The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi.

by - December 07, 2020



Well. This one turned out to be quite a rollercoaster.

This is the first time I've been introduced to Chokshi's writing and for the first half of this book, I genuinely contemplated if it was worth finishing. This was such a disappointment at the time because I had been looking forward to this story ever since I watched Sam gush about it on Thoughts on Tomes. Looking back, I admit that I wasn't in the reading space mentally and I was thrown off by the duel perspectives.

However, I can't ignore the fact that this book was slow. Yes, I know world-building needed some room in this novel but by the time I reached the halfway mark, I still didn't feel invested in the story or connected to any of the characters. But after a few months away, I returned to The Gilded Wolves, determined to finish it because of the way my favourite review bloggers raved about it.

And the second time around did not disappoint. Maybe it was my improved mental space or just the overall pace of the second half that gripped me but I'm so glad I stayed along for the ride. By the second half, I started to really connect with the characters, who grew more complicated and beautiful with each page. Their bond wasn't believable at first but I blame this on the fact that we don't see them come together. We meet these characters once they've already met and established relationships. I find that I struggle to believe found family tropes if I don't read about them connecting.

While this book is advertised as a Young Adult fantasy, it did feel rather dense and packed with information at times. This is mainly due to characters like Zofia and Enrique, who spent most of the book confusing me with their fantastical algorithms and symbols. But once you look pass this and give into the world Chokshi is trying to build, you simply lose yourself in this story.

I loved the little snippets we got of Séverin and Triston's dads. I thought this was a brilliant addition to the book and it helped me dive deeper into the inner workings of Séverin, who was arguably one of the most important characters in the novel. Oh, my beautiful and broken Séverin. Don't we all just love a damaged protagonist that can't help but push away those that love them?

Séverin and Laila's romance was executed so beautifully. It felt pure and passionate, but in its own way. They weren't stealing steamy kisses or getting sexually riled up by any little inconvenience. Instead, their love story was told through secret glances, knowing smiles, the gentle touching of hands, and adorable nicknames. I wasn't thrilled by the way Chokshi ended this storyline but I do like what she's setting up for us.

In a lot of ways this was a unique read. It's fun and imaginative, and filled to the brim with history lessons and unimaginable magic. The ending only solidified my choice to continue this series and give my little misfits and thieves and historical buffs the chance to win my heart over completely.

Rating: 3.5 stars.


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.

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