Click Here for the Synopsis!
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.
My relationship with The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi began almost a year ago when I went hunting for the arc at San Diego Comic-con. Though I did get one, I wasn’t able to read it at the time. I finally picked up the finished copy last week, and dug in to this world. One of the major things I heard frequently before reading the book is that it’s basically a rip off of Six of Crows. Honestly this didn’t make me more excited to read it, so did I think that criticism held up?
Yes, there are a couple similarities between the two stories. However, there are many heist ensemble books that came before Six of Crows, and there will be many after. Some of them may even be better than Six of Crows! I know it’s hard to believe for some, and publishers seem to love comparing upcoming titles to Bardugo’s work, but that doesn’t mean new heist stories aren’t worthwhile.
Ok, now that I got that off my chest. The Gilded Wolves is a brilliant exploration of a found family forged (heh) on similar goals and personal struggles. This crew worked together for quite a while before the book begins, which I really enjoyed. It was great to see a fully formed group from the beginning, instead of wading through the process of collecting the characters. Though that plot arc can be done well, I often find it a bit tedious.
The magic in this book is described more like a science or advanced technology. Again, this was a fresh twist for me that I really enjoyed. The metaphysical plays an enormous role in the story, and my Number Theory loving self loved all the references to the golden ratio, magic squares, and cryptography. I feel like Roshani and I could chat about the wonders of the mathematical universe for ages.
My love for the characters in The Gilded Wolves cannot be overstated. So many of them are sweet, complex, damaged, and very diverse. A number of central characters are bisexual, possibly pansexual, which I could not get enough of. Almost every member of the main crew are flirty and sexy people. Then you have Zofia, who is certainly interested in how people work, and how she may respond to intimate situations but expresses those interests in non-conventional ways. She may be asexual, and I would love for Roshani to clarify that in the following books. I need more ace characters on my shelves.
This is a new favorite for me, and I really hope that the rest of the series will continue to blow me away. The character, plot, and themes all impressed me. I loved how the book celebrates so many things I loved as a teen. I feel seen by The Gilded Wolves in the best possible way. The sequel, The Silvered Serpents, hits shelves in February 2020.