web site hit counter The Russian Cage - Ebooks PDF Online
Hot Best Seller

The Russian Cage

Availability: Ready to download

#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 #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.


Compare

#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 #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.

30 review for The Russian Cage

  1. 5 out of 5

    Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽

    On sale this week! 3.75 stars. Final review, first posted on FantasyLiterature.com: Charlaine Harris’s alternative history/urban fantasy GUNNIE ROSE series shifts to a new setting in this third book in the series, The Russian Cage, one that was foreshadowed by the ending of the prior book, A Longer Fall. Lizbeth Rose, who makes her living as a hired gun or “gunnie,” receives an intentionally cryptic letter from her younger half-sister, Felicia. For the past year, Felicia has been living in what o On sale this week! 3.75 stars. Final review, first posted on FantasyLiterature.com: Charlaine Harris’s alternative history/urban fantasy GUNNIE ROSE series shifts to a new setting in this third book in the series, The Russian Cage, one that was foreshadowed by the ending of the prior book, A Longer Fall. Lizbeth Rose, who makes her living as a hired gun or “gunnie,” receives an intentionally cryptic letter from her younger half-sister, Felicia. For the past year, Felicia has been living in what once was California, Oregon and Washington but is now the Holy Russian Empire, ruled over by a young, married Tsar Alexei — certainly a better fate for him than his actual historical fate of being assassinated at age thirteen by Soviet revolutionaries. He’s surviving his hemophilia with the help of magical blood transfusions from Grigori Rasputin’s descendants, which include Felicia (in fact, Lizbeth is also a grandchild of Rasputin, though she hides that fact from the Russians, telling them that she and Felicia share a mother rather than their Russian father). Reading between the lines of Felicia’s letter, Lisbeth realizes that her on-and-off-again lover Eli, a Russian noble as well as a gifted magician or “grigori,” has been tossed into prison for political reasons. Felicia thinks that Lizbeth can do something to bust Eli out of jail, and Lizbeth can’t wait to try. Apparently finding out that Eli’s in trouble makes Lizbeth realize that her feelings for Eli are stronger than she’s previously been willing to admit, even to herself. A four-day train ride later, she’s in the HRE’s capital of San Diego, getting the lay of the land from Felicia, Eli’s mother Veronika, and his friend Felix (who we met in A Longer Fall). Felicia’s life is more complicated — and dangerous — than Lizbeth had imagined, giving her qualms of guilt for sending Felicia to the HRE. There’s a conspiracy to take Tsar Alexei down, and Eli and the tsar’s other supporters are in the crosshairs. Eli’s family isn’t a whole lot of help: his older stepbrothers are antagonistic to him, and his mother and sisters are mostly helpless (1940s-era Russian society isn’t particularly encouraging of noblewomen being tough and resourceful, unless you’re a grigori). And no one seems to have any idea what crime Eli has been charged with. But Eli’s friend Felix, though oddly antagonistic toward Lizbeth, seems anxious to help get Eli out of jail, and Felix has some particularly interesting magical powers, as well as the beginnings of a plan. Eli’s family and friends are intriguing characters, more complex than I initially would have guessed, and Charlaine Harris does a competent job of creating a believable Russian society in exile in western America, beset by political conspiracies and plots to unseat a tsar who is viewed as weak. The tsar’s wife Caroline, a Scandinavian princess, proves surprisingly useful to Lizbeth and Felix in their efforts to bring the royals’ attention to Eli’s plight. There are a couple of notable breakdowns in plot logic, one involving Eli’s prison guard, a woman named Hubble who is supposedly a “null,” impervious to magical spells … except it ends up that she’s not, for no particularly good reason, and that seems to be simply an oversight by Harris. The other relates to a direction given by the tsar to Eli at the end, which simply didn’t make much sense from a plot perspective. It felt more like the author simply needed an excuse to move Eli in a certain direction, and perhaps that was the best reason she could come up with. The plot of The Russian Cage takes some time to really get rolling, but the details, as they unfold, are intricate and interesting enough to keep the reader engaged, and the bloodstained climax toward the end is gripping. The dénouement in the last few chapters is far tamer, but it does provide a reasonably satisfying wind-up to the story of Lizbeth and Eli … at least for now. The Russian Cage is a fun adventure, less weighed down by the slavery and social issues that darkened A Longer Fall, not to mention the constant references to eating and sex that bogged down the pacing of that book. The GUNNIE ROSE series is worth reading if you have an interest in Old West-flavored urban fantasy, which sounds like a contradiction in terms, but isn’t entirely. You do need to start with the first book, An Easy Death, and read the series in order. Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the ARC!

  2. 4 out of 5

    PamG

    THE RUSSIAN CAGE by Charlaine Harris brings intrigue, romance, danger, suspense and much more to a well-written and entertaining novel that is a mix of historical fiction, urban fantasy western and alternate history. It is the third book in the Gunnie (Lizbeth) Rose series and is largely set in San Diego which is now part of the Holy Russian Empire (HRE). This novel picks up soon after book two ends with Lizbeth reading a letter from her half-sister Felicia. There are hints that Lizbeth’s estrang THE RUSSIAN CAGE by Charlaine Harris brings intrigue, romance, danger, suspense and much more to a well-written and entertaining novel that is a mix of historical fiction, urban fantasy western and alternate history. It is the third book in the Gunnie (Lizbeth) Rose series and is largely set in San Diego which is now part of the Holy Russian Empire (HRE). This novel picks up soon after book two ends with Lizbeth reading a letter from her half-sister Felicia. There are hints that Lizbeth’s estranged partner, Eli Savarov, needs her help. Lizbeth packs her guns and knives and takes a train to what was once California. Will Lizbeth be able to save Eli? How is Felicia doing in school in a world so different to her native land? How can a gunnie from Texoma (used to be Texas and Oklahoma) fit in when she gets to the HRE? Who can she trust to help her? How will she get along with Eli’s mother and sisters? How is a gunnie supposed to help Eli when she can’t carry her guns in the HRE? Charlaine Harris is one of my favorite authors and she did not let me down with this addition to the series. The characters are compelling, led by strong and capable protagonist, Lizbeth. Her lack of patience and unfamiliarity with Russian court protocol made her feel more real. Her motivations are believable and well-drawn and the secondary characters were well-rounded and enhanced the story. The reoccurring characters gained in depth in this book and helped sustain the complexity of this story line. The plot twists were believable but a few were unexpected. The story moved at an appropriate pace and the scenes were well described and gave me a clear sense of place. With this fantastic world-building and the cultural elements, it helped this reader feel as though she were a part of the action. I also liked that there was both some humor and new challenges for Lizbeth to overcome personally. Overall, this novel brings thrills, action, family drama, political intrigue, magic, loyalty, power and much more making it a definite page-turner. Is it the last or will there be a book four? If you like alternate history, action adventure, thrillers and fantasy, then this series is for you. I recommend reading the books I order. The first novel explains the alternative history aspect that is not fully explained in books two and three. Additionally, both earlier books show the growth of relationships for some of the secondary characters as well as for Lizbeth and Eli. Thanks to Gallery Books – Saga Press and Charlaine Harris for a digital ARC of this novel via NetGalley. This is my honest review. Opinions are mine alone and are not biased in any way. Publication date is currently set for February 23, 2021. This review was originally posted at Mystery and Suspense Magazine.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Phrynne

