RELEASE DAY! ARC Review | The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi

Title: THE GILDED WOLVES

Author: ROSHANI CHOKSHI

Published: 15TH JANUARY 2019 BY WEDNESDAY BOOKS

Genre: YA HISTORICAL FANTASY

From New York Times bestselling author Roshani Chokshi comes a novel set in Paris during a time of extraordinary change–one that is full of mystery, decadence, and dangerous desires…

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.

I’ve been hearing loads about Roshani Chokshi for months! She’s an author I’ve been meaning to pick up for ages, so when I had this book come my way, I was all for it! I’m not generally a massive fan of Paris, but I love historically set novels so figured I’d love this. I was not wrong! The characters are so lovable and well designed, the world and magic system wildly interesting, and the plot itself was steeped in intrigue. I also thoroughly enjoyed Chokshi’s storytelling – the multiple POV set up really brings you into the world and allows you to understand each characters’ motivations. Some people have complained a bit about being thrown right into the middle of the world with little to no explanation, but I didn’t find it to be a hindrance to my enjoyment of the book.

Séverin and his crew (read: found family) are planning a job to reclaim an item that will help him reclaim the birthright stripped from him previously, not realizing it’s about to set them on a much bigger heist that will impact their entire society. Laila, Enrique, Zofia, and Tristan are all massively important to Séverin and each other. Hypnos also embroils himself in the madness. They are all such diverse characters and so wonderful! I loved each and every one of them for their quirks and individuality. It’s fabulous to see the varied representations included here, which I won’t go into because so many others have already done that. Suffice it to say you’ll love the whole crew.

There is a romance aspect to this novel, which felt quite sweet. It’s not a major point or focus to the story, it simply is, but also adds a small je ne sais quoi to those particular character arcs. See what I did there? 🤪 Anyway, my favorite character is a tie between the baker with a secret life, Laila, or the landscape artist with a soft spot for creatures, Tristan. Although, all of them were beautiful.

This darkly entertaining novel is one we’ve all been waiting on to arrive. And I simply cannot wait for book 2! I had to give this one FIVE STARS, of course!

Will you be reading it?

ARC Review | We Set the Dark on Fire by Tehlor Kay Mejia

Title: WE SET THE DARK ON FIRE

Author: TEHLOR KAY MEJIA

Published: 26TH FEBRUARY 2019 BY KATHERINE TEGEN BOOKS

Genre: YA LITERATURE FICTION/FEMINIST FICTION

In this daring and romantic fantasy debut perfect for fans of The Handmaid’s Tale and Latinx authors Zoraida Córdova and Anna-Marie McLemore, society wife-in-training Dani has a great awakening after being recruited by rebel spies and falling for her biggest rival.

At the Medio School for Girls, distinguished young women are trained for one of two roles in their polarized society. Depending on her specialization, a graduate will one day run a husband’s household or raise his children. Both paths promise a life of comfort and luxury, far from the frequent political uprisings of the lower class.

Daniela Vargas is the school’s top student, but her pedigree is a lie. She must keep the truth hidden or be sent back to the fringes of society.

And school couldn’t prepare her for the difficult choices she must make after graduation, especially when she is asked to spy for a resistance group desperately fighting to bring equality to Medio.

Will Dani cling to the privilege her parents fought to win for her, or will she give up everything she’s strived for in pursuit of a free Medio—and a chance at a forbidden love?

Be still my heart…what a wonderful story. I loved every minute of it and had to stay up entirely too late to finish it. SO worth it, though! I couldn’t put it down because I was so on edge with wanting to know what happens next. Dani (MC) is a brilliant character who has come from a background so different to where her life is heading. She is the top student and so is to be married to young man of a very high ranking and distinguished family. I thought the social system of the inner island was interesting, and explains the Medio School. It’s basically like a finishing school to learn to become a one of two wives – Primera or Segunda – which are based on a myth about their gods. This polarization of their society opens up a brilliant discussion of feminism and what it means to be true to yourself.

This novel takes a good look at our society in parts. The wall creating a barrier between people; the societal divide between women; the marriage rituals; government corruption. And it shows us quite obviously that these are not the way of creating a good society. This particular world is so scary, and that’s partly because some of the issues are so close to what we’re experiencing. The characters are so amazingly well developed and interesting, even the shitty ones! I’ve always found that’s a hallmark of great writing – being able to write characters that are unlikable, yet interesting. Also, keep your eyes peeled for the f/f romance (LOVE)!

I adore this ownvoices story and find myself very much looking forward to book 2 of this duology. I was also unaware it was part of a series, so was expecting a resolution at the finish. However, I was shocked by the cliffhanger! Never saw that ending coming…. 😱 was definitely a FIVE STAR read for me!

Will you be reading it?