growing rebellion and de facto leaders after the murder of their mother and others by the Empress. Galina infiltrates the palace as a lost alurea and finds herself in the middle of political plays and schemes, as well as a growing attraction to the smart princess. Outside the palace, Sera reunites with her former lover—now violent rebel leader—looking for ways to fight without sacrificing her sister. They must try to navigate their hearts and dangerous powers to burn down the ruling Empire, without losing everyone else in the flames. The action and violence enhance the strife of ruling political power and revolution and keeps the pace fast and lively.
VERDICT May’s (Seven Mercies) Russian-inspired fantasy is filled with deadly magic, political machinations, and the balance of familial bonds and desire for power.
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