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Storytellers On Tour: Kept from Cages by Phil Williams – Encore

This past week we gave the spotlight to Kept From Cages, the first book in Phil Williams’ Urban Fantasy/ Supernatural Thriller duology, Ikiri! Our Roadies brought a wide selection of content to this show with reviews, interviews and other posts. Now it’s time to bring the show to an end and it’s my pleasure to present you with the encore, including some extra content. Come and learn a bit more about the world of Kept From Cages through Phil’s playlist!

Shall we?

Meet the Author
Phil Williams

Phil Williams is an author of contemporary fantasy and dystopian fiction, including the Ordshaw urban fantasy thrillers and the post-apocalyptic Estalia series. He also writes reference books to help foreign learners master the nuances of English, two of which are regular best-sellers on Kindle. He lives with his wife by the coast in Sussex, UK, and spends a great deal of time walking his impossibly fluffy dog, Herbert.

Book Blurb
Kept From Cages by Phil Williams

No one returns from Ikiri.

Reece’s gang of criminal jazz musicians have taken shelter in the wrong house. There’s a girl with red eyes bound to a chair. The locals call her a devil – but Reece sees a kid that needs protecting. He’s more right than he knows.

Chased by a shadowy swordsman and an unnatural beast, the gang flee across the Deep South with the kid in tow. She won’t say where she’s from or who exactly her scary father is, but she’s got powers they can’t understand. How much will Reece risk to save her?

On the other side of the world, Agent Sean Tasker’s asking similar questions. With an entire village massacred and no trace of the killers, he’s convinced Duvcorp’s esoteric experiments are responsible. His only ally is an unstable female assassin, and their only lead is Ikiri – a black-site in the Congo, which no one leaves alive. How far is Tasker prepared to go for answers?

Kept From Cages is the first part in an action-packed supernatural thriller duology, filled with eccentric characters and intricately woven mysteries. Start your journey to Ikiri today. 

The Tour

Click on the blog name to read their full review or other content!

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Whispers & Wonder – interview + IG spotlight



Sadie’s Spotlight – excerpt + IG spotlight

The Sword Smith – review

“This book easily gets my seal of approval to read, it was fantastic.  I had no idea what I was getting myself in for and I was richly rewarded, this is character urban fantasy at it’s finest.  It felt such an authentically well written book with some great, absurdly funny moments in between some terrifying moments and chase scenes.  I am quite excited to read the sequel, Phil does a great job of wrapping this story up and subtly hinting at what might be, needless to say, bring on the sequel!”

@beatrizfayereads – IG spotlight



Beneath A Thousand Skies – review

”    Kept from Cages was a fantastic book, and even better it’s the first in a duology so there is more to come and I for one will be eagerly waiting the second. Williams has created something different in this book, and it made me laugh, shiver and perch on the edge of my chair waiting to see what would happen next.”

Fantasy Book Critic – review + interview

“Kept From Cages is a gripping and unique suspense novel with a significant cross-genre appeal. Readers of action will love world-spanning and fast-paced adventure; fans of the supernatural will find plenty of chills in discovering the mystery of Ikiri; those who love thrillers will sink their teeth into the disturbing secrets faced by Katryzna and Agent Tasker. Above all, though, Kept From Cages is fun to devour.”



Life of a Nocturnal Bookworm – review

“I was initially drawn by the genre description of supernatural action thriller, and I have to say that’s got to be as dead on of a description as there is. Reading this I swear I could see the action movie playing in my head. The high stakes international espionage is interspersed with just enough humor and charming personal to give a good balance.”

OneReadingNurse – review + IG spotlight

“Each chapter has a little cliffhanger that makes the book REALLY hard to put down. I wondered about an English author trying to write Southern American slang, but he does a really brilliant job with the linguistics, then come to find he writes language texts! I would totally recommend for fans of paranormal anything, and fans of thrillers. Kept From Cages is different but totally worth the read, I’m on board for book 2 when it’s ready!”

