🌿 Hi, guys! I hope you’re having the most wonderful day by the hand of the most incredible readings.❤️ Today I bring you a double book review of a much loved and very popular historical fantasy series. I’m very excited to be able to share all my thoughts about these books with you, these books are part of what will be a trilogly called The Gilded Wolves trilogy by Roshani Chokshi, so today I bring you my honest thoughts about the first book, The Gilded Wolves & the sequel,which comes out TOMORROW, The Silvered Serpents! 👏🏻
I have a lot to chat with you about them, I know it’s a very well-loved story and it makes me happy, but I think my thoughts could be unpopular so I hope you don’t hate me lol. I LOVE YOU, thank you for being here with me every day & without further ado, let’s get started and enjoy! 🌿
Title: The Gilded Wolves
By: Roshani Chokshi
Series: The Gilded Wolves #1
Published: January 15th, 2019
By: Wednesday Books
Genre: YA – Fantasy – Historical Fiction – Romance
Buy it: Book Depository
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.
| Goodreads |
“When you are who they expect you to be, they never look too closely. If you’re furious, let it be fuel.”
I think this book has a lot of potentials to be amazing, but sadly I couldn’t fully enjoy it as I see most people have, which leads me to think that this is a pretty unpopular opinion, but I’m ok with it. I feel like this is a book that needs some work, especially in the organization of the plot and the information that is given to the reader regarding the magical and political system, I also would have liked to see a greater expansion in the description of Paris as such. I love the author’s style, I think her style is almost poetic and a bit colorful, and I really like the atmosphere of the plot as well.
In this book, we place ourselves in an alternative Paris in the year 1889, where kids present special powers and/or abilities of the mind and the elements when they’re very young, and the world is influenced by a very powerful order called the Order of Babe. In this world, a group of young talented people led by Séverin Montagnet, will be recruited by the Order to search for ancient artifacts in exchange for giving Severin his true inheritance. For them, the group must face unknown dangers and be able to change the course of history, but only if they can stay alive.
The promise sounds really unique, nobody can deny that, and in a certain part the explanation of everything is also very unique, the approach that is given to the Order of Babel, for example, I like it a lot, I adore the idea behind everything, but I think I would have liked to know even more information about it, I was also looking for a better organization when it came to giving that information throughout the story. Everything ends up being very confusing and somehow even though I understand the idea, you don’t end up understanding everything at a 100%, and you continue reading with that feeling of not knowing exactly what’s happening and why, you know? It’s a quite confusing book in general, but I think that above all, it’s very confusing regarding the construction of it and the way it’s created, it’s read in parts as if it were a sequel to another book, because there are many past events that the same characters seem to remind us even though we never knew it before, and other information from the past to which the author introduces us so that we can follow the present events. So even though it’s an incredible idea, it needs, in my opinion, better handling of the execution.
The author’s style is very lyrical and beautiful, it’s not the first time I read a book by her, in fact, I’ve read The Star-Touched Queen many years ago, which didn’t impress me much, but I always highlight her beautiful prose and how fluid it reads.
I want to talk briefly about the characters, and I think I can’t fail to mention that they reminded me a lot of the Six of Crows characters, characters that I love with my heart & soul, you know that, but these are a bit flatter and need more development in my opinion. In general, it was hard for me to feel committed to them and to feel fond in some way and I don’t really know why, but I just didn’t feel that they had depth, even though I did like some of their personal stories. Severin is the typical leader, he’s smart, calculative, and extremely protective of his group, but I liked that he also showed his more sensitive side at times. Laila could potentially be the one who interests me the most, but her personality may be a bit cliche at times, especially her relationship with others, but she has a lot of potentials to grow, and her story is one of the most interesting. Tritan is that kind of character who’s adorable and kind of nerdy, and he’s always in his “laboratory” with his animals creating things and is quite sweet actually, I especially liked his scenes with Severin, I think their relationship was the most solid and the best created. I like Enrique, I think there’s something about his personality that I like, but he can be something unbearable at times, some of his dialogues made me roll my eyes, but that’s okay, he’s a good character. I liked Zofia a lot especially because of her past, I read in other reviews that she may be on the autism spectrum, which I couldn’t be sure, but I wanted to mention it, and I think her interactions are adorable, she’s lovely and honest, and I like that & finally, we have Hypnos who seems to me the flattest character of all, and honestly I don’t have any opinion about him, at the beginning I had many expectations about him but, I don’t know, kind of “meh”
In general, I feel that the characters tried a lot to be something like Six of Crows, which isn’t bad, I admire the inspiration and I even appreciate it, but that’s something daring to do when the level of the characters isn’t the same, you know? They have potential like themselves, but they have no comparison so and this will be the only time I’ll mention such a thing. So, in general, it’s fine, they’re characters created with a high purpose and I understand that, but they need more growth or development in their personalities, which I look forward to seeing in the next book.
