I borrowed this book from the library several months ago now–during my summer holidays–and I read it promptly, but I haven’t been very proactive in writing the review for it. Luckily, I take notes after finishing a book so that everything I want to write about it is fresh down on the page for me to revisit. Before I get into a new review, I figure I might as well catch myself up and write the ones I’ve been putting off. So, here I am drinking peppermint tea and freaking out about this intricately gorgeous cover that holds an even more intricate and gorgeous story.
Title: The Gilded Wolves
Author: Roshani Chokshi
Rating: 4.5/5 Stars
Genre: YA fantasy and historical fiction
“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 got this synopsis and cover photo from goodreads, which I just started using–can’t believe I haven’t used it until now!)
I first read a book by Roshani Chokshi when she started her middle grade series with Rick Riordan Presents, Aru Shah. I was immediately in love with her magical way of writing and wanted to be friends with her characters. Once I had read it though, I realized she had already written several other books that were YA fantasy. The Gilded Wolves is the first of these books that I delved into. IT DID NOT DISSAPOINT!
When I first started this book and took some notes about fifty pages in, I was a little confused. I admit this might be because I didn’t read the synopsis before I started it (I just saw that it was by Roshani Chokshi and had a beautiful cover and then dove right in!). Either way, I was a little confused as to what was happening in the first few chapters. When I say confused, though, I don’t mean that the characters were unclear or that the plot didn’t make sense. I really can’t describe it very well, but something about the story and what the characters were doing in general was confusing to me.
A little confusion has never been a deterrent for me, though, and it definitely wasn’t in this case. I really wanted to like this book and I was already pretty much won over by the rich language and diverse cast of characters. I especially liked that the characters each brought something new to the story and had such unique perspectives and interesting backgrounds. So, I kept reading, falling in love with these people (although also hating the stupid choices they made from time to time).
Once I had finished the book, I was much more convinced of my adoration of this author’s works. Everything started making more sense throughout the book and there were lots of little puzzle-like scenarios, which I realized weren’t supposed to make sense right off the bat to the reader. I really appreciated the journey this story took me on and I can’t wait to read the next book in this series which is coming out next year.
Happy reading! Have you ever read a book that confused you when you started it, only for it to make sense later on?