The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi
Published by Wednesday Books on January 15, 2019 (expected)
Series: The Gilded Wolves, #1
Genre(s): fiction, fantasy, historical fiction, young adult
Format & Length: e-book, 464
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Set in a darkly glamorous Paris, the book follows a charismatic but cursed heir of a massive fortune as he plots to steal one of three ancient and powerful artifacts of fate. He and his crew will navigate the elite gatherings of secret occult societies, traveling through Paris’ catacombs where they must confront their worst secrets as well as a destiny they never imagined.
I won’t lie, the cover of The Gilded Wolves is what initially drew my attention to this book. But its contents only served to pull me in more for an immersive, complex, and satisfying reading experience.
The beginning of the story was a bit slow but intriguing. It took some time to build up the world and become acquainted with the characters. Understandably so. Although categorized as a historical fantasy set in 1889 Paris, part of me wants to classify this as an alternate history. And it was quite an interesting one, at that! Actual historical elements are woven together with fiction, biblical stories, and myths for a complex world that feels realistic.
The characters in The Gilded Wolves are correspondingly complex and realistic. They are a motley crew of friends from a variety of backgrounds with unique experiences, talents, and concerns. Through these characters’ voices, Chokshi manages to deal with some tough and relevant themes, including racism, colonization, cultural erasure, and so much more without feeling like she is beating the reader over the head.
Appropriately, the plot was also complex. While it could be condensed into one sentence saying it’s about a group of friends planning a heist, there is so much more to it than that. The plot, characters, and setting all feed each other in an authentic way, making for an utterly believable story.
The Gilded Wolves is not what I would call an easy read. But if you’re willing to push through to acclimate with the world and characters, it is definitely rewarding. This is the first book I’ve read by Roshani Chokshi but it won’t be the last; I can’t wait to see what happens in the next installment!
*Thanks to the publisher for providing an arc of this edition via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.