Something that I do appreciate a lot is the amount of diversity that we find in this story, Severin is Fench/Algerian, Laila is Indian, Zofia is Polish and Judia, on the autism spectrum, as I already mentioned, Hypnos is French and Black (Queer), Enrique in Spanish and Filipino (Queer) So a big applause to the author for making such an incredibly diverse team.
The atmosphere created was SOOOOO beautiful to me, there are scenes that have taken my breath away and I really want to highlight it because it’s one of my favorite aspects. This book is full of aesthetics in each scene and precious places that accompany each moment very well. Obviously all the credit goes to the author who has created a great atmosphere, in general, to tell her story & on the other hand, I love that it takes place in Paris, although I do feel that it deserves a greater construction in terms of the world because they could well have been anywhere and I couldn’t have known. I think that the next book takes place in Russia, so I hope for more exploration of the place and its landscapes.
I don’t have a great opinion about the romance, because to be honest, I didn’t care, I didn’t feel completely sure about it and I think it was forced as well as the chemistry between the characters. I’ve read this type of relationship many times and it can be done well, but it doesn’t always work as it must be very realistic and the connection wasn’t very strong to impact me.
The ending was quite unexpected so I also enjoyed it, I didn’t see it coming and I love when that happens, I also think it was very well executed and thought out!
Even though I’m not impressed by this book, I think it’s a promising start and has a lot of potential to explode in the next book and become everything I want from a fantasy book, and if not, it’s okay, I know this is an unpopular opinion, so it makes me happy to know that many people have already loved this books since it came out. I really like the vibe that the book gives, as well as the dark atmosphere and the author’s prose. On the other hand, I look forward to a little more development of the world, in the characters & with respect to the magical and political system.
Title: The Silvered Serpents
By: Roshani Chokshi
Series: The Gilded Wolves #2
Publication: September 22nd, 2020
By: Wednesday Books
Genre: YA – Fantasy – Historical Fiction – Romance
Buy it: Book Depository
Returning to the dark and glamorous 19th century world of her New York Times instant bestseller, The Gilded Wolves, Roshani Chokshi dazzles us with another riveting tale as full of mystery and danger as ever in The Silvered Serpents.
They are each other’s fiercest love, greatest danger, and only hope.
Séverin and his team members might have successfully thwarted the Fallen House, but victory came at a terrible cost — one that still haunts all of them. Desperate to make amends, Séverin pursues a dangerous lead to find a long lost artifact rumored to grant its possessor the power of God.
Their hunt lures them far from Paris, and into the icy heart of Russia where crystalline ice animals stalk forgotten mansions, broken goddesses carry deadly secrets, and a string of unsolved murders makes the crew question whether an ancient myth is a myth after all.
As hidden secrets come to the light and the ghosts of the past catch up to them, the crew will discover new dimensions of themselves. But what they find out may lead them down paths they never imagined.
A tale of love and betrayal as the crew risks their lives for one last job.
| Goodreads |
I’m very grateful to Netgalley & Wednesday Books for providing me with this book in exchange for an honest review.
“When the devil waged war in the heavens, even angels had to fall.”
Well, I’m very happy to tell you that I enjoyed this one more than the first one, but sadly I’ll not be able to share much because this is obviously a sequel, so I’ll try to do my best to transmit everything to you without spoilers. I like it, I still don’t feel like it reaches my heart, maybe because I still feel disconnected from the relationship of the characters and there is a lot of that in here. But I liked the plot more, I think it was more dynamic and the surprising effect was there, I also loved the setting so much, Russia is fantastic, I think it’s magical and beautiful, but it also has a lot of danger and that kept me wanting to know what will happen. This is a solid sequel for me, but it’s not like THAT impressive.