@theenchantedshelf – IG spotlight



dinipandareads – review

Overall, as someone who doesn’t normally read this mix of genres, it was definitely a refreshing read and I really loved every minute of it. I would highly recommend it if you’re looking for an action-packed SFF thriller set in unusual locations with intriguing supernatural elements that will leave you with chills while simultaneously pulling you deeper into a story that will have your jaw-dropping. Get ready for a crazy, fun and terrifying ride! Can I have the next book now, please?”

@the.b00kreader – IG spotlight



Paul’s Picks – review

“Williams’s urban fantasy is so good because his tone is consistent throughout. From the first page of the book, I was hooked into the world, ready to turn the page on another shadow-hidden beast. Tilt your head a couple degrees left or right and there you have the world that Williams has created. One that looks so much like ours that you will be caught up in this new reality.”

OllieSpot SFF Book Review – review

“Not to say its a stonefaced serious book by any means, its got hilarious banter, and a lot of it coming from a group of Cajun musicians who call themselves the Cutjaw Kids. Smiles also induced by a legendary ghost of a hitwoman, known as Katryzna. She makes for an absolutely odd but quaint team with our Spy, family man, and on the job to save the world. From Norway, to the Congo, to find the source of some strange forms of energy, and potentially a lot more.”

@alazyeggreviews – IG spotlight/review

“This book has a slow burn whilst you meet and greet all the characters and wonder what exactly is going on, but then you get to the midway point and it’s fantastic all the way to the end. A solid ending that leaves room for more and so I’m very excited to see where we’re taken in book 2.”

Kept From Cages by Phil Williams IG wrap up
The Playlist

Kept From Cages is a book with such a long history that I can think of a hundred songs to accompany it; songs I enjoyed during one draft or another. Music I still listen to and stuff I probably shouldn’t admit to knowing. But let’s give it a go.

Tank! by the Seatbelts

If I can steal someone else’s theme tune – fans of Cowboy Bebop will know this, and I couldn’t ask for a better example of the madcap jazz fusion the typifies the Cutjaw Kids’ energy. It’s no coincidence that it’s associated with the type of oddball anime adventures that first inspired me. I really want to design a book cover in the style of a Lupin III car chase.

Go Down Moses by Louis Armstrong

For a dramatic change in tempo, it’s time to get Gospel; this is (I think?) the only real song cited in the book, and hits on some subtle Biblical themes in all the characters’ journeys. It also doesn’t hurt that these are the historic New Orleans vibes that would’ve laid roots for the Cutjaw Kids’ style.

How Soon is Now by t.A.T.u

Then out of nowhere you get this assault on the senses. You’re not sure where it came from or exactly why it exists, but it has a weird kind of impassioned energy and an arresting (not always pleasant?) voice that you cannot unhear. Yes, one’s for Katryzna, and it’s absolutely unapologetic. Though maybe a little unsure.

(This song should also be paired with Black Wings by Tom Waits (, very much the theme tune for her lost friend Eyes, and a stand in for all the gravelly notes of Waits, Cohen and Cave that typify the shady men of Ikiri. But we’re not focusing on them here.)

What Makes a Good Man? by the Heavy

There’s a lot of powerful alt rock that fuels the action of Kept From Cages, and it’s a tough choice to pick just one – see also Nico Vega’s What Do You Want for a similar good time. This song in particular hits upon recurrent themes in Ikiri and Ordshaw, though; criminals and killers are our heroes here.

East of Eden by Zella Day

Finally, a tune that gets epic, this one greatly captured my mood for the journey to Ikiri and the fight against the evils that seep out of it. It conjures poetic images to my mind, defiance in the face of something big, and it has those Biblical undertones again. Also, no small thing, it helped me finally come up with the novel’s title.

And that’s five. But I had to think about it a lot, and as a result actually produced a more complete playlist of 13 right here:


If you are interested in Kept From Cages and would like to get in contact with Phil Williams, you can find him on social media:

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Grab a copy of Kept From Cages on Amazon!

Kept From Cages by Phil Williams