February 25, 2021

The Russian Cage (Gunnie Rose #3)

The Russian Cage (Gunnie Rose #3)

by Charlaine Harris

Published February 23, 2021
by Gallery / Saga Press

Rating: 4 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Genre: Alternate History, Adventure, Historical Fiction, Magical Realism

From the Publisher:

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.

My thoughts:

The Russian Cage is the third book in the Gunnie Rose series by Charlaine Harris and this series has quickly become one of my favorites. It’s an interesting mix of alternate history, magic, adventure and romance. The story takes place in the decades after the USA fell apart after the assassination of FDR. Rose, the main character, lives in Texoma (Texas and Oklahoma), where a lot of the action of the first book took place. The second book took place in Dixie (most of the former southeast USA), and this third book mainly takes place in the Holy Russian Empire or HRE (what used to be California and Oregon). Lizbeth Rose is a hired gunslinger, generally hired to protect cargo. But this time, the focus is on rescuing Eli, her “grigori” love interest, who has been arrested in the HRE. People who are “grigori” possess magical powers. An interesting twist is that carrying guns are not allowed in the HRE, or at least in San Diego where the Tsar lives and where the action takes place. This obviously presents a problem for Lizbeth, putting a serious crimp in her plans to break Eli out of prison. So she has to use her knives and a lot of ingenuity, along with help from other grigoris, including Eli’s brother, Peter and Lizbeth’s sister, Felicia, who we met in earlier books. Felicia is a very complex young lady and she’s learning how to use her magical abilities. Harris does a great job showing how Lizbeth is uncomfortable in this very different culture and how she figures out what to do and who to trust and who not to trust. Eli’s mom and sisters are great characters too, each drawn with individuality, not stereotypes. I hope there are more books to come in this series!

As in many series, this book will work best if you’ve read the first two in the series. Harris does a good job of providing backstory, but you will lose a lot if you pick up this book without having read the other two first.

Thank you to NetGalley and Gallery / Saga for the opportunity to read an advance readers copy of this book. All opinions are my own.