The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi (The Gilded Wolves #1)
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Release Date: January 15, 2019
Available For Pre-Order Through The Book Depository: The Gilded Wolves
Summary: 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.
*Received ARC through Bookish*
My Rating: ★★★★★
My Thoughts: The Gilded Wolves is a masterfully crafted historical fantasy with heists and puzzles to solve at every turn! This dazzling novel pulls you in from the very beginning with a diverse cast of characters, brilliant heists + schemes, alongside an intricate and immersive plot that’s as epic as it is unique! A must read for 2019!
Honestly I’m not entirely sure where to start with this review because I’m still trying to process all the brilliance that is The Gilded Wolves!
Before going into all the details of this incredible book, I don’t know if I mention it often, but I am obsessed with historical fantasy! It all started ever since I’d heard about & eventually read this stunning book: The Golem And The Jinni!
Since then as I wait for the sequel (that keeps getting pushed back😭✨) I’ve been filling the void with even more historical fantasy,The Gilded Wolves included, and it went above & beyond my expectations!
Those expectations were pretty high considering its a Roshani Chokshi book & I love a good heist (or should I says heists! But more on that later😉). Now that I’ve finished this gem of a book, not only has it already taken the top spot as my favorite book of the year, but I’m not entirely sure how I can wait an entire year for the next one 😭✨❤
The Gilded Wolves is Chokshi’s newest series which is a historical fantasy set in 1880’s Paris, at the peak of the Exposition Universelle! Right away your sucked into this secret society that is hidden within the shadows of not only Paris, but other parts of the world too and it was so cool to see how Chokshi weaved in different countries and mythology into this story!
It was elements like that which gave a vast look at how the secret society, The Order, Houses, Babel Fragments, and this unique ability known as Forging came to be!
Your introduced to 4-5 different POV’s as you follow this tight-knit crew of thieves who are brought into their latest assignment after a heist uncovers a lead to puzzles & treasure hunts that could bring back the Fallen House!
The crew is made up Séverin, Enrique, Tristan, Zofia & Laila! I can’t put into words just how much I love this clever crew, I love them with all my heart! ❤❤
Séverin Montagnet-Alarie, is the leader and is on a quest to claim heir to his House (House Vanth) again after he was denied and his line was declared dead. Now he works on his own with his crew to take back objects the Order takes in auction or steals (He’s also a hotel owner)! All in hopes that one day, he can have a reputation to get the attention of the Order and have his House back!
There’s Enrique, the witty and hilarious historian! Tristan, a gardener who owns a giant spider and never lets anyone forget it! Laila, a dancer who loves baking & harbors a mysterious secret.
There’s also Zofia, who is a genius with numbers, may be obsessed with fires, & loves a good sugar cookie! And finally there is Hypnos, Séverin’s former childhood friend, who is the Patriarch to House Nyx and while he can be a bit much for the crew to handle–he also just wants a place to belong!
Through the characters your introduced to this ability known as Forging which can take on two different forms: Affinity of Mind or Matter. This can allow a person to have more visible powers like the ability to control elements of the outside world or internal ones such as the ability to read objects and in-turn their connection to person.
I honestly loved every single thing about this book, from the complex story & characters, world-building, the dazzling writing, & non-stop adventure! The way Chokshi weaves so many elements together is just brilliant!
If your a fan of intricate puzzles, treasure hunts, heists and a bit of math–this book is sure to be such a fun read!
Now back to the plot–so after the heist, it leads the group to discovering the Horus Eye and possible location of a Babel Fragment (which is said to be source of Forging power). When it calls to the attention of Hypnos, he tells Séverin if he can do one more “acquisition” which involves stealing those items from the Order, he can give him his title back and Séverin’s future is starting to look clear!
What I love about the multiple POVs so much and is one of the many strengths of this novel is how it allows us to see these characters from their flaws to their moments of triumph. We’re able to look into their talents and moments of growth throughout the story when they are faced with some obstacles along the way!
You learn so much about these characters, their pasts, and hopes for the future and they came to life with each and every page! I can honestly say that its been a while since I’ve been really connected to an ensemble cast such as this one!
Throughout The Gilded Wolves you also see how each of the members has their own goal or objective that will lead them on other paths. My heart broke because you can see how much each of them care for each other and I distinctly remember a line where in Séverin’s POV it mentions that even after the heist he still wants the crew to find reasons to stay! 😭❤✨
I have so much love for this adorable found family Chokshi has created and I’m of course super interested to see where their group dynamic is headed in the sequel ❤❤
Another element I loved about The Gilded Wolves so much was the banter!! THE BANTER– Just-WOW, this is some of the best & funniest banter I’ve read in such a long time! There were also many times I was laughing because this crew was just–hilarious (I love my comedic found family) 😂
Here’s one of my many favorite moments (from Ch. 4):
From Zofia’s POV the crew meet up in the star-gazing room & are waiting for Séverin:
“Tristan followed her gaze and nearly jumped up when he saw Séverin.
