From New York Times bestselling author Roshani Chokshi comes The Gilded Wolves, a novel set in Paris during a time of extraordinary change—one that is full of mystery, decadence, and dangerous desires…
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.
Y’all should know me well enough to know that this book was going to be a hit with me. Let’s be real, I am very predictable; boys in suspenders and treasure hunting plots are never going to flop with me. Anyways, I do have some thoughts.
Although I did enjoy this book, it was hard for me to really get into. The author has a very unique, vivid, and captivating writing style that was a great hit with me from the beginning. However, it had a bit of The Red Queen syndrome, to be honest.
I know this will be a very unpopular opinion, but the story had a lot of similarities in plot and character to Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows that made it fall a bit short for me. I have seen many reviews point this out, and then validate it by saying “there are different vibes,” or “a different atmosphere.” However, that does not make the plotline seem any more original to me. Obviously Bardugo has not monopolized the YA heist storyline, others are allowed to have similar plots, but the general character types and dynamics were also incredibly similar, making this book fall a bit short for me overall (as it just didn’t feel as original). The plot just felt very generic next to Choksi’s very unique and colorful writing style (which I loved).
That being said, I very much enjoyed The Gilded Wolves. I was one of those kids who adored National Treasure and the idea of hunting down artifacts from both the real and fictional worlds. In that sense, this story very much lived up to my expectations, as the plot was full of mythical easter eggs and puzzles that made some critical thinking required.
On the character front, as I mentioned, this book fell a bit short for me. With the exception of Zofia, all of the characters seemed a bit like historical fiction cookie cutters of the characters in Six of Crows. I didn’t feel much of a connection to them or their relationships, and didn’t feel much of a attachment to their goals and motivations either. In terms of characters, the only reason I would pick up the sequel is to make sure Zofia gets to live the life she deserves *shakes fist at the heavens*.
All in all, I did enjoy this novel. The writing style is beautiful, and reminded me quite a lot of Susan Dennard’s Something Strange and Deadly with a Leigh Bardugo dark twist. I Look forward to reading more of Choksi’s work, and seeing if the sequel rings a bit more true with me, as I really connected to her storytelling style.
3 out of 5.