ARC provided by Wednesday Books via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Title: The Gilded Wolves
Series: The Gilded Wolves, #1
Author: Roshani Chokshi
Genre: YA Fantasy, historical
Publication Date: January 15, 2019
My Rating: ★★★★
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.
I’m so excited today is my stop on The Gilded Wolves blog tour! I truly think this will be a hit for fans of treasure heist stories with a quirky, rag-tag team of characters.
I will admit the story is probably more of a 3-star read for me, but the characters really made up for it. They’re such a joy to read and I instantly loved them all from their very first introduction.
The Gilded Wolves is a historical fantasy about reclaiming your birthright and power. Mix that in with some treasure hunting, cool science, diverse characters, and Paris as a backdrop: You really got yourself such an interesting and fun story!
Right away we are thrown into a heist plot line filled with puzzles to solve and codes to crack. Usually these plots excite me but I will admit I got a little confused from the way the story was told initially. I really wanted some more backstory about said treasures and artifacts. In truth, at times I felt like I was reading a Dan Brown novel because it was very “clue-solving-heavy”; however it lacked more in depth research and I felt like I was just skimming a Wikipedia article. I also felt like the magic system was a bit messy.
So while the actual heist story line didn’t quite sell me, I want to say that I 100% loved all the characters and their backgrounds so much. I love a diverse, fun, witty squad. Seriously, this book is filled with so much witty banter and sarcasm. Their personalities felt realistic and pure, and I was living for the romantic tension between two certain characters. I also adored one character who is a scientist/engineer through and through, and another character who is a historian who can lecture you non-stop about anything and everything. And then there’s a certain character with his pet tarantula whom I loved with all my heart.
And speaking of diversity, this book is full of so much representation. There is rep for autism, races and ethnicities (black, Filipino, Indian, Jewish, Polish), and LGBTQIAP+ (pan, bi). While there’s so much rep for all these cultures it is also brought up several times how these cultures are being erased/oppressed due to colonialism. Big props to Roshani Chokshi for including such important themes in this book.
I think fans of heist/treasure hunting stories may enjoy The Gilded Wolves. And if not, then I highly recommend this book if you just want to read about some awesome, fun characters who I want to be friends with. I really liked how this story ended and how badass my favorite character was. I’m looking forward to the next installment already.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
ROSHANI CHOKSHI is the New York Times bestselling author of The Star-Touched Queen, A Crown of Wishes, and Aru Shah and the End of Time. Her work has appeared in Strange Horizons, Shimmer, and Book Smugglers. Her short story, “The Star Maiden,” was longlisted for the British Fantasy Science Award.