The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi
What happens when you miss Six of Crows?
You read more fantasy squad novels!
Ok, so The Gilded Wolves isn’t exactly Six of Crows, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Nobody wants a carbon copy of a story anyway. But The Gilded Wolves has the same ~essence~; multiple narratives, all a part of the same kick-ass squad. At no point did I feel the characters’ personalities blur into one another’s. Each was distinct and had a clear voice, and of course, I gotta pick my favourites (which I won’t tell you because they’re all my children).
I recently went to a book talk with Victoria Schwab. And, while everything that came out of her mouth was brilliant and profound, one of the best things she said was:
“In fantasy, readers read the first book for plot and setting. Readers read the second book for the characters.”
And it’s so true. But I think in The Gilded Wolves, this idea was turned on its head. I’m not sure I like that. While I love these characters and their dynamic, I think the focus on them meant the plot and the setting got a little lost along the way.
The setting, however, is one I absolutely love. The end of the century in Paris. La Belle Epoque. Moulin Rouge. It’s so easy to picture and one of my favourite settings to read about. Throw in some subtle magic and secret societies and I’m there. But as the story continued, I began to feel the plot becoming more like a maze. The magic became harder to imagine, and backstories and villainous motives became unclear.
Despite loving Six of Crows’ multiple POVs and enjoying The Gilded Wolves’ characters, did it make it harder to read what was going on? Absolutely. And I think if I didn’t enjoy the characters so much, I might have even given up on this book. Right towards the end, I wasn’t interested in the plot anymore, just the characters and their interactions.
Which you would think go hand in hand with plot.
I’m not really sure where the plot was going; I don’t know if this was because it was confusing or because I suddenly can’t remember. Probably a little bit of both.
I would love to see what happens in the next book and whether this plot can be salvaged, but I really don’t think characters should have to carry you to the end of the first book…. maybe the second book, but we’re not there yet.
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Release Date: January 2019