Transparency is key to making something work so I have to be fully honest. I wasn’t really fully on board when I heard that The Gilded Wolves is coming out in 2019. I do know for a fact that so many readers love A Star-Touched Queen and Aru Shah. I’m like that one person in a concert who loves the people performing on stage, but is too introverted for the crowd so I stay at the back. Yes, I dare say it. Roshani’s a rockstar in the book community and I am but a humble fangirl admiring and respecting her from a distance. Until I heard that her newest series is set in 1889 during the Exposition Universelle, and features an ilustrado while writing and editing a script for a gosh darn play about our national hero who was physically there while all of it was happening. I swear I never jumped on a bandwagon so fast. LOOK OUT PEOPLE, HISTORY NERD COMING THROUGH. MOVE, OR I’LL LECTURE YOU ABOUT ALL OF RIZAL’S GIRLFRIENDS IN FULL CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER.
*people new to my blog, probably: … wtf??
I swear I’m chill… but I am so hyped. I cannot contain myself. ;u;
Title: The Gilded Wolves
Author: Roshani Chokshi
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Historical Fiction
Date Published: 15th of January 2019
Series: The Gilded Wolves #1
Publisher: Wednesday Books
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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.
*releases a breath I did not realize I was holding*
DID I JUST READ A MASTERPIECE?!
As a part of the tour, I received an e-ARC of this book. Huge thanks to Macmillan International for providing copies for the tour. This does not affect my review and all of the opinions and thoughts reflected here are my own.
The bookish gods are really spoiling us in 2019 because this book is starting it with a bang. My love-hate relationship with fantasy books finally blossomed into a wonderful romance, and I have this book to thank forever. The Gilded Wolves solidified my love for history and fantasy, and its compellingly woven plot, writing style, and character development delivers nothing less. I did not know what to expect because I was interested the moment I read “Paris, 1889” in the synopsis. I have no idea what adventure awaits me, but I was so curious that I just let it take me away. After reading this novel, I came back to the real world jumping straight to the bandwagon that is The Gilded Wolves fandom.
Let’s talk about the wonderful plot within this novel first. In my perspective, it’s easy to stay fond of this book if you went into it blindly and you just let it take you on a majestic ride. It is astonishingly fast-paced, much to the delight of its readers, and it has everything that you want for a grand heist. As this is also a historical fantasy novel, I have mad respect for the details that Roshani has included to introduce her readers to the streets of 19th century Paris and introducing us to Forging, the magic of creating. I love how it is tied with the Industrial Revolution, where its power is critical and of major importance. I can sense all the time and effort it took to research about these times, which is why Roshani Chokshi is on her way to becoming one of my favorite authors. To be able to combine both elements and fulfill her reader’s delight with this gem is such a strong feat. Merged with her glamorous, magnetic, and detailed writing style, it is easy to devour this novel like a wolf triumphant in trapping its prey.
Now this book would feel incomplete without its characters. One thing that this book can proudly boast is its cast. Everyone has different backgrounds and experiences, adding height and consequences to what lies ahead for them. While they are all candidates for “book characters you would want to love forever”, I want to speak for one of them. If you will excuse me, let me express my feelings about a certain person.
Mom, do I always have to stay composed in this part of the review? I just want Enrique to talk history to me all day long.
Alright, I don’t want this review to turn into a “Why Enrique Mercado-Lopez is the best character ever” blog post so I guess I will just have to cut to the chase. I fell in love with Enrique the moment I sensed his presence in the book. I know I say this with a lot of characters, but this boy is extra special for me. Not only has Roshani written about a Filipino character, but she did it so bloody well that I want to hug and thank her for making this beautiful man exist. I have fallen full-on head-over-heels for a fictional character again, only worse because I simply cannot get him out of my head. I badly want to tell him he’s pretty. ;u; A humorous historian who just wants to do his best in aiding his fellow countrymen to get their reforms noticed? My inner history nerd is fanning herself and is basically swooning whenever he speaks. I feel like I can listen to him talk about history all day and I would do so with all my heart because I would love to chime in with what I know about what he’s talking about. His inner struggles also give my heartstrings a tug, because it’s true when you’re half-Spanish and historically speaking. There is a line drawn for him when it comes to privilege and finding himself fitting into ones culture. To be able to discover his identity among his comrades amidst the brewing chaos between Spain and the Philippines is a difficult landscape to be in. Seeing his character grow with his found family is why I love him to bits.
