TITLE: The Gilded Wolves
AUTHOR: Roshani Chokshi
SERIES: The Gilded Wolves #1
Publisher: Wednesday Books
PUBLICATION DATE: January 15, 2019
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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.
Setting the Scene
Review in 10 Words (or Less)
Wow, that was a really rich read!
Mood Before Reading
Kind of in a reading slump after reading Fable.
Set in 1889 Paris, The Gilded Wolves tells the tale of a group of thieves on a treasure hunt for an object that can potentially change their futures. It’s one of the best and most memorable books I’ve read so far this year. Everything is so intricately woven together, from the history, the artifacts, the puzzles, and the characters with their own personalities and their backstories.
The world-building was spellbinding, and so was the writing. I loved the reimagining of history to fit the world this novel is set in and learning snippets about various cultures worldwide. This book is not at all a fast read, nor should it be. The Gilded Wolves is definitely meant to be savored slowly. You can’t rush through reading this book because all the little details are essential. It got my brain thinking more than any of the thrillers/mysteries I’ve read this year. The writing was rich and decadent, like a luscious chocolate cake. A small piece is incredibly delicious in one sitting, but too much of it is hard to swallow. The writing was elegant and beautiful, but hard to entirely consume in one sitting. It didn’t stop me from flying through the pages, though.
But my favorite aspect of The Gilded Wolves is by far the characters and their found family dynamic. Their banter and love for one another is gold. I loved how all the characters had their own personalities and distinctive quirks. They’re so diverse, not just in backstories and as characters, but also they’re all members of marginalized groups and from all different walks of life. Their bond towards one another made me smile and laugh a lot and even got me to get a little misty-eyed. A little.
I do think some of the characters were a little too perceptive to what the others were feeling. It just seems a little far fetched that most of the characters are so good at reading people that they know exactly what everyone else is thinking/feeling only based on facial expressions is a little far fetched. It also makes it feel like some critical aspects of the story are being told, rather than shown.
But my biggest problem with The Gilded Wolves is its predictability. Some events carried a little too much foreshadowing that allowed me to accurately guess what would happen next. Having an idea of what was coming took away the “oomph” factor that the story relied on at times. Without the ability to incite a surprised gasp, I failed to feel the full range of emotions for these characters, despite caring and empathizing with them.
The Gilded Wolves is a magical read with wonderful world-building and a host of diverse and likable characters. I just wish it was a little less predictable.