    This is the third book in this interesting and intriguing series, and it is every bit as enjoyable as the previous two. In The Russian Cage Lizbeth discovers that Eli has been imprisoned and she races to California, which in this alternate history is the Holy Russian Empire, to rescue him. She finds herself to be a stranger in a strange land but fortunately has friends to help her, including her younger sister, Felicia. There is a lot of very entertaining world building for this part of the countr This is the third book in this interesting and intriguing series, and it is every bit as enjoyable as the previous two. In The Russian Cage Lizbeth discovers that Eli has been imprisoned and she races to California, which in this alternate history is the Holy Russian Empire, to rescue him. She finds herself to be a stranger in a strange land but fortunately has friends to help her, including her younger sister, Felicia. There is a lot of very entertaining world building for this part of the country which is ruled by the Tsar and has lots of modern attributes which are unfamiliar to Lizbeth. Customs are different too and, as in book 2, she sometimes finds she even has to wear a dress. This is a very easy, fun read with lots of action, great characters and a good story. I hope the author is going to continue with the series. Thanks to Netgalley for the opportunity to read and review this book.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Steven

    Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review. I was hesitant to pick up this series as Westerns aren't really my jam, but I requested this one off of Netgalley thinking it was a new series from Charlaine Harris and didn't realize it was third in the Western-esque Gunnie Rose series. So, after approval, I saw that it was book three and went to find books one and two. I'm really glad I picked these up and I should have trusted Charlain Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review. I was hesitant to pick up this series as Westerns aren't really my jam, but I requested this one off of Netgalley thinking it was a new series from Charlaine Harris and didn't realize it was third in the Western-esque Gunnie Rose series. So, after approval, I saw that it was book three and went to find books one and two. I'm really glad I picked these up and I should have trusted Charlaine Harris. Yeah, the series is a little Wild Wild West adjacent, but it's got magic and mystery as well. This installment finds Lizbeth going west to the Holy Russian Empire (formerly known as California) to rescue an ally from the prior books. It put her WAY outside her comfort zone, and was a refreshing change of pace from Western settings of the first two books. Plenty of character growth, some romance, and a lot of magical explosions, this one was a riotous amount of fun. Definitely recommended, but only after reading the first two.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Carole (Carole's Random Life in Books)

    This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books. I really enjoyed this book! I read the first two installments in the Gunnie Rose series about a year ago and I couldn't wait to get to read more of this fun series. I couldn't resist reading this book just as soon as it found its way into my greedy hands. I will admit that my expectations were pretty high for this book and I am happy to report that I was not disappointed in the least. When Lizbeth learns that Eli is being held in jai This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books. I really enjoyed this book! I read the first two installments in the Gunnie Rose series about a year ago and I couldn't wait to get to read more of this fun series. I couldn't resist reading this book just as soon as it found its way into my greedy hands. I will admit that my expectations were pretty high for this book and I am happy to report that I was not disappointed in the least. When Lizbeth learns that Eli is being held in jail, she knows that she needs to see what she can do to help him. Before you know it, she is in the Holy Russian Empire working to help in any way that she can. This will not be an easy rescue and she faces one obstacle after another. Things get complicated pretty quickly and there is more than enough excitement to keep things entertaining. I had a lot of fun watching Lizbeth navigate a new environment while working towards her goal of setting Eli free. I love how unique each part of the country is in this alternate universe. There were some familiar characters back for this installment and we got to meet a lot of new ones as well. I especially enjoyed getting to know Eli's family and see them work together under pressure. This is the third book in the Gunnie Rose series which I do think is best if read in order since events from previous books seem to come into play quite frequently. The relationship between Eli and Lizbeth undergoes some pretty big developments in this installment and I am eager to see how things will play out moving forward. This was a really exciting book that I found to be hard to put down so I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to others. I received a digital review copy of this book from Gallery / Saga Press via NetGalley. Initial Thoughts I really enjoyed this book! I read the first two books in the Gunnie Rose series during the past year and was pretty excited to join Lizbeth on her next adventure. When Lizbeth learns that Eli is in prison, she knows that she has to see what she can do to help. Soon she is in the Holy Russian Empire working to help in any way she can. There were some familiar faces and some new ones as well. I enjoyed trying to figure out exactly what was going on along with Lizbeth and enjoyed all of the excitement along the way. This really was a fun quick read!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kyra Leseberg (Roots & Reads)

    Charlaine Harris knows how to write a cozy and I’m on book three of the latest in the Gunnie Rose series. Once again there’s a lot of filler with descriptions of mundane activities and random thoughts from the protagonist but Harris also added some great action in this installment. Picking up soon after the events of book two, A Longer Fall, Lizbeth Rose travels from her home in Texoma (formerly Texas & Oklahoma) to the Holy Russian Empire (formerly California) after receiving a coded letter from Charlaine Harris knows how to write a cozy and I’m on book three of the latest in the Gunnie Rose series. Once again there’s a lot of filler with descriptions of mundane activities and random thoughts from the protagonist but Harris also added some great action in this installment. Picking up soon after the events of book two, A Longer Fall, Lizbeth Rose travels from her home in Texoma (formerly Texas & Oklahoma) to the Holy Russian Empire (formerly California) after receiving a coded letter from her sister Felicia to rescue her estranged husband, Prince Eli who has been jailed for an unknown reason. Once she arrives, Lizbeth has to navigate politics, her mother-in-law, and royalty to exonerate Eli and clear the family name... while dodging a few bullets and explosions! Thanks to Gallery - Saga Press and NetGalley for providing an ARC in exchange for my honest review. The Russian Cage is scheduled for release on February 23, 2021. For more reviews, visit www.rootsandreads.wordpress.com

