EEEK!!! I can’t believe I am writing this review right now! I won a giveaway that this marvelous author hosted on her Instagram a few months ago and it included an ARC (Advanced Readers Copy) of the next book in The Gilded Wolves trilogy. I only read the first book a few months ago and loved it (if you haven’t read it then you can see my recent review of it here), so as soon as I got the sequel in the mail I was ready to read.
Title: The Silvered Serpents
Author: Roshani Chokshi
Genre: YA historical fantasy
Rating: 5/5 Stars
Synopsis: “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 rumoured to grant its possessor the power of God.
Their hunt lures them far from Paris, and into 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.”
So let me start off by saying that I have been seeing other people in the bookish community talk about their experiences reading this book and they’ve all been saying that it killed them and that it was so crushing (but sort of in good ways… it’s complicated). I’m a naturally dramatic person, but I wasn’t sure if everyone was just freaking out unnecessarily or not. I can now tell you for sure that they were NOT. This book is delightfully woven together and has a heartbreakingly tragic plot, but this is what makes it such a wonderful read. If I had to describe this book in two words it would be “beautifully brutal” (and yes I am very proud that I came up with this, specifically because of the alliteration).
I can’t easily talk about the plot because I strive for spoiler-free reviews, but it was easy for me to slip into this world again and I felt that in the second installment of this series I had a firmer grip on understanding the characters and who they all are deep down. They are complicated individuals who each have their own agendas and dreams and the author wove the mystery and character development together smoothly. It was also done in a way that, at least for me, made it easy to get attached to the characters and feel emotionally involved with their stories. Basically what I am saying is this book is easy to cry over: with tears of sadness and of joy.
My overall thoughts on this book are that the prose, dialogue, message and characters of this book were artfully done (I rather expected this from Roshani Chokshi, honestly) and I felt more at home through the worldbuilding in this second installment. I highly recommend that this book be on your TBR for next fall if you enjoyed the first book in this series!
Happy reading! Have you ever read a book that was “beautifully brutal”?