The Gilded Wolves (The Gilded Wolves #1) by Roshani Chokshi
Publication: January 15, 2019
Genre: Ya Fantasy
Set in a darkly glamorous world, The Gilded Wolves is full of mystery, decadence, and dangerous but thrilling adventure.
Paris, 1889: The world is on the cusp of industry and power, and the Exposition Universelle has breathed new life into the streets and dredged up ancient secrets. In this city, no one keeps tabs on secrets better than treasure-hunter and wealthy hotelier, Séverin Montagnet-Alarie. But when the all-powerful society, the Order of Babel, seeks him out for help, Séverin is offered a treasure that he never imagined: his true inheritance. To find the ancient artifact the Order seeks, Séverin will need help from a band of experts: An engineer with a debt to pay. A historian who can’t yet go home. A dancer with a sinister past. And a brother in all but blood, who might care too much. Together, they’ll have to use their wits and knowledge to hunt the artifact through the dark and glittering heart of Paris. What they find might change the world, but only if they can stay alive.
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This was an ARC I received via NetGalley. So, thank you to the publishers and the author for this e-ARC copy. This book was enjoyable and I will probably read book two but it wasn’t my favorite book of all time. The plot is really what let me down. It felt like a less exciting version of Six of Crows or a full cast book like The Heroes of Olympus. What carried this book was the characters. It was a little exciting at times but very dull in others. This wild, rambunctious, and amazing crew steal many artifacts. But, they steal one that is a little more serious this time and when an old friend in the order finds out he strikes a deal with the leader Séverin. This mission is their most deadly yet and leads to deadly consequences. Like I said it has exciting parts and times when the stakes were high but overall it was a bit lackluster. I have taken off a few books from my TBR by this author but overall I am glad I requested it and got accepted.
This group of characters is wonderfully diverse. I can’t say any of them make my top 10 list but they are so amazing. Let me start with Enrique who is a brilliant Spanish-Filipino historian who is also bisexual. He is more book smart than street smart and has the most sarcastic attitude that I love. He has eyes for a certain French heir. Next, we have Zofia who is a Jewish Polish mathematician and genius. She has a rare magical affinity and was arrested for arson. She struggles a lot with thinking people don’t like her and seems to struggle with some feelings with a certain someone. Laila is an Indian dancer who has a unique gift. She has the ability to read people’s history while holding a possession of theirs. She is an extraordinary baker and is like the mom of the group. Séverin is a French-Algerian hotelier leader and dad of the group (if you pick up what I am putting down). He loves and cares for the group so much and he has his eyes on a specific dancer (wink, wink). Tristan is the youngest of the group I think and is a botanical specialist. He has pet spiders and appears to be a lonely boy but Séverin is his brother in more ways than blood. He cares so much that sometimes he can make mistakes because he wants to keep his friends safe. And lastly, we have Hypnos who is the heir of a French aristocrat. He is described as having darker skin and since he is a young heir not many people take him seriously. He is such a sweetie and I am pretty sure he is gay (he has the hots for a certain historian). He just wants to be friends with the group and it is so cute.
The dialogue is funny as hell and the characters are written perfectly but, as I said the plot is so-so. The writer has a great sense of world-building and I did enjoy this adventure in Paris.
“Honestly. Who looks at a vase covered in bull testicles and says: You. I must have you.”
Finally, Tristan placed his hand over Séverin’s, stacking their scars before saying: “I protect you.”
“Your hands are frigid,” she said, scowling. “What kind of lover has cold hands? “One who makes up for temperature in talent.”
“When you are who they expect you to be, they never look too closely. If you’re furious let it be your fuel.”
Don’t capture their hearts. Steal their imagination. It’s far more useful.
“Take what the world owes you by any means necessary,” Pride had said. “The world has a s*** memory. It will never pay its debts unless you force its hand.”
“Actions have a better voice than words.”
Make yourself a myth and live within it, so that you belong to no one but yourself.”
Scars sculpted people into who they were…scuffs left by sorrow’s fists, and, to him at least, proof of being thoroughly human.
“You know, for someone who wishes to play god, you’re not very omniscient.”
And she thought that, perhaps, for a kiss like this, even hell would put forth its stars.
“Unless you have a treasure trove of jewels and undiscovered Forged instruments, I am not sure what you have to offer,” joked Enrique. “Well, there’s always this.” Hypnos bent down, and kiss him.
The day before Séverin and Tristan left for Paris, Lust whispered to him: “Lust is safer than love, but both can ruin you.”