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Cage the Darlings

3.88  ·  Rating Details  ·  145 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
Only a blackbird girl can set her free... Envy is a lucky lady with a secret vice: she's one of the best thieves in the kingdom-something her current employer, the king himself, has no knowledge of. When one of her more audacious gambles gets her caught, Envy thinks her luck's run out. Infuriated, the king banishes her to Bran Tower, a haunted, forgotten prison of no escap ...more
Paperback, 196 pages
Published November 21st 2011 by Createspace (first published November 1st 2011)
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Jan 24, 2012 Nikki rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Elora Bishop is another penname belonging to Sarah Diemer, for her adult fantasy books. Really, Cage the Darlings isn't that different in tone to her other work: it's a simple, sweet lesbian love story, very much in the fairytale tradition. It's more of a novella than a novel, in length, and is a very quick, easy read. And, like the versions of fairytales we all know, it has a happy ending.

I wanted more, really. More of the world, more of Merle and Envy. I wanted to know Lady Ann would be okay a
Marthese Formosa
Nov 24, 2014 Marthese Formosa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Posted on The Lesbrary:

I love fairytales, especially those with a queer twist so I had to pick this book up! The story is about Envy, a thief working as a servant for a scheme she came up with and Merle, the blackbird princess who visits Envy once she gets locked up in Bran Tower. It is a romantic story but with a lot of personal changes and adventures. It is 104 pages in which Bishop weaves mysteries and magic.

The blurb of the book, which I did not read
Jan 05, 2012 Ally rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, romance
(From my blog, Word Vagabond: Supporting Independent and Small Press Authors.)

Envy is doing a pretty good job of following in her mother’s footsteps as a thief, until her pride and ambition get the better of her. Caught stealing from the King’s daughter, the guards throw her in an inescapable tower and leave her for dead. Suddenly all the childhood stories she thought were only myths- like the Blackbird King, patron of thieves- are coming true, and the things she thought she would never have are
Lindley Walter-smith
A really sweet, beautifully written sapphic fairytale with a heroine in a tower and a magic love-interest in peril. Teh actual plot is lightweight but satisfyingly fairytale-like, and the central romance and the messages of friendship and trsut and self-responsibility are really charming. This novella is one I will keep and read again when I meed a good comfort read. Really highly recommended.
3.9 stars.

I'm partial to a fairy-tale with two leading ladies and an f/f romance at the center of it. This is an original tale by Elora Bishop, otherwise known as Sarah Diemer, the author of "The Dark Wife".

Bishop does a great job of showing us Envy's character instead of telling us. I particularly liked the first part of the story where we see Envy as a confident casanova and thief that ends up getting knocked down several pegs and locked in an enchanted tower when she goes too far. I also lik
Tanager Leigh
“Oh, moon and stars, it was delicious.” Thus narrated the heroine (named Envy) of the book Cage the Darlings by Elora Bishop just after her growing infatuation with the novel’s romantic interest (Merle) blossomed into something more. And indeed, at that point of my reading of the story, I felt exactly the same way!

Envy is a moderately successful thief in this medieval-like-setting fantasy novel filled with magic, curses, and odd topography. So, she gets busted for her thieving ways and banishe
Jan 24, 2016 NaomiRuth rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: af, own
What I Like: great moments, good characters, like how Bishop twists together fairy tales into something new.

What I Didn't Like: Although I keep reading books by Elora Bishop, and probably still will, the writing isn't as strong as I would like it to be, and it's a little too romantic for my taste. I felt like this book wrapped up too neatly. Life is messy, folks. The fact that everyone was super happy and it all ended super easy... A little frustrating.
Was actually good (still pretty good though) until the rescue part which -I personally felt- was kinda flat.. nice but could've been much better. Kidnapped for ransom? C'mon.. we know it could've been much more advanced and complected, most of Bishop's work is.
On the other hand, the language was captivating and the descriptions are just charming, which is what makes Elora's writing style one of my favorites.
Sarah Savala
Jan 22, 2013 Sarah Savala rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm always on the hunt for good lesbian fiction, and it's a bonus if the lesbian fiction's genre is also fantasy. I had read a short story by Elora Bishop before under her real name, so I was looking forward to reading her adult lesbian fiction. There's not much difference in style or content between this book and the short story I read.

