TITLE: The Gilded Wolves
AUTHOR: Roshani Chokshi
SERIES: The Gilded Wolves, #1
RELEASES: January 15th, 2019; Wednesday Books
AGE RANGE: YA
The setting is Paris, 1889, and the world is a strange and industrious place, run by Forgers and curators of fantastical items. Séverin is a treasure-hunter with a crew, and he’s looking to find the item he needs to be reinstated in his rightful place, to receive the inheritance taken unfairly from him—but the item will come at a cost, and he and his team will need to overcome many obstacles to retrieve it.
I’d been meaning to read Roshani Chokshi’s work for quite some time, and when I heard about The Gilded Wolves, I immediately knew I wanted it to be my introduction to her stories. I’m a big fan of historical fantasy, especially stories set in real places but crafted very differently from what those places actually were in that setting, and I’m a sucker for a good heist story with lovable characters, both of which were facets Gilded promised to deliver.
“I don’t want to be their equals. I don’t want them to look us in the eye. I want them to look away, to blink harshly, like they’ve stared at the sun itself. I don’t want them standing across from us. I want them kneeling.”
Luckily, Roshani is just as delightful of a storyteller as I anticipated she would be, because I was captivated from the beginning and found myself head-over-heels in love with this series by the end. The writing is so much fun, full of hilarious, laugh-out-loud banter and sweet, tender moments (I swear I highlighted half the book), and the heists and puzzles craft an air of endless suspense and intrigue.
They might owe him their service. But he was the one bound to them. He was the one who would always be left behind.
Even better, the characters in this story are some of the best I’ve ever met. They are all incredibly complex and real, and you’d be hard pressed to dislike any of them because they all have such lovable quirks and bits of their personalities. I never get tired of a good “squad” and this little gang of misfits has to be one of my new favorites! Oh, and there is a romance in this book that has some of the best romantic/sexual tension I have EVER read in YA (without ever being even remotely explicit).
And though they were not all his tales, he saw himself in them: pushed to the corners of the dark. He was just like them. As solid as smoke and just as powerless.
In fact, can we just stop right here and talk about these characters? Because, honestly, I tried writing this review without taking some time to gush over each of them individually, and I just couldn’t do it.
→ Séverin ? half-Algerian, clever, criminal mastermind, total grump-butt in the best way
→ Laila ? Indian, #squadmom, baker extraordinaire, sweetest and most loving little ball of sunshine ever, has a beautiful story arc regarding the importance of dance in her culture/homeland
→ Zofia ? Jewish, Polish, autistic (and so well-done, written with such obvious care and research), scientist/genius, wickedly funny, probably my actual favorite??
→ Enrique ? Filipino/Spanish, queer, adorable, pouty, historian, has endless internal monologues about feeling erased, suffering racism/microaggressions, etc., made me cry a million times
→ Tristan ? precious soft little bean, has a pet tarantula he never shuts up about, needs to be protected and cared for at all costs
→ Hypnos ? black, queer, doesn’t always have the best motives but is generally the actual softest, killer taste in fashion
He whispered the words Pride spoke every time he went to repossess an object: “I’ve come to collect my dues.”
I have only one complaint about this book, and honestly, I loved the story overall so much that it pains me to even include this: I struggled with the world-building for quite a while. You’re kind of dropped right into the action from the get-go, and you’re forced to catch up on the run, which I normally love, but this world is just so intricate and has such a large-feeling magic system that I feel I would’ve benefited a bit from being given more of a primer before launching into the main plot.
“When you are who they expect you to be, they never look too closely. If you’re furious, let it be fuel.”
I actually have heard a few friends say it feels like this book needs a prequel novella in order for the world-building to fully function, and while I don’t agree that it’s entirely necessary, I do think it would be an AMAZING addition if Roshani ever chose to follow that route later on.
Minor complaints aside, though, The Gilded Wolves still feels like an easy 5-star read for me because I adored the characters so much and had such a tremendous amount of fun with the adventure and obstacles that really come into play in the second half. I cherish these characters so much, and in the two weeks it’s now been since I finished reading, this story has only grown more and more dear in my heart. I am beyond excited for the sequel and can’t wait to see what Roshani will do to indubitably wreck my life as the saga continues.
Ultimately, I’d recommend this to any fans of historical fantasy, “squad” groups, and lovable, diverse characters, as well as readers who don’t require a tremendous amount of back-story or a slow pacing in fantasy. I also wholeheartedly recommend this to anyone who enjoys fun, flirty or otherwise humorous banter in their books.
