RELEASE DATE: January 15, 2019
AUTHOR: Roshani Chokshi
GENRE: Young-Adult, Historical Fantasy, Mystery, Magic.
PUBLISHER: Wednesday Books
Set in a darkly glamorous world, The Gilded Wolves is full of mystery, decadence, and dangerous but thrilling adventure.
Paris, 1889: The world is on the cusp of industry and power, and the Exposition Universelle has breathed new life into the streets and dredged up ancient secrets. In this city, no one keeps tabs on secrets better than treasure-hunter and wealthy hotelier, Séverin Montagnet-Alarie. But when the all-powerful society, the Order of Babel, seeks him out for help, Séverin is offered a treasure that he never imagined: his true inheritance.
To find the ancient artifact the Order seeks, Séverin will need help from a band of experts: An engineer with a debt to pay. A historian who can’t yet go home. A dancer with a sinister past. And a brother in all but blood, who might care too much.
Together, they’ll have to use their wits and knowledge to hunt the artifact through the dark and glittering heart of Paris. What they find might change the world, but only if they can stay alive.
*ARC Received from the publisher Via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*
“Wolves were everywhere. In politics, on thrones, in beds. They cut their teeth on history and grew fat on war.”
Six Of Crows meets National Treasure in this new YA historical fantasy novel set in an alternative 18th century Paris. This was my second book by Roshani Chokshi and I really liked it but sadly I can’t say it was as epic as Six Of Crows. I don’t want to compare this book with another but there’re some similarities that I couldn’t ignore. And also I had a hard time connecting with the characters and story in the beginning. It felt like I was reading a second book in a series. It would’ve been great if the story started before the group was formed. This book is full of solving puzzles. Although it lacked in some aspects, it’s still worth a read and I’ll look forward to the next book.
In this alternative world of 18th century Paris magic exists. There is a powerful society named Order of Babel which safeguards magical babel fragments around the world. In France, there are four houses that safeguards the west’s babel fragment. One house was already fallen and another house’s line died without a heir which left only two houses House Nyx and House Kore. Séverin Montagnet-Alarie is a treasure hunter, wealthy hotelier and last heir to House Vanth. Ten Years ago, the Order had declared the line of House Vanth dead even though he was alive. When a powerful aristocrat from the order of babel seeks his help in exchange for restoring the house Vanth and declaring him as the heir, Séverin couldn’t resist. He agrees to the deal. In order to find the lost artifact, he needs a band of experts- An engineer named Zofia who has a debt to pay, A biracial historian Enrique who can’t yet go home, an Indian dancer Laila who has a dark past, and finally the Gardner Tristan whom Séverin considers as his little brother. Together they all use their skills and knowledge to find the lost artifact.
This book has an interesting set of diverse characters who has their own individual agendas. Séverin was the mastermind behind the team whose only goal was to restore his family house and his status as the heir. He’s very protective of his group but I didn’t liked the way he treated Laila sometimes. He desires her but he don’t want to give into his feelings because he’s afraid that she might become a distraction from his goal. I really liked Laila! She’s a skilled dancer from India who has her own agenda. She’s looking for an ancient book which holds all her answers but she needs Séverin’s help. I almost forgot to mention that she loves baking. Laila and Séverin has some history and they try to deny each others feelings and there’s a lot of sexual tension between them. Their relationship reminded me so much of Kaz and Inej from SOC. Zofia is a jewish and Polish. She has a bit OCD and anxiety problem. Numbers are her only coping mechanism. She loves her little sister Hela whom she left behind. She wants to earn enough money so that she could get her into a medical school. Enrique, another biracial character who’s half Spanish and half Filipino. He also seems to be bisexual because he was attracted to both male and female. He’s pretty funny and one of my favorite characters in this series. His dream was to become a part of the Ilustrados inner circle but he was rejected because of his face color. Hypnos is a black guy with charming personality. He’s another queer character who has the hots for Enrique. I totally ship them both! Tristan was totally sweet and fun. He loves his Pet Tarantula named Goliath. He likes Gardening plants and making strange poisons. He and Tristan consider each other as brothers. They’re very protective of each other.
The plot was pretty good but the execution could’ve been a little bit better. The first half seemed a bit confusing and it took some time for me to connect to the story, the characters and the world. I loved the diverse aspect. This book is not really an action packed novel as SOC but it still makes an enjoyable read filled with mystery, danger, and adventure. The pacing was even throughout. It’s mostly focused on solving puzzles and finding lost artifacts. If you’re not into that, then this might bore you. For me, the characters were the major highlights of this book. The writing was beautiful and not too flowery. The book was written in multiple POV’s. The world building seems to be great, but honestly I didn’t paid much attention to it.
Overall, this was a good start to a new series. Despite issues, I really enjoyed the characters and the plot. There’s not heavy cliffhanger at the end but the last surprising twist will sure give the readers anticipation for the next book.
I highly recommend this book if you’re into historical fantasy, mystery, and diverse reads. If you’re expecting another Six of Crows novel then this might disappoint you. It’s not really a complete heist novel like SOC, this was mostly about finding lost artifacts by solving lots of puzzles.