I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
TITLE: The Silvered Serpents
AUTHOR: Roshani Chokshi
SERIES: The Gilded Wolves #2
Publisher: Wednesday Books
PUBLICATION DATE: September 22, 2020
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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.
Setting the Scene
Review in 10 Words (or Less)
THAT ENDING THOUGH!!! LOVED THE BOOK!
Mood Before Reading
Suffering a book hangover from the first book in the series, The Gilded Wolves.
That’s it. That’s my review.
No, but really, holy shit! That ending really caught me off guard! My heart is racing again, just thinking about it. It’s been a while since I’ve been that blindsided by a book. And I’m already dying to read the next book in the series. I hate cliffhangers!!
The Silvered Serpents picks up a little while after the events of The Gilded Wolves. There have been some changes as everyone is struggling to cope with everything that happened. Poor Séverin has not been handling it well, and that’s trickling down to the rest of the team. It was insightful to see the group dynamics change and how it affected the individual friendships within the group.
It was also lovely to dive deeper into everyone’s backstories and see how their personal histories affect who they are today. The development they all go through really helped drive the story and the emotions behind it, in my opinion. The treasure hunt and unraveling all the mysteries associated with it wouldn’t have been as enjoyable without the individual characters’ distinctive personalities and inner thoughts and feelings. Reading from their different point of view added another level of intrigue to the story.
In a way, The Silvered Serpents feels like a more refined version of The Gilded Wolves. It has most of what I enjoyed about the first book and improved upon some of the issues I had with it. One of those issues was the predictive nature of the plot and characters. Unlike the last book, when I was able to put the pieces of the puzzle together too soon, I started drawing predictions right before they happened while reading The Silvered Serpents. The improved timing/dispersal of clues led to more unexpected twists and boosted their shock factor by a lot. I’m still reeling from the shock of the ending. After I finished reading this book, all I could think was “holy shit!” over and over again, hence the start of this review.
Ugh, my heart still hurts thinking about it.
The Silvered Serpents is also told at a faster pace, which I appreciated. I think it suits the story a bit better and helps amp up the emotions a bit. However, it comes at a cost. It’s not as poetic or magical as the first book. Part of what made the first book so magical was all the worldbuilding, but the second book has less of it. But the worldbuilding also made the book slower to read, so I guess it’s a give or take.
Something to Think About
While I truly loved reading The Silvered Serpents, it’s important to note that the main characters may not be totally accurate representations of the cultures they claim. Now, I’m not from any of the cultures the characters represent, but Uma (@books.bags.burgers) is. And in her review of this book, she talks about how Laila’s not the best representation of South Indian culture.
To be fair, The Gilded Wolves series is historical fiction, and Laila is often considered an #ownvoices character. However, accurate representation is always important in works of fiction, regardless of genre, so the fact that it contains questionable/poor rep is quite disappointing. It’s honestly why this book isn’t a 5 star read for me.
I massively enjoyed reading The Silvered Serpents, even more so than I enjoyed The Gilded Wolves. I loved learning more about each character, and the twists at the end really caught me off guard. But it lacks a bit of magic compared to the first book, and there’s some questionable Indian representation. I can’t wait to read the next book, though!
Have you read The Silvered Serpents? What did you think?