All quotes come from an advance copy and may not match the final release. Thank you so much to Wednesday Books for providing me with this ARC in exchange for an honest review!
Buddy read with Kaleena & Scrill! ♥
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I only skimmed this post, but I’m really glad you enjoyed this! I have an eARC sitting on my e-reader, and have been hesitant to read it… I didn’t care much for Chokshi’s TSTQ, but Gilded Wolves really does sound like something I’ll like! *crosses fingers*
I hope you enjoy it!!
OMG Yes. I loved the characters and the story, but the world building left me drowning in a huge sea of possibility. I craved some boundaries. The magic system seemed capable of absolutely anything and that didn’t click with me.
It was the amazing characters and their personal stories that pulled me through this. That and the lush setting.
“I craved some boundaries” – YES! This is so well said. But I agree, the characters were worth it. ♥
This looks SO GOOD. Honestly, I need another squad of misfit characters in my life?! And those quotes are making me ???
Right?!?!?!?! Ugh they are such a cute soft little squad. They remind me of the Dregs except they love each other a lot more openly haha
[…] Quotations are taken from an uncorrected proof and may change upon publication. Buddy read with Destiny & Scrill! […]
Lovely review, and I really enjoyed buddy reading this with you and Scrill! This found family is so precious and I adored every single character so much.
Thank you! I had so much fun buddy reading it with you both, too. <3
This looks really amazing! I loved the author previous series (even if I’ve to finish it ?) but I cannot wait for this one. I’ll try to remember to buy it and make it fit inside my tbr for the next year.
Also, all of this characters? Yes, it’s basically an auto buy.
Yaaay! I hope you enjoy it!
I’m so excited for this book, now! This is a great review 😀
Thank you! It’s such an excellent read, I hope you like it!
Awesome review! This sounds exactly like the kind of book I’d love to read and I’ll put it on my tbr for 2019 immediately! 😀
Yaaaaaay! Haha thank you so much! ♥
I added this book to my TBR a few days ago so I’m really happy to see the positive review. Now I can’t wait to fall in love with these characters. Lovely review!
Thank you, Merline! I can’t wait for you to read it and I hope you love it!
Lovely review! I’m so happy you ended up enjoying that one so much! I got lucky enough to read it last week and I felt just like you about it all, a little confused by the world-building at first, but convinced by everything else, especially this amazing cast of characters, I really loved them 🙂
Thank you, Marie! I’m so glad you loved it, too. 🙂 Yes, you worded it perfectly with “convinced by everything else” – besides the slight world-building issues, I couldn’t find a single thing to complain about here.
I’m glad to see you enjoyed this so much! I’m reading this now but am only about 10% in so you have me excited to keep going. Great review!
Thank you Nicole! Ohh, I hope you love it. 😀
Thanks for the great review. I haven’t picked this book up yet but its one that I really want to!
It’s soooo good, I hope you get the chance to read it soon!
This is another one I’m really looking forward to in the new year, so excited by your review!
I hope you enjoy it!
Lovely review!! I want to read this one SO BADLY! ❤️
Thank you Kelly!! It’s so good, I really hope you get to read it ASAP!
I totally did NOT read this but idc; I saw a glance of a whole lot of rep being present of this and now I’m like.. WHY DID I NOT PUT THIS ON ANY OF MY TBR’S THIS MONTH. I should totally read it but I don’t have any time left if I want to focus on the Short-a-thon, haha. :’) *crying silently*
? Awwww, I’m sorry! Yeah, the rep in the book is AMAZING. Just… wow. I was in love with how effortlessly diverse the whole cast of characters was.
GAH. Might become my first read of 2019. With all the glowing reviews, it definitely sounds like an amazing book to start the year with anyway. 😛
Yaaaaaay! I can’t wait to hear what you think of it. It definitely isn’t perfect but it’s amazing nevertheless.
[…] 6. Destiny from Howling Libraries […]
Great review, this is one of my most anticipated reads of 2019 and I’m even more excited to pick it up after reading your review ????
Thank you so much! Oh my gosh, just… so, so good. I hope you love it ♥
You’re welcome and thanks ???
[…] The Gilded Wolves. Ugh, all that gold filigree? Yes, please. Plus, it was SO GOOD. […]
[…] The Gilded Wolves — Roshani Chokshi ???✨ […]
[…] loved the ARC (review here) […]