THE GILDED WOLVES by Roshani Chokshi is a fun and history-inspired heist book. This post DOES CONTAIN SPOILERS.
If you would like to read the spoiler-free post click here. To begin, here is the summary and the shortened review:
Summary: 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.
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Why I was interested: I enjoyed reading Chokshi’s other books including THE STAR-TOUCHED QUEEN and I love a good heist story so I knew early on that I was going to pick this book up.
Judge a book by it’s cover: I love the vibrant green and the hints at the Belle Époque era.
What to expect: A great heist books filled with clever magic and history that needs to be discussed.
Why you should pick this book up: If you love history, diversity, and heists — this book is for you.
Want more?: If you have read THE GILDED WOLVES, you can read the summary containing spoilers below. Roshani Chokshi also has other books published including young adult fantasies THE STAR-TOUCHED QUEEN, its companion story, A CROWN OF WISHES, and their collection of short stories, STAR-TOUCHED STORIES. She also has written the middle grade ARU SHAW AND THE END OF TIME series.
ATTENTION: IF YOU HAVE YET TO READ THE GILDED WOLVES do not continue reading. The following contains spoilers for the book.
Roshani Chokshi’s heist historical fantasy, THE GILDED WOLVES, is a fantastic book with fantastic characters. What shines brightest in TGW is Chokshi’s use of diversity in each character’s personalities, backgrounds, and strengths. Because of each character’s uniqueness, TGQ becomes a powerful read while also being a top-notch heist book.
According to Tor.com, Séverin Montagnet-Alarie is a disowned half-French half-Algerian illegitimate son of a House of Babel leader; Zofia is an arson-inclined autistic Polish Jew; Enrique is a bisexual half-Spanish half-Filipino historian; Tristan is Séverin’s younger brother; Laila is an Indian girl with a dark secret; and Hypnos is a queer half-French half-Haitian Patriarch. Each character also faces some kind of backlash to their uniqueness which offers a raw, realistic interpretation of what those who are of diverse backgrounds or situations faced in the 1890s and still face today.
On a larger scale, both the heist and working against the Fallen House reflects on the colonialism of the time. A powerful scene which shows this is when the group is at a party thrown by the House Kore and Hypnos gives them each an identity which comments on their diversity. For example, Zofia becomes a Russian duchess at a time where Russia controlled most of Poland and is known for killing many Jews. This is for the characters to be the opposite of who they are to not be discovered, and while it’s uncomfortable for them, the strategic discussion on these character’s diversity is shown well.
Chokshi’s THE GILDED WOLVES is a powerful heist featuring characters (and their cultures) who had so much taken from them and now have the opportunity to take back what is rightfully theirs. The diversity of the characters — especially Hypnos as he is my favorite character — and the reflection of history makes me excited as we travel to Russia in Book 2.
What did you think of Roshani Chokshi’s THE GILDED WOLVES? I’d love to hear your comments below!
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