The Gilded Cage by Lynette Noni

The basics

Title: The Gilded Cage


Series: The Prison Healer #2

- The Prison Healer (2021)
- The Gilded Cage (2021)
- The Blood Traitor (2022)

Add it: Goodreads

Goodreads Summary:

Kiva trades one cage for another when she leaves behind a deadly prison for a deceptive palace.

Kiva Meridan is a survivor.

She survived not only Zalindov prison, but also the deadly Trial by Ordeal. Now Kiva’s purpose goes beyond survival to vengeance. For the past ten years, her only goal was to reunite with her family and destroy the people responsible for ruining their lives. But now that she has escaped Zalindov, her mission has become more complicated than ever.

As Kiva settles into her new life in the capital, she discovers she wasn’t the only one who suffered while she was in Zalindov—her siblings and their beliefs have changed too. Soon it’s not just her enemies she’s keeping secrets from, but her own family as well.

Outside the city walls, tensions are brewing from the rebels, along with whispers of a growing threat from the northern kingdoms. Kiva’s allegiances are more important than ever, but she’s beginning to question where they truly lie. To survive this time, she’ll have to navigate a complicated web of lies before both sides of the battle turn against her and she loses everything.

Read a full summary of The Gilded Cage by Lynette Non below. If you can’t remember what happened in The Gilded Cage and you need a refresher, then you’re in the right place.

What happened in The Gilded Cage?

  • – Kiva is heading towards Oakhill, as the note from her family told her to do once she escaped Zalindov prison.
  • She stops at Silverthorn first. Her father attended this healing school too. She is obviously a natural and is invited to stay by a teacher called Maddis, who knew her father. Kiva knows that wouldn’t be possible.
  • The River Festival begins that evening and the Queen – Jaren’s mother – displays her water powers. Kiva, Jaren, and Tipp watch the show. As they’re making their way back to the Palace, the crowd becomes unbearable and they’re separated. Kiva is abducted.
  • Kiva wakes up to find her sister, Zuleeka, and her brother, Torell, behind the abduction. They don’t explain much but they say they almost succeeded in rescuing Kiva from the prison but Zuleeka called off the rescue attempt. It also seems that their mother was captured on purpose.
  • Kiva has a lot more questions but her siblings want her to spy on Jaren for them. So she is bound back up in the chair and knocked out.
  • Prince Caldon rescues Kiva. He has to fight off some revels and Kiva accidentally stabs him in the shoulder, but otherwise the rescue mission goes well. He takes her to Queen Ariana, his aunt, and Kiva is shocked by how kind she is.
  • A healer called Rhess arrives and mends everyone’s wounds.
  • The net morning Kiva begins training with Caldon. It doesn’t go too well but it’s a start.
  • Jaren tells Kiva about how Caldon’s parents died during a storm at sea three years ago. His sister, Ash, stepped up to command the army. Caldon was supposed to but he didn’t. Since then he hasn’t really had a purpose.
  • Kiva is invited to breakfast with the Queen and Princess Mirryn. Mirryn’s girlfriend has just ended things with her. Her birthday is also coming up and she’s planning a masquerade.
  • Jaren is meant to attend a council meeting but it is called off. He and his family train instead and Kiva witnesses them use their powers properly for the first time. She’s awestruck.
  • Kiva finds a secret escape route in the underground tunnels.
  • She searches the council meeting room and finds a letter from Mirraven. She can’t read the language though.
  • Before she can leave, she hears the council arriving. She hides in a cupboard. She overhears Jren tell the council he knows about some of Kiva’s background (that she and her father were arrested and her youngest brother killed). She also hears him talk about the letter, which informs them that the previous King of Mirraven is dead and his son – who challenged his father in combat and won – is now king. Not good.
  • Kiva goes to the healer institute, and Rhess offers to take her to Oakhill. Kiva pretends she’s visiting people there (which she kind of is). She is escorted to Oakhill and then meets with Torell and Zuleeka in their camp. She doesn’t have much more information for them but she tells them about what she overheard the council talking about. Zuleeka continues to be hostile.
  • Kiva spends more time with Jaren’s family and gets to know them a little better. Things are going well until Jaren’s mother, the Queen, has an episode. She’s an addict, and she lashes out at Kiva. Jaren has to save her. This is why Jaren is always so cautious about spending time with his mother.
  • Jaren’s family invite Kiva’s siblings to the Palace. They don’t know that Torell and Zuleeka are leading the rebel army. The dinner goes okay, although there are some arguments and people get very wound up. Kiva learns from Jaren and Caldon that if her siblings or their mother had claimed her, she would have been rescued from the prison. Unfortunately no one came for her and she was forced to grow up there.
  • Zuleeka asks Kiva to go and speak to their grandmother, who lives in the woods. She’s a very hostile old woman, but is very amusing. She seems to have given up her own powers. She also really doesn’t like Zuleeka or Kiva’s mother.
  • Jaren tells Kiva about the items that someone needs in order to rule the kingdom. Kiva immediately tells her siblings about this, including the location of one of the items. Unfortunately one of them is stolen from the Palace shortly after. I wonder who could have done it!!!
  • Caldon reveals that he knows who Kiva is, but he has been keeping it quiet. The two form a partnership, of sorts. Which is great because I SHIP IT.
  • Also Rhess is also a rebel.
  • Kiva rushes back to her grandmother’s place and finds that she is dying. Zuleeka got there first, and she stole the dagger because Kiva told her where that was too. Bloody hell. Kiva’s grandmother tells her that the family line has darkness in it, and Zuleeka and their mother chose it. Kiva is determined to choose the light.
  • The masquerade ball happens. It’s going nicely for about five minutes, and then Jaren gets abducted by his OWN SISTER. And also Zuleeka, because they’re working together. He gets his powers taken away when he gets stabbed with the magic dagger.
  • Zuleeka and Mirryn are working with the new King of the North.
  • Zuleeka also reveals that Kiva has been spying on Jaren this whole time, so who knows how he’s going to take that in the next book. Probably not well?
  • Caldon and Kiva try to help but they’re a bit useless. After Zuleeka escapes, Caldon tells Kiva that she has to flee. He’ll try to cover for her.

That was our recap of what happened in The Gilded Cage by Lynette Noni. Check out our recap list for more plot summaries, and if you can’t find what you need you can request a recap here!

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