‘Must you creep on us like that? I didn’t even hear you come into the room!’
‘It’s part of my aesthetic,’ said Séverin…”
When it comes to the characters as well, this leads me to compare it a little to Six Of Crows! While there are definitely differences between both these books for sure, I have to admit I love Gilded Wolves a lot more than SOC!
Its mainly due to the fact that in The Gilded Wolves, you see so much vulnerability to these characters, but you also see the light that’s still shining within them. I also found that just the way Chokshi develops the Gilded Wolves crew was just done in a way I really loved!
My biggest example of this is when it comes to Séverin! There’s so much emotion & vulnerability to him and we see his struggles as we progress throughout the story, that I loved following his journey! When comparing it to Six Of Crows, Kaz for me seemed to be a very ruthless kind of character and there weren’t many different moments of vulnerability to his character!
There’s moments throughout his chapters where we learn since his parents died, he was moved throughout the different Houses and had 7 fathers (correlating each one to a deadly sin) and with the 2nd one he meets Tristan, so we see how far back these 2 characters go, but also how Séverin grew up impacts his personality and relationships (especially with Laila).
Each of the crew truly came to life and there were definitely moments that had me very emotional when getting into their backstories! 😭✨
Although some can see the comparisons with Six Of Crows, Chokshi’s novel is wholly unique and magical in every way! I found The Gilded Wolves took all the things I love about heists from the lovable crew, elaborate & thought-out plans, the page-turning suspense of an impossible job, and weaved in rich history, puzzles, and phenomenal world-building that all become such important elements to the heist!
Though even with all the complex backstories, sad moments, etc., The Gilded Wolves just left me with this feeling of happiness and empowerment seeing these characters stick through it all, no matter what happens!
Now onto other elements that I adored about this book! So–there are many iconic dynamics & duos and IDK if I’ll ever recover! Of course I was all here for the powerful friendship between Laila & Zofia, the Séverin & Enrique duo, etc. What I also loved was the relationships/romance Chokshi weaved into this book that really sets up for even more interesting dynamics in book 2!
Séverin & Laila are hinted at being together in the past and you see how they carry it with them still, even if they refuse to talk about it–it still impacts how they interact with each other! But overall, I loved how Chokshi made this a different dynamic than just a “first-love.” They were already together, so it was super interesting seeing this after-math to their past relationship and how it develops!
One of my favorite recurring moments in the book was when Laila would call Séverin majnun 😭✨💕
Okay and the dynamic between Enrique & Zofia was the cutest!! (~˘▾˘)~💕💕 I shipped both of these duos so much!!
This is also such a diverse, inclusive & feminist story! From the empowering friendship between Zofia & Laila, and Zofia being an engineer! There’s also diversity to the cast which has Jewish-Polish rep. (Zofia) and explores the autism spectrum, Indian rep. (Laila), Enrique (Spanish-Filipino & Bi-), & Hypnos (dark-skinned), & Séverin (1/2 French & North African)!
I also began annotating Gilded Wolves about 1/2 way through reading it & have used so many sticky tabs–I’m basically tabbing up the entire book at this point! 😂✨ There’s so many funny lines, amazing character moments, and incredible quotes!
I’m so incredibly happy that The Gilded Wolves was my first YA of 2019 because I truly loved it with all my heart!!
Now I want to be vague about how it ends, so I’ll just say those last few chapters really leave you turning the page! Now I have no idea how I’ll wait for the sequel, my heart is just so full after reading this epic book! 😭❤❤✨
I also did a Reading Diary for The Gilded Wolves if your interested in checking that out, where I go into my daily reading progress and go into more depth on spoilers 😍💕✨📚
The Gilded Wolves is a historical fantasy adventure, filled with clever puzzles & even more intriguing heists! There’s a fantastic crew you’ll fall in love with, incredible character development, stunning world-building, all weaved into a brilliant and clever tale! Intrigue, non-stop adventure, heists, puzzles, and mysterious societies, all take center stage as Chokshi delivers a stunning tale set in 1889 Paris! The Gilded Wolves is not a book to miss, highly recommend it!
I also made it a goal in 2019 to promote other book bloggers with my book reviews, so I recommend checking out 😍✨🎉:
The Gilded Wolves ARC Review from Annie over at Blossoms And Bullet Journals
She divided this book review into sections to discuss the main elements of the story and how they contributed to her love of the book!
And similar to my thoughts she explains that even though its pitched for fans of Six Of Crows she says why its unique in its own way!
The unique style to her format and writing really gives you everything you need to know without revealing too much! I definitely recommend this review if you need anymore convincing to read this book! 🎉✨