  7. 5 out of 5

    Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)

    This was a good solid read and I loved the ending but for some reason, I didn't love this one as much as I have the others, it felt different and even though the language has always been a bit rough, this felt over done and harder to get through but, I still love Eli and Lizbeth so it was worth the read. This was a good solid read and I loved the ending but for some reason, I didn't love this one as much as I have the others, it felt different and even though the language has always been a bit rough, this felt over done and harder to get through but, I still love Eli and Lizbeth so it was worth the read.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Dianne

    I see “by Charlaine Harris” and of course, when I am invited to read and review one of her ARCs, I am all over that! This time out, our daring heroine is Lizbeth Rose and she carries that same razor sharp wit and ingenuity that is signature to Ms. Harris’ characters and that easy to read, easy to fall into style is right there, too. THE RUSSIAN CAGE had all the trademark characteristics I love about this author, except, I was unaware…I know, my bad…that this is a mid-series book, leaving me floun I see “by Charlaine Harris” and of course, when I am invited to read and review one of her ARCs, I am all over that! This time out, our daring heroine is Lizbeth Rose and she carries that same razor sharp wit and ingenuity that is signature to Ms. Harris’ characters and that easy to read, easy to fall into style is right there, too. THE RUSSIAN CAGE had all the trademark characteristics I love about this author, except, I was unaware…I know, my bad…that this is a mid-series book, leaving me floundering throughout, not quite making that investment I was expecting. I can say the series looks to be a good one and the characters are intriguing, just start from book one! I received a complimentary ARC edition from Gallery/Saga Press! This is my honest and voluntary review. Series: Gunnie Rose - Book 3 Publisher : Gallery / Saga Press (February 23, 2021) Genre: Historical Fantasy Print length : 304 pages Available from: Amazon | Barnes & NobleFor Reviews, Giveaways, Fabulous Book News, follow: http://tometender.blogspot.com

  9. 4 out of 5

    Simoné Eloff

    9/21/2020 Available to Read Now on Netgalley! Granted, I still need to get to the first two books, but hey *shrugs*.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

    In the 3rd installment of the Gunnie Rose series, we finally get to visit the much talked about Holy Russian Empire (HRE), previously California and Oregon, and the Tsar’s court. The story starts with Lizbeth in Segundo Mexia getting a coded message from her half sister Felicia, who is at school in the HRE. She determines Eli has been imprisoned and sets out to go to San Diego in the HRE to help free him. Along with Felicia, Felix also returns and we get to meet Eli’s family, the tsar and his fa In the 3rd installment of the Gunnie Rose series, we finally get to visit the much talked about Holy Russian Empire (HRE), previously California and Oregon, and the Tsar’s court. The story starts with Lizbeth in Segundo Mexia getting a coded message from her half sister Felicia, who is at school in the HRE. She determines Eli has been imprisoned and sets out to go to San Diego in the HRE to help free him. Along with Felicia, Felix also returns and we get to meet Eli’s family, the tsar and his family and court as well as the group of people looking to remove the tsar from power. I was happy that the plot of this book returns the focus to political and familial intrigue as it was in book 1. The story was also well paced this time and did not have much of the slow downtime of the previous book. I found myself engaged and interested the entire time, finishing the book in a day because I wanted to keep reading to find out what would happen next. I thought the author did a great job of continuing to flesh out the existing characters, most notably Felisha, while also bringing to life new characters such as Eli’s mother and sisters. The only criticism I have toward the book would be that there was one minor plot inconsistency and one larger plot hole involving the null character. The minor point was a small issue and easily overlooked but the impact of the null character made it a much bigger problem given what we had been told about the effect of magic on a null. Neither issue was enough to impact how much I enjoyed the book. You would be able to follow along with the book if you have not read An Easy Death or A Longer Fall, but I think readers would find it more enjoyable to know the background and history of all of the characters. The first book in the series provides the most context as to alternative history of the world and gives a lot of relevant information to book three, I would recommend reading both but at a minimum An Easy Death before The Russian Cage. I had originally read that this was to be a trilogy and this book does wrap up enough of the storylines that it could serve as the final book. I hope however that this is not the end of Lizbeth and Eli’s story as I would love to continue on with their adventures. I would also be interested in a book from Felicia’s point of view as well. Thank you to NetGalley and Gallery/Saga Press for providing me the eARC in exchange for an honest review.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Dora Okeyo

    One thing is certain; this is a page turner. From the moment Lisbeth receives a letter from her sister and decodes the meaning of it, she's on a train and her mission is to save Eli or rather get him out of prison, how, she doesn't know yet! It's a very interesting read, thrilling and the characters some lovely others drunk in their power, and Lisbeth, has no patience for small talk or niceties. Anyone coming into this story line, would enjoy the pace and adventure herein. So, it makes a good read One thing is certain; this is a page turner. From the moment Lisbeth receives a letter from her sister and decodes the meaning of it, she's on a train and her mission is to save Eli or rather get him out of prison, how, she doesn't know yet! It's a very interesting read, thrilling and the characters some lovely others drunk in their power, and Lisbeth, has no patience for small talk or niceties. Anyone coming into this story line, would enjoy the pace and adventure herein. So, it makes a good read for both Harris' fans and new readers. Thanks for the eARC Netgalley.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Shelley

    *Source* Publisher *Genre* Alternative History / Fantasy *Rating* 4.0 *Thoughts* The Russian Cage, by author Charlaine Harris, is the third installment in the authors Gunnie Rose series. This series mixes historical fiction, urban fantasy, western and alternate history. In this world, the former US has broken down, and has been separated into five other countries. Each has its unique identity – New America, Holy Russian Empire, Texoma, Dixie, and Britannia. The story picks up soon after A Long Fall *Source* Publisher *Genre* Alternative History / Fantasy *Rating* 4.0 *Thoughts* The Russian Cage, by author Charlaine Harris, is the third installment in the authors Gunnie Rose series. This series mixes historical fiction, urban fantasy, western and alternate history. In this world, the former US has broken down, and has been separated into five other countries. Each has its unique identity – New America, Holy Russian Empire, Texoma, Dixie, and Britannia. The story picks up soon after A Long Fall with Lizbeth Rose receiving a letter from her half-sister Felicia who was sent with Eli to the Holy Russian Empire because of her blood and the fact that she's a grigori like Eli. *Full Review @ Gizmos Reviews* https://gizmosreviews.blogspot.com/20...

