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  • ★★★★-4

Review: The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi (Spoiler-Free)

This was quite great, and I was not expecting that. I have no idea why, but I went into this book expecting not to like it that much, probably because of the time period it takes place in. I'm not usually a fan of books that take place too far in the past, but that assessment was VERY wrong for this book. Which is a good thing. The setting for this book was interesting in the sense that you really got to see how the time period affected the characters. For example, Laila, who is an Indian woman, battles with the struggle of having a dark skin tone in Paris at the time. Being mistaken for a servant countless times surely puts a burden on someone. Of course, this is demonstrated through many other characters as well. Plot-wise, I went into this book wary too. It's pitched as a heist story, and that is one of my favorite tropes, but also one that can be done wrong. I was afraid it wouldn't live up to the epicness of other heist stories like Six of Crows or the Now You See Me movies. Luckily, I was wrong yet again. The heists in this book were super exciting and had a total Indiana Jones vibe. There were so many twists and turns throughout the plot, and that honestly might be one of my only critiques for this book. At times I did find myself confused, and that may have been due to any of these three reasons: 1) The book was just confusing? Most likely not this, but always a possibility. 2) I read this on vacation so I couldn't put all of my usual brainpower into it. 3) I read this on Kindle, and for some reason I never connect to Kindle books as easily as I do for physical books. While I was at times confused by the plot, and at the beginning felt a disconnect from the characters, as the story progressed I got more and more into it. By the end I was fully engrossed and I really want to read the sequel. Lastly, I would like to discuss the amazing cast of characters from this book. There were six main characters in this story, and I would say that each one was arguably as interesting as the next. Let's give a quick rundown, shall we? ❇ Séverin- Even though he's presented as the protagonist, I honestly feel like I know the least about him. I love the dynamic he presents with Laila (even if he is a complete jerk in that one scene near the end), and his emotions towards her are incredibly engaging. I need to see where his character goes in the rest of the series. ❇ Laila- SISTER SNATCHED. That ending scene with her and Séverin though. I felt her break a couple of chapters before, but man, did she bounce back. She is an immensely strong female character, especially when she transforms into L'Énigme. I need more of her and the angst with Séverin in book two. Now. ❇ Zofia- This girl might actually be me in an alternate reality. She has trouble with social interactions (most likely a form of autism or asperger's, but it remains unnamed because it would not have been identified in the 1800's), and is in love with math and physics. She uses numbers to calm down and appreciates the Fibonacci Sequence. I swear, the author somehow read my mind and infused it into this character. Also she's Jewish, and I'm half Jewish, so clearly Zofia=Emily here. ❇ Enrique- Oh Enrique. In love with history, symbology, and maybe a dude in this squad of characters *wink wink*. Or a girl. Who knows?? Because we have a bisexual love triangle on our hands and I don't know what to do with it. THIS IS WHY I NEED THE NEXT BOOK NOW. ❇ Hypnos- He might be tied with Zofia for my favorite character in this book. With quotes like: "You're like a plague." "What was that? I'm all the rage?" Hypnos cupped a hand to his ear, then grinned. What is there not to love? ❇ Tristan- A little jelly bean. All in all, a great book and I'm kind of sad that I read it so early, because now I have to wait over a year for the sequel. *sniffles*

Song I was reminded of while reading: Thief

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