FANTASY SET IN HISTORICAL PARIS? YES PLEASE. ~ The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi

Review

The Gilded Wolves (The Gilded Wolves, #1)TITLE: The Gilded Wolves
AUTHOR: Roshani Chokshi

RELEASED: January 15, 2019
PUBLISHER: Wednesday Books
FORMAT: eBook

GENRE: YA Fantasy, Historical Fiction
GOODREADS RATING: 4.02

TRIGGERS: Mental abuse, physical abuse, racism, death of a loved one

SYNOPSIS
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.

Standaard

I was in total awe of the cover the first time I stumbled upon The Gilded Wolves. As you all know, I’m usually not that big on historical fiction but.. First the cover, then the blurb and.. I was sold? I’ve only been to Paris once, but I’d love to go back one day. Reading a book set in a city I want to explore more myself? Sounds like a win to me!

The good

And a win it was, people. It took me a bit to get into the story, but that has way more to do with my life being hectic and all over the place. Once I got out of that small slump – if you can even call it that – I got pulled into the story and hardly stopped reading! I wouldn’t say the writing or story is fast-paced, but it definitely isn’t slow either. It flows fluently in a way that’s very enjoyable to read.

The setting? Paris? All the pluses towards that. I could actually envision some of the things mentioned and described. I could see myself staring up at the Eiffel Tower, not to mention almost smell and taste the pastries and cookies mentioned in the book! The use of the French terms / words definitely helped to lose myself in the Parisian setting as well. I love it when authors take the time to add small elements like that.

Everything about him had been so carefully put together. But it didn’t matter how well one’s clothes fit if the skin didn’t.

I’ve been trying to make up my mind about my favorite character in The Gilded Wolves, but I still can’t decide. Séverin is very focused on getting what he deserves, on what’s taken from him. Definitely has his charms. Enrique and Tristan are both very unique in their characters as well. Tristan being the more sensitive one, while Enrique is.. well.. Enrique, hah. Then there’s Laila and Zofia. Both strong, female characters you’re bound to admire and adore! And Laila bakes – just saying. I wish I could get one of her sugar cookies to be honest. In the end, I have to say my weak spot definitely belongs to Zofia. Can’t help it.

All in all, there’s simply a very diverse cast of characters. They’re all different, unique and have their own voice – made even clearer by the switching POV’s. Apart from that, they’re actually diverse in the way I know we all love! Half-Algerian, Filipino, Jewish, queer, autistic, POC and more!

The thing I loved most about this novel though? The slow, slow romance. There’s history on that front, which makes the romantic aspect even more intriguing since it feels like this slow dance of two characters coming closer while still staying apart and.. I don’t know.. It really got to me, had me rooting for them and.. it’s been a while since I felt so passionately about a slow burn romance.

Don’t be sad. Everyone hides.
The bad

The one thing I struggled with – and have seen mentioned in other reviews since reading the book – is the lack of world-building. People say you’re pretty much thrown in there, trying to figure things out on your own and I have to agree. There are plenty of explanations and world-building along the way but it simply doesn’t feel like it’s enough. I need more of it, especially at the start of the novel so you can get a feeling of the world you’re about to enter. It’s a pity this wasn’t done differently really! I think I would’ve enjoyed it just that little bit more if the world hadn’t felt off and all over the place at times.

Nothing was invincible but change.

I honestly thought I wouldn’t be adding anything else to this review – since I write my reviews while reading, sometimes I don’t add anything else after finishing it – but I was wrong this time around. The thing is I really need to mention the ending. It was so.. predictable and I was hoping it would not end the way it did but.. alas.. And I’m honestly so disappointed, but.. I still want to see where the story will go in the sequel?

4
Apart from the “negatives”, I still thoroughly enjoyed reading The Gilded Wolves and read it in no time, once I was into it and not distracted by other things. Definitely worth a read for people enjoying fantasy set in history, people loving slow burn romance and people who want diverse characters!

What are some elements in books you can’t ever say no to?
Diversity? Certain settings? Tropes?

Nametag

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30 thoughts on “FANTASY SET IN HISTORICAL PARIS? YES PLEASE. ~ The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi

  1. Amazing review, Kathy, and I am so glad you enjoyed this book as much as I did! My main gripe is the same: worldbuilding was a little confusing and honestly I think I blocked out the ending? I don’t remember. I will be re-reading once one of my finished copies arrives in the mail, though!