This time I’ve noticed a greater commitment to giving us a much more intricate and full of feelings plot, which I appreciate, I enjoyed most of it, even though certain moments seemed to be kind of draining and slow, I think it was resolved very well towards the second half, where I felt much more committed to it and I was all-in in the plot. The author has an undoubted talent with words, so this time I enjoyed the dialogues much more, which I didn’t find remarkable in the first book & once I completely loved each atmosphere created and the construction of the world was more solid which I appreciate.
As I’ve already mentioned, I think that there’s a huge emotional weight in this book, largely due to hard and tragic events that occurred in the first one, and all of this gives a kind of gothic and melancholic vibe to this fantasy story. I think it’s much more focused on the characters, part that perhaps continues to be a challenge for me in terms of feeling committed or interested in it, yet I can see that there’s a growth in it which I appreciate as well. I think if you loved the first book, this will be a great sequel for you.
I try to be very honest with my thoughts about this book, but I want you to know that my opinion is unpopular, so if you enjoyed the story in the first book, I think you’ll love this sequel, although it may be a bit slower in pace, I think this one is better balanced in terms of construction and everything feels more coherent to me. I still would have liked more information on magic, for example, but it’s okay, I think I should have understood it in the first book lol. Even so, it’s all very original and there’s no doubt about that.
As I said before, the characters take a step forward in this sequel to bring us many feelings and a dense vibe of secrets, lies, and betrayals, which I love, and all this I think gave a greater dimension and a greater weight to their personalities. Even so, I don’t love any of them, but Laia is still my fave in the group and I think she’s always the one who has the most to give, her conflicts felt very real to me and I was able to put myself in her place and feel her pain. Severin‘s plotline got a little more interesting, this character makes me doubt a lot especially in regards to his relationship with Laia, I don’t like that, but just as a character, I think he has more to give and it was interesting to know his inner thoughts after everything he had to go through. Zofia is a sweetie and I really like her as a character, I love how her mind works and how she transmits her emotions and I really enjoy following her. On the other hand, I’ll have to bring you the most unpopular opinion of all and that’s that I didn’t like Hypnos here, I think the author wanted to take the character into another level and I’m not sure about it, especially with regard to a possible “ship” that I had about him and Enrique, which didn’t work out very well for me. I’m also unsure about Enrique, there’s something that seemed quite flat in this book, and I would also highlight none of the secondary characters since they lack weight as such.
Is there a general growth in them? Yeah sure
Was it enough to make me love them? Sadly, not.
I think that this story in general, even when it has very original factors, falls into some cliche with respect to the characters, and I think that to a large extent that prevents me from being able to love them and feel closer to them.
The plot-twists had a very appropriate effect to accompany the story and give it an element of greater commitment and surprise for me, I saw some revelations coming, but there was one that really took me by surprise, so the author could surprise me again, as she did in the first book, which I appreciate very much, I love having that “WTF” effect! and that happened here… so YAY!
Something that I really love about this sequel and clearly it’s my favorite thing is the vibe while reading it, I think the author has discovered exactly where she wants to take the plot, which I like, but above all, I love what you feel while you read it, It has a very dark, mysterious, almost dense vibe that makes you wonder what will happen next and manages to keep you on the edge of your seat.
I liked this sequel, I think it’s pretty solid, it’s still not my favorite thing in the world, and I don’t know if I’ll read the latest book, to be honest with you, but I’m still glad I read what I read, I think the author is extremely talented, and this plot has incredible potential to explore. I know that if you like the characters and want to know more about them internally, you’ll love this book and, above all, you may feel committed to wanting to continue reading about them. It’s important to me to have that connection with the characters, so if you had it with the first book, go for it! you’ll love the sequel. On the other hand, something that I think everyone will be able to enjoy in these books is the creepy atmosphere at times that it gives, but also that beautiful and almost whimsical fantasy aesthetic that it has at times, as well as that beautiful writing style.