In this world, lesbians seem to be accepted, no problem, as the main character is a philandering lesbian thief named Envy. Envy actually gets caught stealing, a
Mar 17, 2015 Karoliina rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, queer
This wasn't quite as good as the other work I've read from this author. I loved the main character and the world building, but this would have definitely benefited from a bit more editing. The narrative made some odd jumps here and there. I also felt like the main character somewhat lost their sassy personality when they fell in love. I would have loved them to keep making sardonic remarks even in the more mushy moments.
Mar 05, 2016 Ashleigh rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Cage the darlings is okay.. I didn't like the main character and the whole story felt very rushed and immature even for a young adult book.
It was short and interesting enough that I read the whole thing but there are better books out there of Bishops / Diemer which I would recommend above this one
Jadis LeFeu
Oct 13, 2014 Jadis LeFeu rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gaaaaaaaaay

It's a wonderful little fairy tale about queer girls in love, and I spent the latter half of it crying with happiness because it was a fairy tale about queer girls in love.

This book is everything. Buy it read it love it.
Dec 06, 2014 Alex rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I will say that this felt a little bit rushed to me in places, but was otherwise a very sweet and quick little read. :)

Also, it makes SO MUCH SENSE to me that Elora Bishop and Sara Diemer are the same person.
Jun 16, 2016 Chira rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, 2016, fairy-tales, f-f
Another really solid fairy tale; this time more of an original than a retelling. It actually manages to be a sort of retelling/"the real story" of an in-universe fairy tale, which was really charming.

There were a few points that I'd normally deem loose ends, but in the framing of a fairy tale, a genre where the plot points not immediately relevant to the ending are summarily ignored, I could very definitely let them slide.
Nov 28, 2011 Chris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fantasy lovers, anyone who loves a love story
The only thing that kept my heart from breaking was my absolute and firm belief in a happy ending.

Slow to start, for me, we follow the adventures of Envy, a self professed charming and clever thief, on a most interesting challenge: to sleep with every lady of the King's court and steal one thing from each conquest.

Naturally, this goes awry and the subsequent tale will take Envy and her friend, Belinda, into the pages of myth and legend, and love above all.

The debut novel from Elora Bishop will
This is a beautiful fantasy romance telling with fascinating, unusual characters. Familiar aspects of fairy tale are given a fresh slant in a unique world. I would love to read more about Envy and Merle and their world, the world of the Blackbird King, and more about the Blackbird Princess and her bride.
A short and sweet fairy tale fantasy. The itsy-bitsy smidgen of gore for the resurrection spell helps too. Curse, Magic, Love and Haglin's cats.. all enough for me to enjoy the story.

Envy and Merle are both endearing in their own ways. A story of faith, falling in love and how some things aren't what people believed them to be.
Jan 03, 2013 Liz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful writing, well-developed female characters in supportive relationships with one another, magical and fairytale elements, and themes of love and loyalty made this book an absolute delight!
Nov 17, 2012 Amanda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another one I loved! Raven's! Thieves! Towers like in Rapunzel but worse! And, always, love in the darkest places, bringing the best light. Braving other worlds for the testimony of your heart.
Oct 23, 2013 Andy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Possibly my favorite of Bishop's novels. I love the heroine, and the world she lives in -- so glad we get to see more of it in The Benevolence Tales. Hope there's a sequel!
Dec 27, 2011 Karyn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Recommended to everyone, regardless of whether you're straight, gay, bi, pan or whatever. A good story is a good story and this one is great.
Imaginative and well-written fairy-tale romance with memorable characters and beautiful settings.
Apr 03, 2013 Marina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One word: mesmerizing.
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Elora Bishop is a queer author of magical lesbian love stories. You will often find her wearing soft skirts, curled up in a sunny window (much like a cat), Austen in hand, cup of tea (two cream, one sugar) nearby, always piping hot. She is bewitched by all beautiful things–but, most of all, by her beloved wife. She writes lesbian YA as Sarah Diemer.
More about Elora Bishop...

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