  13. 5 out of 5

    Tonya S.

    I listened to both of the previous books in this series on audiobook, and I did miss that immersive experience with The Russian Cage. I still thought this latest installment was great, though. We pick up right where we left off, and I love that continuity. Lizbeth travels to the HRE to try and get Eli out of jail. I had been very curious about the Holy Russian Empire prior to this book, and was thrilled that nearly the whole book took place in the former California. As always, Charlaine Harris h I listened to both of the previous books in this series on audiobook, and I did miss that immersive experience with The Russian Cage. I still thought this latest installment was great, though. We pick up right where we left off, and I love that continuity. Lizbeth travels to the HRE to try and get Eli out of jail. I had been very curious about the Holy Russian Empire prior to this book, and was thrilled that nearly the whole book took place in the former California. As always, Charlaine Harris has a gift with dialogue and humor that especially sparkles here. I can't wait to continue with this series. 4 stars I received a review copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. Thank you to Gallery/Saga Press and Netgalley.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Melanie

    Fun addition to the series. This book further develops the backstories of the characters and has some fascinating information about the alternate history of this world. I like the characters more and more with each book in the series. Thanks to the publisher and Edelweiss for the ARC.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Tammy

    The nitty-gritty: Lizbeth is back in this imaginative alternate history fantasy, but this installment was just too slow paced for my taste. I’m still plugging away at this series, although I have yet to enjoy a book as much as An Easy Death. Still, there are some nice moments in the Russian Cage, and I’m still loving Lizbeth’s character, so at this point I’ll probably keep going with the series, even if this latest installment didn’t blow me away. The story picks up soon after A Longer Fall, when The nitty-gritty: Lizbeth is back in this imaginative alternate history fantasy, but this installment was just too slow paced for my taste. I’m still plugging away at this series, although I have yet to enjoy a book as much as An Easy Death. Still, there are some nice moments in the Russian Cage, and I’m still loving Lizbeth’s character, so at this point I’ll probably keep going with the series, even if this latest installment didn’t blow me away. The story picks up soon after A Longer Fall, when Lizbeth sent her younger half sister Felicia to the Holy Russian Empire (HRE) with Eli for safekeeping. But one day, Lizbeth receives a letter from Felicia that seems to be written in code. It doesn’t take her long to figure out that Felicia is trying to tell her that Eli has been arrested and is currently in jail. Lizbeth leaves the comfort of her familiar home in Texoma to travel to San Diego, California, the heart of the HRE. When she arrives, she is shocked to discover that Eli has been accused of murder, and so she devises a plan to break him out of prison, knowing that he’s been falsely accused. Joined by Eli’s brother Peter and his friend Felix, Lizbeth navigates the complex political situation with the Russian grigoris (magicians) while keeping an eye on Felicia. But there is unrest with the Russian royals and LIzbeth is about to find herself caught in the crosshairs of a grigori power struggle.  Once again, Lizbeth was my favorite character, although I really liked Felicia as well. The story is told from Lizbeth’s first person narrative, and Harris is pretty consistent with her character throughout the series. For those who haven’t started this series, Lizbeth is a “gunnie,” or gun for hire. She’s usually hired by groups of people travelling across the barren deserts of Texoma, her trusty Winchester rifle at the ready to shoot and kill anyone who becomes a threat. She’s brash and blunt doesn’t follow societal conventions, and in this story she finds herself in a more conservative environment where women are expected to behave and dress in certain ways. This gives us a nice “fish out of water” scenario where Lizbeth isn’t very comfortable with her situation. There are some very funny moments, particularly when she needs a gun but the HRE forbids carrying weapons on the streets. Luckily Lizbeth is a very resourceful woman and guns aren’t her only option for wounding and killing, but I have to say I nearly cheered with excitement when she finally had a gun in her hand and started shooting! I also loved the banter between Lizbeth and Eli, who have definitely had their ups and downs when it comes to their relationship. Unfortunately, Eli isn’t in the story much, since he’s in jail for most of the book. But once he gets out and he and Lizbeth are reunited, the story really came to life for me. Harris’s dialog is definitely one of the best parts of the series, and whenever Lizbeth is part of the conversation, I couldn’t help but laugh out loud. That being said, my least favorite part of The Russian Cage was probably the pacing. There were bursts of exciting action here and there, but the rest of the story was a lot of Lizbeth going through the motions of her day to day activities and literally waiting for something to happen. This story was slow, and I really missed the fast-paced, action heavy scenes of An Easy Death, although we do get some good ones near the end of the book. What should have been a quick, two day read for me took over a week to finish, since I just couldn’t muster much enthusiasm to pick it up. And while I really love the unique alternate world that Charlaine Harris has created—the United States has fractured after a series of events, including a complete breakdown of the political infrastructure, and the Russians have come in and taken over the Western part of the country—there was a whole lot of nothing happening for a good chunk of the story. But I have to say, Harris really knows how to wrap things up. The ending was very satisfying and sweet, and best of all, Lizbeth and Eli finally head back to Texoma. I enjoyed learning more about the Holy Russian Empire, but I missed the dusty, lawless streets of Texoma, and I hope we spend more time there in the next book. Big thanks to the publisher for supplying a review copy.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Liz (Quirky Cat)

