Saturday, January 12, 2019

YA Book Review: The Gilded Wolves

The Gilded Wolves
Author: Roshani Chokshi
Publication: Wednesday Books (January 15, 2019)

Description: From New York Times bestselling author Roshani Chokshi comes a novel set in Paris during a time of extraordinary change--one that is full of mystery, decadence, and dangerous desires...

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.

My Thoughts: This fantasy is set in France in 1889 on the cusp of the Exposition Universelle when things are changing. It is a time of decadence and change and magic. It is the story of six teens who all have different reasons to be striving.

Severin Montagnet-Alarie is the leader of a band of misfits. He was supposed to be the heir of one of the magical houses of Paris but was denied his heritage and thrown into the "care" of those who wanted to use and abuse him. He is determined to get his heritage back. He inherited the money from his family and has opened an exclusive hotel.

Severin has gather a crew. Laila is Indian, a dancer, a pastry chef, and a person who was made by magic and doubts that she is real. She needs to find a certain magical book believed to be in the control of the Order of Babel. Tristan was one of the children met when Severin was traveling from one father to another after the death of his parents. Tristan is fragile and damaged and an extraordinary gardener who work is sought by the elite of Paris. He is also the proud owner of a large tarantula he calls Goliath. Zofia has strong magic having to do with metals and an unique affinity with numbers. She is also unable to interact with people lacking an understanding of jokes and a difficulty in processing speech. She was kicked out of school and needs to make money to pay her debt and help her family. Enrique is a gifted historian and researcher. He is also Spanish-Philippine and rejected from the revolutionaries who want to free the Philippines because he looks to Spanish. He also has a not-so-deeply buried goal of becoming a hero.

Added to this crew is Hypnos who is a patriarch of a house and who was one of Severin's childhood friends before his parents died. He is achingly lonely and without friends until he barges his way into Severin's gang.

The story reminded my of Leigh Bardugo's Six of Crows in that it was partially a heist story set in a lush fantasy world. It was also a story with action and adventure as the crew tries to find missing artifacts and encounters an evil crew that has its own goals. The story was filled with emotional intensity and intriguing characters..

The startling ending - which isn't quite a cliffhanger - will have readers eager for the next book in this series.

Favorite Quote:
"I wish that this was enough for you."

Severin closed his eyes. It wasn't about enough. Tristan would never understand. He had never felt the pulse of an entirely different future only to see it ripped from his grasp and smothered in front of him. He didn't understand that sometimes the only way to take down what had destroyed you was to disguise yourself as part of it.

"It's not about enough," said Severin. "It's about balancing the scales. Fairness."
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

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