The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi

Ahhh, 2019. Here you are. You started out a little rough, but nothing we can’t handle. Besides, there are too many good books coming out this year for you to be terrible. The Gilded Wolves is one of those and such a start to the new year.

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Title: The Gilded Wolves (The Gilded Wolves #1) {464 pages}

Publication Date: January 15, 2019

Genre: Fantasy

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.

Review:

First off, go back up the page and take another look at that cover. Is that not the most gorgeous cover you’ve ever seen? I passed it on NetGalley, took a second look, took a third look, then finally checked out the summary. I had already been in just by the cover, and the summary pushed me over the edge.

Now, come on back down and we’ll jump right into the meat of the book.

Séverin, a young man hellbent on revenge against the Order of Babel. Enrique, his historian who wants to finally be home. Zofia, an engineer with a heart of steel, or at least that’s what she wants everyone to think. Laila, the kind of dancer that can bring men to their knees. Tristan, Séverin’s adoptive brother who wants nothing more than for his friends to be family. These are our gilded wolves, the kids who run the streets from behind the scenes. When they connect with Hypnos, the heir to House Nix, all hell breaks loose, but that’s the only kind of life that these wolves know.

I’m a sucker for fantasies, no matter how many times I’ve told myself I was going to stay away from them, and any fantasy set in France {or a French-like atmosphere, let’s be honest here} is a for sure in my book. The Gilded Wolves is so much more than a sumptuously told story in a beautiful locale, but imagining these gorgeous characters slinking through the shadows of France is too good to pass up.

Let’s get this out of the way, first: Séverin and Leila. Wooooo. {Imagine me fanning my face with a feather fan.} Whenever those two were in the same room together, I was honestly surprised that Roshani Chokshi’s next sentence wasn’t, And then the room burst into flames by the pure sexual tension pouring from these two. Like, for reals. There were times when I felt like I should ask if I should leave the room, because they were obviously so in love and they both knew they couldn’t do anything about it.

Oh, the stubbornness of former heirs and present dancers.

Enrique, Tristan, and Hypos were all fine boys. Sweet and cunning and smooth and severely extroverted, the three of them ran the gamut of characteristics. But we’re not here in this paragraph to talk about them. No way, we’re here to talk about the wolf of my heart: Zofia. The small girl whose inventions were breathtakingly original, whose life was hanging by a string held by her beloved sister, whose social skills were the same as a loose nail sticking up from a stair. She kept the wolves safe, but the real joy was watching her trying to interact with her friends, or the people that kept calling themselves her friends. She seemed to have no idea of camaraderie, because she only had her sister in her life, and even that relationship was upside down. Zofia was not so much a sister as a mother trying to keep her sister afloat and happy. But, oh, Zofia, how I love you. You made me smile and laugh by just being you, and I’m waiting patiently for The Gilded Wolves 1.5: All About Zofia.

Characters aside, the story surrounding these wolves was stressful and thrilling. Roshani Chokshi weaves the kind of tale that comes to life before your eyes, and you can practically smell the smoky dancing hall and taste Laila’s delicious desserts. With just a few words, Chokshi manages to wrap the wolves’ troubles around you, squeezing tighter and tighter until you feel like these are your problems now. She keeps the twists coming, all the way until the very end. By the time I reached the end of this novel, I was spent, torn between so many different emotions that I honestly sat there for five minutes trying to get my brain back together.

Yeah, The Gilded Wolves is that good.

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