    I received a copy of The Russian Cage in exchange for a fair and honest review. The Russian Cage is the third novel in Charlaine Harris' Gunnie Rose series, a series set in an alternate history. A world where magic exists and the political landscape of America is vastly different from what we know. Eli is in danger. Lizbeth Rose, aka Gunnie Rose, knows this thanks to the letter her half-sister sent her way. Rose has two options. Sit at home and trust Eli to find his own way out of danger. Or m I received a copy of The Russian Cage in exchange for a fair and honest review. The Russian Cage is the third novel in Charlaine Harris' Gunnie Rose series, a series set in an alternate history. A world where magic exists and the political landscape of America is vastly different from what we know. Eli is in danger. Lizbeth Rose, aka Gunnie Rose, knows this thanks to the letter her half-sister sent her way. Rose has two options. Sit at home and trust Eli to find his own way out of danger. Or make her way to the Holy Russian Empire and bust him out of jail herself. We all know which option Rose is going with. Enter a world of politics and deception that Rose has never seen – or hoped to see. The dangers she will face will all be in the name of love. And perhaps a little stubbornness. “I stared at the letter for at least three minutes before I understood. Eli was in prison.” I can't believe it's finally here! Gunnie Rose quickly became one of my favorite series (yes, I know – I probably have dozens of those), and I've been counting down the days for this beauty. The Russian Cage picks up almost exactly where A Longer Fall Left off. More than that, it does so with gusto. The introduction is one of those that immediately sucks the readers in. At least, readers that are invested in the story of Rose and Eli. Eli's circumstances sort of demand attention, don't you think? In a way, this is the novel I've been waiting for. We finally get a glimpse of the Russian Empire, and the politics it brings with it. I won't go into the details, because spoilers, but it was refreshing to see! While the main perspective is Rose's (a character I adore), there are some changes as far as the secondary characters are concerned. It's a bit of a good news/bad news scenario. This is a chance to see more of those already introduced in the earlier two books, which is fantastic. The bad news is that there's a lot less of Eli. After reading the description, you can probably guess why. The plot twists are where this novel really shined. Okay, that and the setting, but that much is obvious at this point, right? The variety of twists was a delight, with some balancing out Rose's adventure, and others bringing more complications into the mix. It was, dare I say, the perfect balance. I am not sure if The Russian Cage is the last Gunnie Rose novel in the series. I can see it going both ways, and can likewise see myself being okay/thrilled with either option. On the one hand, this felt like a natural ending point. On the other hand, I will never say no to more Gunnie Rose. No seriously, I won't do it! Check out more reviews over at Quirky Cat's Fat Stacks

  17. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    This is the third book in Harris’s Gunnie Rose series which takes place in an alternate history America in the 1930’s where the US has splintered into separate nation-states and where magic is real. Lizbeth Rose is a Gunnie whose job it is to provide armed protection to those traveling within or between these often lawless states. In this story, Lizbeth travels to the Holy Russian Empire (once California and Oregon) where her sometimes partner and lover Eli has been thrown in prison. The story u This is the third book in Harris’s Gunnie Rose series which takes place in an alternate history America in the 1930’s where the US has splintered into separate nation-states and where magic is real. Lizbeth Rose is a Gunnie whose job it is to provide armed protection to those traveling within or between these often lawless states. In this story, Lizbeth travels to the Holy Russian Empire (once California and Oregon) where her sometimes partner and lover Eli has been thrown in prison. The story unfolds mostly from Lizbeth’s point of view. She is a tough and eminently practical person, and the narrative reflects her nature. The HRE, led by the exiled Russian tsar and rife with deadly politics and deadlier magic-using Grigori, is very different than Lizbeth’s Texoma home which is more Wild West, but she adapts with her usual determination. She visits and gets help from her younger half sister Felicia, whom she earlier sent to the HRE for schooling, and meets Eli’s aristocratic family. The clash of cultures and Lizbeth’s ruthless determination to free Eli make for a fast-paced and very entertaining read. She and the reader learn more about other key characters, with hints about Lizbeth’s own Grigori heritage and possible abilities, and there are some very satisfying personal developments as well. I look forward to reading what happens next.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Belles

    This one was tedious. I hope the next book in the series is more exciting.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

    Electronic ARC provided by Edelweiss. I've really been enjoying this series, and "The Russian Cage" is a great addition. In this third installment we finally get to visit the new Holy Russian Empire (formerly California) as Lizbeth heads directly into the Tsar's court to rescue Eli from imprisonment. I liked this book a lot more then I liked the previous volume. Charlaine Harris tries hard and means well, but her attempts to deal with issues like systemic racism can be a bit under nuanced. Luckil Electronic ARC provided by Edelweiss. I've really been enjoying this series, and "The Russian Cage" is a great addition. In this third installment we finally get to visit the new Holy Russian Empire (formerly California) as Lizbeth heads directly into the Tsar's court to rescue Eli from imprisonment. I liked this book a lot more then I liked the previous volume. Charlaine Harris tries hard and means well, but her attempts to deal with issues like systemic racism can be a bit under nuanced. Luckily that is less of a main plot point in the Tsar's court, replaced by political and familial intrigue. The world building continues to be very creative and compelling, and Lizbeth is a good practical heroine. The side characters like Felicia and Felix were also fun to read about, and I hope they return in future volumes. For readers looking for romance, this book manages to have a fair bit of it despite the fact that Eli is in prison for much of the story. The plot is highly driven by Lizbeth's feelings for him, and their reunion and ultimate ending should make shippers pretty happy. This book could pretty easily serve as a stopping point for the series, wrapping up a few of the main threads from the first two stories, but there's also a lot in this world that warrants further exploration. I hope that this isn't the end of Lizbeth's adventures.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Hope

    I'm a big Charlaine Harris fan, having happily read my way through her Sookie Stackhouse, Aurora Teagarten and nearly all her other series. Her Gunnie Rose series is a bit of a departure for her as it focuses on a dystopian alternative history time in America. Many the other typical elements of her novels are present-- a heroine who handles herself with aplomb, a form of fantastical or magical being, and a fair amount of action that while violent is not overly upsetting. The Russian Cage is the t I'm a big Charlaine Harris fan, having happily read my way through her Sookie Stackhouse, Aurora Teagarten and nearly all her other series. Her Gunnie Rose series is a bit of a departure for her as it focuses on a dystopian alternative history time in America. Many the other typical elements of her novels are present-- a heroine who handles herself with aplomb, a form of fantastical or magical being, and a fair amount of action that while violent is not overly upsetting. The Russian Cage is the third book in the series. Having read the other two books in the series, it was easy for me to know what was going on, but I'm not at all sure that if you hadn't read the other books, it would work on its own. The book is about how our heroine Gunnie Rose, must rescue her friend/lover Eli from being imprisoned. We meet Eli's family and get a sense of how his part of the country (the former states of California and Oregon now renamed The Holy Russian Empire) has developed in Harris's version of alternate history. I enjoyed this fast-reading book, it was creatively concepted and engaging, but do suggest others read the other two books in the series first.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Tani

    I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to the publishers and Netgalley.

