Title : The Gilded Wolves
Author : Roshani Chokshi
Genre : YA fantasy, historical fiction
Series : The Gilded Wolves #1
Release Date : January 15th, 2019
Publisher : Wednesday Books
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.
Ever since The Gilded Wolves was released, I’ve heard a lot of things about it. Add in the fact that this book feature a heist involving magical artifacts, I’m practically sold because this sounds like my dream book. This is my first book by Roshani Chokshi, and I’m glad to say that she didn’t disappoint.
The Gilded Wolves follows Severin, who along with his friends Laila, Enrique, Zofia, and Tristan, has to steal a magical artifact for an ancient organization called the Order of the Babel. They’ve been doing “acquisition” for a couple of years, so this one doesn’t seem too different, at least until they found out that one wrong move could destroy the entire civilization.
If I have to pick my favorite thing from this book, I’ll gladly say the found-family trope. There’s just something beautiful about several people—who have different personalities and backgrounds and wouldn’t have met otherwise—joining forces and use their power and knowledge to achieve something. I love the way they support and complement each other. This book has 4 POVs in it, so it’s easier to know what they felt and thought toward each other. Each character has a distinct voice too so it’s quite easy to differentiate between them.
The reason why I only give this book 4 stars is because of the world-building. Don’t get me wrong, I think the world in this book is intriguing and unique. Drawing from the Babel Tower myth, Roshani manage to create a world with an intricate system and filled with magic, all the while staying true to reality. Not only that, Roshani also touched upon the issue often found in marginalized people—particularly colonialism and cultural erasure—which is often forgotten or ignored in historical fiction. Sadly, I feel like the execution kind of fell short, and end up making things confusing. Until the end of this book, I still can’t get a clear picture how this world works, especially regarding the Order of the Babel and its purpose. Since this is the first book, hopefully Roshani will explain more in the sequel.
All in all, if you’re looking for books with amazing characters, I definitely recommend this one! Even if the world-building kinda confusing, I still think this book worth the read since Roshani is a genius. And lastly, I just want to say that no, The Gilded Wolves is not a Six of Crows rip-off. The only similarities are both books feature heist and found-family trope, but everything else—from the plot, the world, and even the characters’s personalities—are different.