    I didn’t buy the slow burn romance as much, it felt a little more forced to me (but I am a tough sell on romances in general) and I did find the constant mentioning of their pining a little repetitive. but man, overall. MASTERPIECE

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Kaleena! ❤
      Haha, I can imagine you blocking out the ending. It's honestly the first thing I think of whenever I see the cover or title somewhere, but it's quickly followed by "BUT IT WAS SO GOOD." 😛

      Ha, when it comes to romance I'm pretty set on blaming my hormones lately. It seems that whatever kind of romance is fine by me, which wasn't the case before my pregnancy. Oops..
      Now that you mention it, the pining was a bit repetitive, but it didn't bother me at the time of reading so.. that's something, haha.

      I'm SO looking forward to the sequel! [Imagine what THAT cover will be like!]

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Hahaha well I guess it’s a good thing two months after reading I just… well, I remember that one thing but not really how the book ended. Oh wait. I think I do a little. IDK.

      Pregnancy hormones… I have heard that they are WILD! No harm though.

      The cover, the people, the adventure. I need it yesterday!

      Liked by 1 person

    3. That’s the thing with reading a lot of books, haha. I often found myself wondering what exactly happened while knowing I was frustrated about something or loved a specific aspect but I can’t for the life of me remember WHAT. :’)

      They are. They seriously are.

      SAME!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!
      I honestly think this author could do an amazing job in the future but.. world-building definitely needs some work. 🙂 As for the predictability.. I honestly don’t know if I’m the only one who saw that certain “twist” coming or not. Maybe I was simply unlucky on that front, haha.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Okay, so you and Mandy are in agreement about the ending (she also added that she thought something else was going to happen, because otherwise it was just too predictable, but when nothing did she was just kind of like, huh) and the lack of world-building.

    With those two thoughts being echoed, I think I’m going to skip this one? I wasn’t super enticed to begin with, so that really does play a part as well. I’m sorry to say this, but I’m actually NOT a huge Paris fan, ahhaa. Not that I’ve ever been, and not that I actively *dis*like, but if I travel anywhere (by book or by physical body) it has to be hot. Bye snow!

    Great review though!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hah, apparently! Sometimes I can totally ignore a lack of world building, if other aspects of the book are amazing or I’m too engrossed in the plot to actually get bothered by world building and such but.. not this time.

      You don’t have to be a huge Paris-fan! I’m not really either? It’s more like.. That’s one big city – known world-wide – that’s actually NOT that far off, which makes it intriguing to read stories set there. I’m way more of a London-girl, haha. Yes to hot weather though. I’m already looking forward to our holiday in.. 2020? South of France, HERE I COME.

      Thank you, Sha! ❤

      Like

    2. I hear South of France has all the heat! Let’s go 2020! See, I would visit there. I would read about books there. Ah, the sun, my dear friend.

      Yeah, I’m with you about the worldbuilding. If the rest of the book sucks me in and I don’t *notice* that anything is lacking, it won’t bother me either.

      Like

  3. This sounds so good!
    I decided to try some historical stuff, cuz i was under the impression i don’t like this genre, but then looking back, i used to read quite a few and enjoyed them, so maybe i should get back into it 🙂
    I already see i will bug my friend (who is french) about those french words and stuff 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Honestly, it depends so much on what kind of historical books you read! I used to LOATHE anything history-related, until I tried out different genres and now I don’t even mind reading historical fiction once in a while, haha.
      You might even make your friend pick up the book as well that way. 😛

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This is a fantastic review, Kathy! It’s funny, because I was just talking about that book with my sister (she is currently reading it), and we both, well, we three! felt the same way about the world and how… well, it doesn’t feel like enough at times and properly explained for us to completely grasp it all at times? It was a bit frustrating, but personally I loved these characters way too much anyway ❤
    Wonderful review!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I really liked this book and completely agree with you on the ending. So disappointing. But, I’m hoping the sequel will be great and take things in an unsurprising direction. Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m planning to read this too! I’m a sucker for gorgeous covers. If I happen to fall in love (it’s set in Paris after all) with the story maybe I’ll get a physical copy of the book..

    Liked by 1 person

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