  22. 5 out of 5

    ALPHAreader

    'The Russian Cage' is the third book in Charlaine Harris' alternate-history urban fantasy series, in which the Holy Russian Empire rules over a portion of America after influenza wiped out a majority of US politicians and left a power-vacuum that was filled by the escaped royal family of the Romanovs. 'Russian Cage' picks up a little down the ways from second book 'A Longer Fall', after which our 'gunnie' (gun-for-hire, strictly protection not assassination) Lizbeth Rose parted ways with magical 'The Russian Cage' is the third book in Charlaine Harris' alternate-history urban fantasy series, in which the Holy Russian Empire rules over a portion of America after influenza wiped out a majority of US politicians and left a power-vacuum that was filled by the escaped royal family of the Romanovs. 'Russian Cage' picks up a little down the ways from second book 'A Longer Fall', after which our 'gunnie' (gun-for-hire, strictly protection not assassination) Lizbeth Rose parted ways with magical grigori Eli, who returned to the Holy Russian Empire and left Lizbeth in Texoma ('Texas') - even though they'd established a powerful romantic entanglement. Eli had family and business to settle back home, and that side of the country is tricky for Lizbeth to enter into - because she's a descendent of Rasputin, and her blood is of great value to the Tsar for healing purposes. But it's no surprise that Book 3 kicks off with Lizbeth getting word that Eli is in trouble - imprisoned and accused of a crime nobody will reveal - and she promptly decides it's finally time to visit the mysterious Holy Russian Empire (which roughly makes up the entirety of California) to save Eli. Now, my heart kinda sunk once I realised that a chunk of this book would be Lizbeth and Eli separated and following Lizbeth as she tries to break him out and save him. I get it, I get it - it's way more interesting if she has to navigate Eli's territory solo and raises stakes if his freedom is her motivator. But I've come to really appreciate the Lizbeth and Eli romance, and a big basic part of me just wanted to read them together again (I know, I know - stories need 'tension' and 'plot' and all that jazz!) It is really interesting finally seeing the oft-spoke-about Holy Russian Empire through Lizbeth's eyes for the first time. The story is mostly situated in San Diego, and involves Lizbeth meeting Eli's family (his mother, sisters, brother and stepbrothers) and getting up close to the monarchy and high-society. She also gets to reconnect with her sister, Felicia, who is situated at the Grigori School where she's learning magic and also subterfuge, as becomes apparent to a fairly proud Lizbeth. I did really enjoy this story, *even though* the Holy Russian Empire was kind of a let-down after being so built-up in the previous two books? I think it's mostly that the plot is very focused on political intrigue and savagery, so the scenery kinda passes us by? But also speaking of the intricate machinations of the plot - I also found some really Big Events just whizzed by me and it wasn't until characters were recounting what happened that I even realised where we'd moved to in the story? I think it's because lots of these finer-points happen off-page, and it's hard to keep up when there's so many major and minor characters that fill out the Russian Monarchy coming and going. I am usually a big fan of Charlaine's ability to pace and build tension, but honestly and compared to the finely-detailed and edge-of-your-seat finesse to be found in her 'Harper Connelly', 'Lily Bard' and 'Aurora Teagarden' books (I will concede that sometimes 'Southern Vampire' plots were *a trip* ... especially during the damn faerie instalments) - I just don't have the same admiration for the crime and thriller details of the plot in 'The Russian Cage'. It's not working like a well-oiled machine, and I think it's mostly down to a particularly bloated cast and too many layers of off-scene political infighting. Which - to be fair - previously Charlaine has focused on small-town intrigue and very insular-type stories (even Sookie mostly dealt with low-level vampire bureaucracy of Louisiana, and tried hard to stay off the radar of the higher-ups). 'Gunnie Rose' is Charlaine trying to fold in alternate histories, reconfigured politics, and all playing out on a much bigger stage of how an unstable Holy Russian Empire fits into this new America - with Lizbeth as a possibly lynchpin amidst it all too. It's a LOT. I will also flag that I kinda read 'The Russian Cage' assuming it was closing out what would be a trilogy. But as I got closer to the end I started thinking; "Hmmmm, feels like there's more to come," and then LO! - I check and there's a fourth book due now too, for 2022. Which makes me nervous. Because Charlaine Harris is notorious in many of her series for totally and tragically upending her protagonist's lives once they get a *little bit* settled. And 'Gunnie Rose' has been the darkest in tone of all Charlaine's series so far, so I'm not holding my breath for everything to continue to be smooth-ish sailing for all involved. But, I am excited to see where else this story goes. There's a real trend now for alternate American-history Western Dystopia's (see also: 'Outlawed' by Anna North, and 'Upright Women Wanted' by Sarah Gailey) that I am *so intrigued by* and wonder if its a byproduct of the Trump era to imagine all the sliding-doors ways that America avoided catastrophe throughout history (certainly in Charlaine's series, the question of what would have happened if Russia had a foothold in America, and a deadly pandemic was mismanaged to the point of fracturing the United States is ... *pointed*. And she started this series in 2016, in 'Unfettered II: New Tales By Masters of Fantasy' Anthology!)

  23. 4 out of 5

    Darcy

    Lizbeth is out of her comfort zone for most of this book. In a city, a Russian one at that, with Eli's family, trying to save him. Lizbeth was fun to see work her way through things. She had her sister to depend on, but only if she could get her out of school. And boy did Lizbeth learn somethings about Felicia, good things and things that shocked her a bit, but after hearing the why, made total sense. Then there was Felix, who is iffy in Lizbeth's eyes, but comes through when needed and finally Lizbeth is out of her comfort zone for most of this book. In a city, a Russian one at that, with Eli's family, trying to save him. Lizbeth was fun to see work her way through things. She had her sister to depend on, but only if she could get her out of school. And boy did Lizbeth learn somethings about Felicia, good things and things that shocked her a bit, but after hearing the why, made total sense. Then there was Felix, who is iffy in Lizbeth's eyes, but comes through when needed and finally Eli's family, who weren't quite sure what to make of Lizbeth and at times weren't the nicest to her. It didn't help that Eli wasn't around to help smooth things over. As much as the family might look at Lizbeth in disdain at times, she was there when they needed help and crossed some lines to help Eli. By the end it seemed like everyone approved of Lizbeth and Eli together, but it came at a great price. The action got a bit crazy for a while. No one was sure who they could trust and who they couldn't and of course they were guarding a precious treasure. In the end things worked out in a way, but could have been better too.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Keith Blodgett

