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The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi
Young adult

The Gilded Wolves

by Roshani Chokshi

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Quick take

An ousted monarch and his team of genius misfits embark on a dangerous treasure hunt that might cost them their lives.

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_400

    400+ pages

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_ForbiddenLove

    Forbidden love

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Puzzle

    Puzzle

  • Illustrated icon, Icons_Series

    First in series

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.

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The Gilded Wolves

Prologue

The matriarch of House Kore was running late for a dinner. In the normal course of things, she did not care for punctuality. Punctuality, with its unseemly whiff of eagerness, was for peasants. And she was neither a peasant nor eager to endure a meal with the mongrel heir of House Nyx.

“What is taking my carriage so long?” she yelled down the hall.

If she arrived too late, she would invite rumors. Which were a great deal more pesky and unseemly than punctuality.

She flicked at an invisible speck of dust on her new dress. Her silk gown had been designed by the couturiers of Raudnitz & Cie in the 1st arrondissement’s Place Vendôme. Taffeta lilies bobbed in the blue silk stream of her hemline. Across the gown’s low bustle and long tulle train, miniature fields of buttercups and ivy unfurled in the candlelight. The Forging work had been seamless. As well it should be, given the steep price.

Her driver poked his head through the entryway. “Deepest apologies, Madame. We are very nearly ready.”

The matriarch flicked her wrist in dismissal. Her Babel Ring—a twist of dark thorns shot through with blue light—gleamed. The ring had been welded to her index finger the day she became matriarch of House Kore, successfully beating out other members of her family and intra-House scrambles for power. She knew her descendants and even members of her House were counting down the days until she died and passed on the ring, but she wasn’t ready yet. And until then, only she and the House Nyx patriarch would know the ring’s secrets.

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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.

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Member ratings (1,131)

  • Rebecca S.

    DORAL , FL

    "Fléctere si néqueo súperos acheronta movebo (if i cannot move heaven, I will raise hell)." I got into this book knowing nothing about, I have seen it a couple of times in booktok, but I was surprise

  • Rebecca C.

    Pasadena, CA

    I love books in Paris. They’re always imaginitive and beautiful. This book was gripping and adventurous and makes you want to explore all the mysteries about the city of Paris to uncover the legends.

  • Kerri M.

    Walpole, MA

    What a stunning beginning to a series! I loved everything about this, from the world-building to the fast paced plot. My favorite, however, were all the wonderful characters & the found family aspect.

  • Laura M.

    Zumbrota, MN

    Adored the 1889 World's Fair setting, the science-y magic system, the fascinating characters (esp Zofia), and all the riddles! Such an interesting world and exciting heists--can't wait for the sequel!

  • Joya M.

    College Station, TX

    Chokshi writes with a good understanding of how the aftereffects of colonialism would affect her cast. A heist book with a tightly knit band of polyamorous outcasts + richly diverse characters. Love!

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