The Gilded Wolves is an engrossing treasure hunt story filled with magic and mystery and populated by a lovable ensemble cast.
Set in a darkly glamorous world, The Gilded Wolves is full of mystery, decadence, and dangerous but thrilling adventure.Goodreads
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.
Reasons why I loved The Gilded Wolves:
🐺 The cast of characters
One of my favorite aspects of this book is its lovable ensemble cast. These are the four narrators:
Séverin: mysterious hotel owner who was unable to take his rightful position as the heir of House Vanth because of his mixed-race bloodline.
Laila: baker, dancer, basically everyone’s mom. She can read an object’s history by touching it.
Enrique: resident historian, really sweet and really smart.
Zofia: math & science genius, gets super anxious and awkward about social situations.
And then there are also these two main characters:
Tristan: adorable little child who just wants to do magic-y things with plants and hang out with his pet tarantula.
Hypnos: House head who knew Séverin as a kid. Funny and impossible not to adore.
🐺 And more specifically, their relationships
The way that all of these characters love each other is so heartwarming. Found family is one of my absolute favorite tropes, and that’s exactly what this gang of misfits is.
There are so many complex relationships between the six of them, from the slight love triangle, to Séverin and Laila’s complicated history, and the brotherly dynamic between Séverin and Tristan.
🐺 The history
Okay so I’m a total nerd and all of the historical info that was woven into this story was INCREDIBLE. I’m not an expert or anything, but it seems to me like Roshani Chokshi really did her research.
It was also perfect timing for me because I read The Gilded Wolves at the same time that I was studying the French Revolution in my history class. (The book is set after the revolution took place, but there were some references.)
It was also really cool how the magic system and the historical elements were blended together.
🐺 The themes and important discussions
The Gilded Wolves talks about racism and colonialism and slavery, and these issues were also woven into the story really well. Chokshi artfully balances portraying a wealth of diversity and realistically illustrating the horrible ways in which these characters would have been treated had they really lived in the 19th century.
🐺 The beautiful writing
This was my first book from this author, but I had heard about her beautiful prose, and The Gilded Wolves did not disappoint. The writing was stunning.
🐺 The Six of Crows vibes
This book has been pitched for fans of Six of Crows, which I 100% agree with. While some would say that the books are too similar, I think that The Gilded Wolves is wonderful in its own right, and the SoC vibes that it evokes are a positive, not a negative. There are still plenty of aspects that make it unique, especially the setting and the history.
The Gilded Wolves is a gorgeously told novel, steeped in historical knowledge and inhabited by characters who melted my heart. I would highly recommend it, and am already greatly anticipating the sequel!
Diversity Rep: French-Algerian main character; Filipino-Spanish main character who’s bisexual or pansexual (not stated explicitly); Indian main character; Jewish main character who is possibly on the autism spectrum (not stated explicitly because of the time period); non-straight main character
Warnings: colonialism, racism, and cultural erasure (all challenged/treated negatively); violence; on-page death and references to death of a parent; abuse; stillbirth; anxiety attacks; parental neglect; mentions of suicide; bullying; animal abuse; sexual content
Do you plan on picking up The Gilded Wolves when it releases in January? Have you read anything else by Roshani Chokshi? (And should I read her other books?) Are any of you stans of the found family trope too? Are you into Six of Crows? Talk to me in the comments!
Thank you to the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!