    A new Charlaine Harris book often feels like slipping on an old, well worn, pair of shoes. She's stumbled before but the Gunnie Rose books have been enjoyable. I really like alternate America in the early and middle years. The Alvin Maker series by Orson Card come to mind. This series (with no relationship to Card's work) happens sometime later, perhaps the late 1910s or 1920s. Rose and others are armed with model 1911 automatic pistols. I had erroneously thought because of the dialog and settin A new Charlaine Harris book often feels like slipping on an old, well worn, pair of shoes. She's stumbled before but the Gunnie Rose books have been enjoyable. I really like alternate America in the early and middle years. The Alvin Maker series by Orson Card come to mind. This series (with no relationship to Card's work) happens sometime later, perhaps the late 1910s or 1920s. Rose and others are armed with model 1911 automatic pistols. I had erroneously thought because of the dialog and settings we were talking revolvers but it appears not. Although sliding back into Gunnie Rose's world was pretty easy and comfortable. . . the story was too. Too easy. Too comfortable. Like it was on rails going around the track. I enjoyed it but there wasn't any true adversity. Everything just worked out. Towards the end the narrative started pushing out false foreshadowing. I hit one, then another and I literally stopped reading for the rest of that day because I was expecting something horrible to happen. I don't know if this is the end of the series. I think this is a rich world for Rose and Eli to explore and have adventures in. I wouldn't mind reading more, I like these characters. But if this is The End, then it ended well. A copy of this book was supplied by the publisher.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Erica Chilson

    I received a free copy of this title to read and review for Wicked Reads 5 Stars The Russian Cage is the third (probably final) installment in the Gunnie Rose series. Not a standalone, must be read in series order. In a mix of dry narration, intriguing world-building, and an exciting political conspiracy, the Gunnie Rose series has been one of the most original series I've read to date. Set in what I assume is an alternate version of the depression era, the United States have been dissolved, Cali I received a free copy of this title to read and review for Wicked Reads 5 Stars The Russian Cage is the third (probably final) installment in the Gunnie Rose series. Not a standalone, must be read in series order. In a mix of dry narration, intriguing world-building, and an exciting political conspiracy, the Gunnie Rose series has been one of the most original series I've read to date. Set in what I assume is an alternate version of the depression era, the United States have been dissolved, California now under the control of the Holy Russian Empire. Lizbeth Rose is a gunnie, offering paid protection to escort precious cargo across the continent, which is how she met Eli and was pulled into his life, where she found a little sister she never knew existed. Said little sister has secrets of her own, sequestered in an academy where she learns how to handle her magic, while also providing the life-saving blood transfusions for the tsar, Alexei Romanov. The sisters share correspondence, writing in code as the letters are read by the professors, where Felicia warns Lisbeth how Eli has been imprisoned. Lizbeth is on the cold side emotionally, her narration beyond dry and stilted. This is by design, as this truly is a facet of her personality. This makes for a difficult read, where I had a hard time connecting with Lizbeth. At the same time, it also means when Lizbeth feels something, it hits the reader hard. Her connection to her sister and Eli is strong, the emotions ringing true to impact the reader. Her selflessness, her need to sacrifice to protect them, and her unconditional love and desire to make sure they're happy. Lizbeth, along with Eli's best friend, Felix (who doesn't particularly like Lizbeth out of jealousy, as his draw to his best friend is more romantic in nature, I suspect) put animosity aside and do everything in their power to save Eli, which draws them into a political conspiracy, a plot to protect the current tsar from his own uncle and cousin, as well as protecting Eli's family from his older half brothers. Intriguing and fast-paced, the conspiracy is complex, the romance is an undercurrent, more befitting a classic novel, the emotions more sedate. One issue I've had with then entire series is the way information is delivered in a stilted fashion, but I do understand that it is Lizbeth's way. Her daily events are catalogued in a laundry list of point A to point B to point C to point J with everything in between. Example: I took a bath, washed my hair, redressed, took a nap, sought out something to eat. I found a hotel restaurant and ate. Then I hit the street. Even when these events take place with other characters, it's a laundry list with no dialogue, nothing that connects the characters within the scene. I may understand why it's written this way, but it doesn't make it more engaging having that understanding. It's still jarring yet dry, filled with inane activities that usually are glossed over for the more important details in the plot. I do highly recommend, but it's hard to pinpoint which genre of readers to recommend the series. I do believe that Charlaine Harris' fans will enjoy the series for the most part. However, those who enjoyed Sookie's humor, light-heartedness, warmth, and quirky every-woman vibe, they may be disappointed in Lizbeth. Lizbeth Rose is a strong heroine but that strength also makes her seem cold, the emotions buried beneath logic and a hard mentality due to how she was raised. Two highly different heroines written by Charlaine Harris, drawing in different types of readers.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Carmen

    Disclaimer: I received this ARC in exchange for an unbiased review. The signature of the Gunnie Rose series may be how quickly we are dropped into the plot. Here, as in the previous two books, author Charlaine Harris doesn't waste any time getting things going. While the tension is high and every moment is fraught with danger, in The Russian Cage, Lizbeth Rose is without a crew and the mission is personal as she heads into the Holy Russian Empire to rescue her former partner, Eli, from prison. A Disclaimer: I received this ARC in exchange for an unbiased review. The signature of the Gunnie Rose series may be how quickly we are dropped into the plot. Here, as in the previous two books, author Charlaine Harris doesn't waste any time getting things going. While the tension is high and every moment is fraught with danger, in The Russian Cage, Lizbeth Rose is without a crew and the mission is personal as she heads into the Holy Russian Empire to rescue her former partner, Eli, from prison. As in the previous books, everyone is suspect. Not only is that exhausting for Lizbeth, it is exhausting for the reader. It would be nice if she could make a few allies on her travels, or spend some time in Texoma where she has family and friends. Constantly looking over your shoulder makes you old before your time, and just about the only time 20-year-old Lizbeth seems her age is when she is in bed with Eli. For most of this book, he's in jail, so needless to say she is pretty grim much of the time. Set in an alternate 1930's North America, these books are urban fantasy Westerns with a female protagonist. While readers get to share in Lizbeth's delight in new 20th century treats like elevators, phone booths, and ice cream, this is a world where many people are poor. The glimpses we have into domestic life, whether Lizbeth's own in Texoma, her sister's upbringing Mexico, or the homes she visits in the HRE, really fill in the blanks, making it seem more real. Maybe a little less shooting and a little more focus on the people and their circumstances would allow us to become more attached to the world Harris is creating. Fan websites have hinted that the Gunnie Rose series is set to be a trilogy. I hope that's not true. There is a lot more story to be told here. While we've been to a lot of the new North America, we haven't visited Brittannia or the new (larger) Canada. And Lizbeth isn't yet 21. As a reader, I hope there are many more installments in this series and Lizbeth's easy death is a long time coming.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Carly

