An ousted monarch and his team of genius misfits embark on a dangerous treasure hunt that might cost them their lives.
Good to know
First in series
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.
Why I love it
Here is a short list of things I love in my YA fantasy: a widely diverse cast of characters, a unique magic system, rollicking adventure, and pointed criticism of colonialism. Roshani Chokshi's The Gilded Wolves delivers on all counts.
The Gilded Wolves follows a group of talented misfits—led by the ambitious Séverin—on a treasure hunt for a magical artifact that could alter the future of civilization. Racing through an alternative Belle Epoque France suffused with beautiful but cruel magic, Séverin and his accomplices wrestle with real-world issues of race and privilege and the fantastical threats that haunt their society.
This book is beautifully written, and I loved falling headfirst into its sumptuous descriptions of magic: silk and velvet gowns that transform into weapons; luminous flowers that react to moonlight; statues that come to life to track down thieves. Chokshi’s vivid imagination is out in full force on the page, and I savored every small detail she wove into the story. The Gilded Wolves is the perfect read for the winter season, and I highly recommend it for anyone looking for an escape into a shining new world.