Hello everyone, and thank you for stopping by on our tour stop for the CAGE OF DARKNESS tour hosted by Good Choice Reading. Years ago Damaris suggested that I read RISE: The Order of Krigers and I was hooked. A striking fantasy read that had a sadistic king, an upstanding hero and girl that would change everything. I loved this series and was so happy to see the legacy continue with the Reign of Secrets series. Please check out the excerpts that we have to share with you and make sure to visit the other blogs on this tour and participate in the giveaway. Good Luck!
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Book two in the REIGN OF SECRETS series
Title: CAGE OF DARKNESS
Author: Jennifer Anne Davis
Release: April 4, 2017
While traveling to Fren, Allyssa and Odar and hijacked by a ruthless assassin who divulges a stunning secret that changes everything.Trying to come to terms with this newfound revelation, Allyssa is taken to Russek and delivered into the hands of a malicious and twisted royal family. She finds herself an unwilling pawn in a risky political game that will either end with her death or the annihilation of her beloved kingdom. Unsure of where the lies end and the truth begins, she must survive the brutal family and escape the fortified castle, all the while coming to grips with her feelings for Odar.In a kingdom filled with darkness, Allyssa enters a game where one wrong move means death, secrets hide around each corner, and it will take every ounce of cunning she has to survive.
About Book One:
Sixteen-year-old Allyssa appears to be the ideal princess of Emperion—she’s beautiful, elegant, and refined. She spends her days locked in a suffocating cage, otherwise known as the royal court. But at night, Allyssa uses her secret persona—that of a vigilante—to hunt down criminals and help her people firsthand.
Unfortunately, her nightly escapades will have to wait because the citizens of Emperion may need saving from something much bigger than common criminals. War is encroaching on their kingdom and in order to protect her people, Allyssa may have to sacrifice her heart. Forced to entertain an alliance through marriage with a handsome prince from a neighboring kingdom, she finds herself feeling even more stifled than before. To make matters worse, the prince has stuck his nosy squire, Jarvik, to watch her every move.Jarvik is infuriating, bossy and unfortunately, the only person she can turn to when she unveils a heinous plot. Together, the unlikely pair will have to work together to stop an enemy that everyone thought was long gone, one with the power to destroy her family and the people of Emperion. Now the cage Allyssa so longed to break free from might just be the one thing she has to fight to keep intact. In order to save her kingdom, she will have to sacrifice her freedom, her heart, and maybe even her life.
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“Why do you care?” she countered, taking a step back and putting more space between them. He wanted something from her—and she had an inkling it had nothing to do with the upcoming war. “What use am I to you?” Whatever game he played or line he toed, she had a sick feeling it was far more deadly than being locked in the dungeon. She needed to tread with caution.
“What use is the heir to the Emperion throne?” He tilted his head to the side, his eyes dissecting every inch of her face. She refused to flinch or show fear before this man, although he made her cower inside.
He lowered his voice to a whisper. “I think you should be asking yourself this—what can the heir of the Russek throne do for you?”
A chill slid over her skin. They were on dangerous grounds. Staring into his eyes, she didn’t see a cruel soldier standing before her, but a man hinting at an alliance if she was brave enough, strong enough, and cunning enough to forge it. However, she had to proceed with the utmost caution. For all she knew, Kerdan could be as cruel as Soma. “I am suddenly lightheaded from all the activity.” She wanted an opportunity to think without him watching her every move. “I’d like to rest.”
He leaned down close to her ear. “You play your part exceedingly well. You are just what I need.” He stepped away from her, and his face shifted, becoming stern. “Allow me to escort you back to my room,” he said, his voice loud, clear. He scooped up her tunic and boots and exited the tower, leaving a very stunned Allyssa there with her thoughts in a jumble. Apparently, he also played his part exceedingly well.
On the exterior, Kerdan appeared every bit as bloodthirsty as the king. However, he was a good man on the inside who would one day be a great leader. He wore masks—just like she did. Just like Odar did. “I understand your concern. But it’s not necessary.”
“You’re wrong. We’re a means to an end. Puppets in this performance.”
“If that’s what it takes to get us out of Russek and stop the war, then so be it.”
“Sometimes, you’re too quick to act and reckless.”
Allyssa stiffened. She hadn’t made the bargain with Kerdan without thinking it through. She wasn’t a fool. “You don’t have to participate in the plan. Go back to Shelene and play the doting fiancé.”
He ignored her outburst, as if he hadn’t heard a word of it. “And you’re loyal beyond belief. You’d walk through fire for those you love.”
“Your point?” she snapped. Once they married, would all their conversations be so heated and exhausting?
He reached up, cupping her cheek. “Both Prince Kerdan and Soma know I care for you. What if they use that against us? All either one has to do is put a knife to your throat, and I’m powerless.”
Allyssa understood his fear—she had it too. There wasn’t anything she wouldn’t do for Odar, her parents, or her kingdom. That was how love worked. She knew her heart couldn’t stay locked in a cage, shielded from everything. “It’s not like you can stop loving me just to protect me,” she whispered. “Love doesn’t work that way.” He closed his eyes. “Odar?” she asked, wondering what he was thinking. He wasn’t . . . afraid . . . to love her, was he?
“Once you realized you were wrong, why did you continue the ruse? Why did you allow Jarvik to sign the marriage contract?”
His hand dropped from her face. “Don’t get mad, but . . . that’s not exactly correct.”
“What do you mean?” she demanded, her temper barely under control. Her feelings were at odds. Should she kiss him? Punch him? Perhaps both.
“I signed the marriage contract as myself, Prince Odar, and Jarvik signed as the witness. You and I are officially engaged.”
She recalled the day the contract was signed and how it required one additional signature—a witness. Jarvik and Prince Odar were there, sitting side by side, and both signed the contract.
“If my father knew, he’d kill you,” she said.
“Darmik already knows.”
After he sat back down, he tossed her a small leather bag. She caught it and went over to Jarvik, kneeling beside him. “First thing’s first,” she said. Curling her fingers into a fist, she heaved her arm back and punched Jarvik in the face. “That’s for lying to me, you bastard.” Damn, that felt good.
His eyes widened in shock as his head flew to the side from the impact. When he turned back to face her, a sardonic smile spread across his face. “You grew up at court. I’m sure you’re used to it by now.”
Fury filled her. She had trusted him, and he lied to her. Their friendship was built on something that didn’t exist. Did he even care for her, or had his feelings also been a lie? “Don’t speak to me in such a way.”
He chuckled. “Cursing and punching one minute, regal the next. You are a walking contradiction.”
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