    The Russian Cage is one of my Most Anticipated Reads of 2021 and it did not disappoint! Charlaine Harris' third installment of the Gunnie Rose series, fans will heave a sigh of relief at the supposed Happily Ever After at the end (knowing Charlaine Harris, the adventures of Gunnie Rose are not done so that HEA may be tentative). The Gunnie Rose series is a fantasy sub-trope all of its own, with a slight Steampunk feel in the Old (New?) West where the Russian Romanov family rules what is now Cali The Russian Cage is one of my Most Anticipated Reads of 2021 and it did not disappoint! Charlaine Harris' third installment of the Gunnie Rose series, fans will heave a sigh of relief at the supposed Happily Ever After at the end (knowing Charlaine Harris, the adventures of Gunnie Rose are not done so that HEA may be tentative). The Gunnie Rose series is a fantasy sub-trope all of its own, with a slight Steampunk feel in the Old (New?) West where the Russian Romanov family rules what is now California and Oregon. Gunnie Rose travels to rescue her love Prince Ilya who has been wrongfully imprisoned and much gun-slinging and shenanigans ensue. Definite five stars, with a series re-read now moving to the top of my To Be Read pile.

  28. 5 out of 5

    BookAddict ✒ La Crimson Femme

    Determined, resourceful and ever faithful, Lizbeth returns to Eli's side in an unexpected manner. She rides into the Holy Roman Empire (HRE) like a white knight to save his damsel in distress. Well, not quite. She borrows a bit of money from her stepfather to take a train into the HRE to figure out why her sister is telling her that Eli is in prison and needs to be rescued. To read the rest of my review, click on the image below to see it on my website. Determined, resourceful and ever faithful, Lizbeth returns to Eli's side in an unexpected manner. She rides into the Holy Roman Empire (HRE) like a white knight to save his damsel in distress. Well, not quite. She borrows a bit of money from her stepfather to take a train into the HRE to figure out why her sister is telling her that Eli is in prison and needs to be rescued. To read the rest of my review, click on the image below to see it on my website.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Doreen

    2/19/2021 Not quite as solid as the second book, but still a lot of fun. Full review tk at TheFrumiousConsortium.net. 2/23/2021 Hurray, Lizbeth Rose is finally on her way west! Unfortunately, she's going after receiving news that her one-time partner Eli -- or Prince Ilya Savarov to the rest of the denizens of the Holy Russian Empire -- has been thrown into jail for reasons unknown. The news has been conveyed to her via a coded letter from her younger half-sister Felicia, who's being trained as a 2/19/2021 Not quite as solid as the second book, but still a lot of fun. Full review tk at TheFrumiousConsortium.net. 2/23/2021 Hurray, Lizbeth Rose is finally on her way west! Unfortunately, she's going after receiving news that her one-time partner Eli -- or Prince Ilya Savarov to the rest of the denizens of the Holy Russian Empire -- has been thrown into jail for reasons unknown. The news has been conveyed to her via a coded letter from her younger half-sister Felicia, who's being trained as a wizard in exchange for providing the occasional life-saving blood transfusion for Emperor Alexei. Lizbeth hops on board a train, unsure of what she'll meet on the western seaboard of what was once the United States, as she seeks to uncover the truth and free the man she still loves. This third book in the alternate history Western series starring the gun-slinging Lizbeth Rose features all the rough and tumble shootouts and brawls of the other books but amps up the court intrigue, as Lizbeth has to not only go undercover but also endear herself to the most powerful people in the HRE. I finally got to see my Asian people, even if they don't figure largely in the narrative; still, representation matters. You probably could enjoy this book without reading the first two in the series, but I don't particularly recommend it. Book I: An Easy Death sets up not only a 1930s where the assassination of President Roosevelt meant the splintering of a nation unable to recover from economic collapse and widespread influenza, but also filled us in on the background of our heroine. Book II: A Longer Fall explored the era's version of the Deep South, the virulently racist and sexist Dixie. Now Lizbeth is on Eli's home territory, looking to bust him out of jail and, perhaps more dauntingly, meet his mother and sisters for the first time. The Russian Cage is a very fun, fast-paced novel, tho I didn't think it was as much a page-turner as ALF. It's really nice to have Lizbeth be the one who has to come in guns blazing to save the man she loves, aided by the people who love him, even tho some of them could take or leave her. Lizbeth figures Eli has been thrown in jail due to political intrigue, so the real reason is an unpleasant surprise. Worse, it doesn't allow her to escape the machinations of the imperial court. On the plus side, it does give her the chance to get to know the surprising Felicia better, and to realize that shunting her little sister off to the HRE maybe wasn't the kindest choice she had had available to them. As always, it was nice to see the ways Charlaine Harris matter-of-factly presents different sexualities and mores, as she has throughout this series. This book specifically tackles mental health as well, recognizing that not everyone is capable of handling with aplomb the often terrible situations they're forced to endure in the early 20th century, while refusing to judge them as deficient for it. I do hope this isn't the end of the series, as most nowadays seem to come in batches of three. While the Gunnie Rose books can read complete as a trilogy, I really enjoy Lizbeth's universe and very much want to know more, as well as to read of her ongoing adventures. There's nothing quite like it on the market today: a kick-ass heroine who makes sensible choices even as she fights for what's right in a milieu at once familiar but decidedly different from our own history. Tho perhaps we can pick up again after she's had a chance to relax for a while: if any fictional heroine has ever deserved R&R, Lizbeth certainly has! The Russian Cage by Charlaine Harris was published today February 23rd 2021 and is available from all good booksellers, including Bookshop! Want it now? For the Kindle version, click here.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Tessa (Talks Books)

    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's 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 s 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's 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.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.