My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Published: January 15th, 2019
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. – Synopsis from Goodreads
“Half of winning, my dear wallet, is simply looking victorious.”
Roshani blows me away yet again! This woman could write the phone book and I’d be enthralled. These characters are seriously everything – I fell in love with this misfit gang almost immediately and missed them when the book ended. I can’t wait to get my hands on the next book.
Gilded Wolves is a fantasy/historical fiction that centers around 1889 Paris, France – but in a fairly different society/culture than the one we know. There are two types of magic in this setting and one deals with the mind and the other deals with more physical types of magic. Both are really cool and interesting to learn about. This story focuses a lot around this secret society that is composed for four different houses, although one is said to be dead and gone and another doesn’t hold any power anymore because they have denounced the supposed heir, which is where our story truly begins.
We have a very diverse and eclectic cast of characters in this story, who have formed a sort of group. Séverin (biracial), the leader, is a very driven guy who is determined to claim his inheritance of one of the four houses – it is what drives him to do most things. He does care about his friends though deeply but sometimes puts his motivations above them. Then we have Laila (Indian – ownvoice!)- a stunning dancer and happens to be able to read the history of any object – simply by touching it. She also has MAD chemistry with Séverin and the sexual tension between them is off the charts. Laila has def entered book girlfriend territory for me. She’s just incredible. Tristian is next up and he’s a precious, sensitive guy that idolizes his leader, Séverin but also worries the he might be leading them astray and into danger. He also happens to have a pet tarantula, that he adores and carts around everywhere like it’s a cat or dog *shudder* Zofia (Autism spectrum, Jewish) is a badass, genius of a woman, there is no much this girl can’t do and her infinity to numbers is jaw dropping. Hypnos (Black, Queer) is a bit of a grey area character, he is the only one that is not really in the group at first and sends the group on a crazy errand but he isn’t quite as uncaring as he comes off and is certainly the humor of the story. I just loved him, even if I shouldn’t. He just have this devilish charisma about him and I was totally charmed. Last but not least, we have Enrique (biracial, queer), who is another brilliant character – a historian who basically lives for learning everything he can about the past and is a walking encyclopedia, to put it lightly.
Photo credit of this incredible artwork to Nicole Deal
I got this photo collage off the lovely Meltotheany’s review (with permission, of course).
Gilded Wolves is full of incredible characters, that really carry this story and an interesting heist. The heist isn’t TOO in-depth and might be simple for some, but if you are like me and not a huge fan of heists then this is probably going to be fine for you. It’s super accessible (maybe too much so at some points) and doesn’t stay on any puzzles for that long. There are also drawings of the puzzles through-out the book, which I appreciated. A lot of people have been calling this book a cross between The Davinci Code and Six of Crows, I haven’t read either of those but I know the jist of what they are about and that sounds about right. There is a lot of representation and diversity in this one, and since I’m cis white female, it’s really hard for me to speak on if the representation was great or not but I have heard from ownvoice friends that it was well done. I really liked the queer representation (which I can speak to) and it felt very respectful and authentic and I’m pretty excited that we might have a pansexual character and there were very small hints at a poly-amorous relationship *fingers crossed)* That would be incredible – it might actually bring tears to my eyes – not going to lie.
Overall, I was debating between four and five stars but I’m going to go the full five stars on this one because the characters are too precious to my heart to take any points off. I think I would blindly follow these characters on any journey they wanted to take. Highly recommend this one, but it is a bit of a slow burn at first so if that bothers you then it might be harder for you to to get into this one.
Thank you to Wednesday Books for a physical advanced reader copy (ARC) of this book, in exchange for an honest review.