Title: The Gilded Wolves
Author: Roshani Chokshi
Genre: Young Adult: Fantasy, Historical Fiction
Publication Date: January 15th 2019
My Rating: 4.5/5 stars
“I protect you…Remember that promise? I said I’d protect you. I said I’d make a paradise of our own.”
No one believes in them. But soon no one will forget them.
It’s 1889. The city is on the cusp of industry and power, and the Exposition Universelle has breathed new life into the streets and dredged up ancient secrets. Here, no one keeps tabs on dark truths better than treasure-hunter and wealthy hotelier Séverin Montagnet-Alarie. When the elite, ever-powerful Order of Babel coerces him to help them on a mission, Séverin is offered a treasure that he never imagined: his true inheritance.
To hunt down the ancient artifact the Order seeks, Séverin calls upon a band of unlikely experts: An engineer with a debt to pay. A historian banished from his home. A dancer with a sinister past. And a brother in arms if not blood.
Together, they will join Séverin as he explores the dark, glittering heart of Paris. What they find might change the course of history–but only if they can stay alive.
I bought this book on a whim because has such a beautiful cover, I have read and loved a book by Roshani Chokshi before AND I’ve heard good things from reviewers I trust (there’s mixed reviews but they’re mostly because people are comparing it to Six of Crows, which actually annoys me.) Anyways, so yes, I loved this book, and I shall be explaining why because I think this might be a favourite, and could potentially be bumped up to 5 stars (I’m still thinking about it and it’s been a couple of days now).
“Goliath has a very strict feeding schedule. He likes crickets exactly at midnight. Not before or after. Who’s going to feed him?”
THINGS I LIKED:
- THE ENTIRE CAST. I can see why people compare this beauty to Six of Crows, because the cast of characters is almost reflective, however, the characters are all unique, with different goals and I adore them all. The cast is also diverse, including Asian characters, Enrique (half Filipino) and Lila (Indian + Hindu (religion)), and Enrique is most likely bisexual, although it’s not confirmed (in mu opinion, I think he’s still discovering that part of himself.
I’m going to obsess over each of the characters because that’s how much I love them. But I’m going to try to describe the characters to you in sentence or so because I really think you should met them and fall in love with them instead.
- Servin is calculating and smart and geniunely cares for his friends, and really wants to protect them all whilst trying to achieve his goal of reclaiming his House. He’s really complex and protective and I adore him.
- Lila is a dance performer who has a strange power and is like the mother of the group. She is able to know what to say and looks after all of them. She honestly is one of my favourites, and she loves to bake and cook and yes, I am obsessed with her.
- Enrique is a historian, who doesn’t feel like he belongs anywhere due to being half-Filipino and half-Spanish (I think). He’s really smart and is essentially a geek for ancient and mysterious artefacts.
- Zofia is a mathematician and inventor/Forger and is super smart, she doesn’t understand jokes but she’s a sweet girl and I adore her. She also has a huge sweet tooth. She’s also an autistic Jewish girl, and from some reviews I’ve read, the rep is okay and not offensive (but don’t quote me on that, it’s more reliable to go to an own voices reader for that opinion)
- Hypnos is the Head of the Nyx House and is actually so sweet and friendly, and all he wants is loyal friends. I actually adored him and honestly was so worried he was going to hurt our little squad family
- And then there’s sweet Tristan, who is probably. my favourite character. He’s lovable, and inventor with an affinity for plants and is a precious munchkin who loves his pet Goliath (he’s a tarantula and everyone hates Goliath and it’s funny seeing Tristan try to convince everyone that Goliath is harmless).
Moving onto the rest of the review:
- I adored Roshani’s writing, it’s so lyrical and flow-y and gorgeous and I was entranced by the story within the first few chapters. I honestly think I will read anything by her at this point.
- I loved the way puzzles and such were weaved into the story. The cast is always trying to solve puzzles and find clues to find the treasure that everyone is seemingly wanting (though the general public believes it to be a myth)
- I actually quite like the magic system. The system is based on Forgers, and we continue to learn bits and pieces about the magic system as the story progresses.
- I also loved how it touches on the topic of ‘lumping Asians together’ and just assuming someone is Chinese because they’re Asian *rolls eyes* -> because people actually assume I’m Chinese and I related to Enrique when it happened to him. It also touches on colonisation and belonging and such and I think it did the topic well.
- So the plot twist at the end? I hate it (cried eternally) but it was also unexpected and good and I cried. I need the next book now and I want to go on more adventures with this family. The ending broke my heart and honestly, I’m pretending the last 50 pages didn’t happen
- This also has the trope of chosen family, and I love it so much. I love the fact that you can choose who’s part of your family and that blood relation doesn’t always mean family. The L’Eden squad are so cute together and I love their banter and moments they have.
“You lured me here with a path of cookies.”
THINGS I DIDN’T LIKE:
- Even though I loved the uniqueness of the magic system, I felt it was a little undeveloped (especially since I actually can’t remember how it works?) I think it would have been nice to have the magic system and the world building more explored in detail
- The book was a little slow paced at first, it was hard to actually get sucked into the story, but after about 50 or so pages, I was addicted. I almost put it down buuut I loved the characters and so continued it and thus enjoyed it. So the slow pace may put people off, but I think it’s worth it in the end
Overall, I adored and loved this book and cannot wait for the sequel. Though I can see why people are comparing it to Six of Crows, it’s still unique in it’s own way as the only similarities are the chosen family trope and the heist. If you do decide to pick this one up, please read it without comparing it to Six of Crows. You’ll enjoy it more that way. Anyways, this book now has a special place in my heart.
Have you read The Gilded Wolves yet? If so, what did you think about it. Do you agree or disagree on any of my points? If you haven’t read it, are you planning to soon? Also, isn’t that cover GORGEOUS. I already want to take heaps of bookstagram photos featuring the cover.