Mom help me. I fell in love with a man but he’s fictional, in an alternate timeline, and he’s halfway across the world.
This is why I want to commend Roshani for giving us vigorously dynamic characters that validates experiences and makes readers feel represented. I mean sure Enrique really takes the cake because he is the character I resonate and at least know the most, yet I was fully invested with this story because of the entire crew. I’m sure I am not the only one who will also enjoy reading about Severin, an Algerian-French fallen heir and his quest to regain what once was his; Hypnos, a queer Black heir and his ultra-charming yet dangerously alarming personality; Laila, an Indian young lady finding herself while carrying another persona and being selfless at the same time; Zofia, an autistic Jewish Polish mathematician finding comfort in numbers and willingness to give her sister the comforts of life; and Tristan, a Frenchman and Severin’s brother by all means but blood, who just wants the best for the man he considers his family. All of them have their own personal agenda, and you would think that this crew will never work. Differences aside, each of them are important pieces to a puzzle that makes the flow of the story work like clockwork. Seeing how their heists unfold will bring you so much intensity while reading.
I would gladly say that The Gilded Wolves is a work of art. It is a magnificent and elegant piece, as proven by the intricacy of Roshani’s writing style and undeniably incredible plot. The dynamic cast draws and gives life unto what promises to be a one-of-a-kind heist, making readers fall in love with their magnetic and dimensional characterization. It is easy to fall in love with this book, and it manifests itself as a tour de force of a series, easily placing its readers on the edge of their seats – hungry for more.
Roshani Chokshi is the New York Times bestselling author of The Star-Touched Queen and A CROWN OF WISHES. Her middle grade debut, ARU SHAH AND THE END OF TIME, released April 3, 2018 from Disney/Rick Riordan Presents. Her next young adult novel, THE GILDED WOLVES, is slated for Winter 2019. Chokshi’s work has appeared in Strange Horizons, Shimmer, and Book Smugglers. She was a finalist in the 2016 Andre Norton Award and the Locus Top Ten for Best First Novel. Her short story, “The Star Maiden,” was longlisted for the British Fantasy Science Award.
Connect with Roshani!
Also since this post is going live on the 15th, I would like to say a happy book birthday to this wonderful and luscious novel! It brings me so much joy to have started this year reading this book, and I truly, TRULY hope that the world will enjoy this book. Also, don’t be like me. Read a Roshani Chokshi novel today!
Still not convinced about the awesomeness of The Gilded Wolves? No problem! This particular tour hosted by Rafael at The Royal Polar Bear Reads and Shaine at Wanderer in Neverland promises an array of reviews from various Filipino bloggers. Check out this tour schedule (will be linking to other blogs once their posts are up):
January 14, 2019
Rafael at The Royal Polar Bear Reads
Shaine at Wanderer in Neverland
Jon at Wander with Jon
Karlita at Tale Out Loud
January 15, 2019
Dexter at Dexterous Totalous
Vivian at Vanilla Angel Pages
Bianca at The Ultimate Fangirl (hey, you’re here!)
January 16, 2019
Athena at The Night Faerie
Joel at Descendant of Poseidon Reads
Rain at Book Dragonism
January 17, 2019
Alexia at The Bookworm Daydreamer
Justine at Bookish Wisps
Akisha at Aki Through Books
January 18, 2019
Leslie at Bibliophile Kid
Hanaa at Ramblings of a Bookworm
Rachel at In Between Book Pages
January 19, 2019
Erika at The Nocturnal Fey
Avery at B For Bookslut
Salwa at Reading Solace