The Gilded Wolves
Published on January 15, 2019
About The Gilded Wolves
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.
If you’ve read other books written by Roshani Chokshi, you remember the lush magical settings and rich, Indian culture. The unforgettable characters main characters with quirky companions and delicious banter between them.
Gilded Wolves is a whole different kind of story. From the setting in late nineteenth century France to the complex alternate history and magic system, Gilded Wolves took some getting used to for me.
I really enjoyed the characters. There’s something incredible about creating a cast of six with relationships as close and complex and realistic as this group had. I loved the Ocean’s Eleven style heist the group sets up. It created a lot of tension and danger, which kept me turning page after page.
The magic system and politics between the houses of power were a little hard for me to keep track of at first. The prologue and opening chapter felt a bit heavy with history and setting details, but once the real story begins and we meet Séverin and his crew, I found it really easy to connect with them. If you loved the close character relationships and the high stakes of the heist in Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo, you want to check out Gilded Wolves.
Séverin and Hypnos have one white parent and one black parent. (They aren’t related.) Laila is from India. Enrique is Spanish and Filipino. Zofia is Jewish and probably on the Autism spectrum, though Gilded Wolves doesn’t label her. The cast includes openly gay and bisexual characters.
Profanity/Crude Language Content
Extreme profanity used very infrequently.
References to sex. Descriptions of kissing between two boys and a boy and girl.
Gilded Wolves includes some references to the biblical story of the tower of Babel. It’s not a strict biblical interpretation of the story, though. In Gilded Wolves, when the tower falls, pieces of it remain which contain powerful, civilization-ending magic.
Additionally, four families rule houses of power. Some people have abilities to change the characteristics of objects with magic. Like creating a desk which traps the hands of anyone who touches it besides the owner. One character has the ability to sense the history of an item which hasn’t been magically altered.
One character states that his goal is to become a god and remake the world. He believes that if we are made in God’s image, that makes us gods also.
Another character has an unusual origin and was created using bits of bone and the spirit of a child who’d died.
Séverin describes experiences with his foster parents. One tormented him and his foster brother, even torturing them by using a magic helmet to replay their nightmares. One of his foster fathers committed suicide. One died during a robbery.
Séverin’s foster father drinks wine. Characters drink wine and champagne at parties. Hypnos drinks wine while the team tries to solve a puzzle. He jokes about needing it to help him think.
Note: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.