Paris’ Underbelly in The Gilded Wolves | Spoiler-free Review

The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi

5 Star Rating System 5 stars

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Author: Roshani Chokshi
Published: April 2019
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Pages: 388 {paperback}

Review on Goodreads

Big thanks to Pan Macmillan for sending me a copy of this in exchange for an honest review!

Initial Thoughts upon Finishing

There have been a bunch of mixed reviews about this book but there was not a single thing I didn’t love about it?! This book felt like the most wonderful mix of Six of Crows (Leigh Bardugo) and Enchantée (Gita Trelease). Like, I swear, there could not be a more perfect comparison. The characters were AMAZING – the best squad goals ever – the magic was awesome, and the plot was gripping.


The Gilded Wolves

This book is set in 19th century Paris and was inspired by Chokshi’s own research on the era, focussing on the Exposition Universelle. Think of this as alternate historical fiction. There are several ‘houses’ that hold power and influence and Séverin is the heir to one of these . . . but his inheritance was denied (inheritance = him become the patriarch of his household). Another of the houses fell many years ago and most information about it has been lost.

He desperately wants his title back and in true Kaz Brekker style, he found himself a team of misfits with unique talents to help him achieve his goals. Everyone is a part of this team for their own, ulterior goals, but they make a wonderful family and the raw friendship and loyalty between them all is fantastic.

A plot is set in motion for these characters to follow Séverin on his most outlandish goal yet that could risk all their lives. This plot is to help him win back his inheritance. But literally everything keeps going wrong and the quick thinking, steampunk-esque inventions and improvisation that happens throughout to keep them all alive was EXCITING.


Things I Loved

One of the first things I loved what the total abundance of representation in this book. Chokshi is Filipino herself and one of the characters in this book is too. We explore his difficulties in trying to achieve his goals but knowing, in this era, that he will be blocked because of the clash of his appearance and who he wants to be (refreshingly, this being that he wants to be a part of a Filipino community but he doesn’t look especially Filipino so they don’t want him).

We have Laila who is Indian and has the most incredibly unique power. Through her, we explore how her culture’s sacred dance is exploited for the fun and frivolity of others. We have Enrique who is repping out LGBT+ community is a nice, natural way. We have Zofia who is autistic and it’s done SO well. We also have Hypnos who was like an adult-child (I honestly don’t remember how old he is, I think he’s meant to be around Séverin’s age?) but I imagined him as a seriously immature adult, which was great.

Like seriously?! This book is A+ for ticking the boxes. But most importantly, it’s done so nicely and not in a way that seems like the author is trying too hard to please all. Each and every one of the characters makes so much sense. Zofia was hands down my favourite. If we don’t get a spin-off series on her I will have a tantrum.


Historical Setting?

I would have loved this book to have been a bit longer to appreciate the time period some more, but I’m a total history nerd and love throwing myself into these things. I LOVED that Chokshi picked the World’s Fair as her setting. I find this on-going event (it’s being held in Dubai, 2020) to be a great source of fascination for me.

It’s something a lot of people have never heard of? Like maybe people are aware of it in that they know why the Eiffel Tower was built. But I just think it’s so cool that countries come together to show off their culture! In 2015 (I think) I had the chance to go to the World Fair in Milan and that was super cool. I just think it’s fascinating that it’s an event that has stretched so far through history. But best of all, it introduced a dramatic setting for the book and some nice thought-provoking moments.


Summary

This book is not to be missed guys. It’s brimming full of FUN things with the best team of characters ever to be written (genuinely not sure if I’m even exaggerating there). I enjoy each page so much and I’m so excited for the series to continue on. I never want to have to say goodbye to these characters!


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Happy reading!

~~ Kirstie ~~

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11 thoughts on “Paris’ Underbelly in The Gilded Wolves | Spoiler-free Review

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