Reviews

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 Gilded Wolves book

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
Rating: ☆.5
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2 Comments

  1. Kelsey @ There's Something About KM

    March 29, 2019 at 6:21 pm

    I had a similar experience as you did with the plot of this book. I felt a bit lost through all the action, and felt that the timeline was a bit too fluid. I backtracked several times because when I finally had a grasp on where the story was, time seemed to lurch forward. I also sort of wish the book was longer/took more time to describe crucial elements of the world’s structure.
    Nonetheless, I am looking forward to the next book – if only to follow Zofia. 😏😆

  2. thewolfandbooks

    April 4, 2019 at 10:51 pm

    I am about 40% in and I couldn’t put my finger on what didn’t feel right. I absolutely love the characters and their interactions but it started to lose a sense of urgency, I think. I really, really, really need suspense to turn the pages faster. Like, even in Contemporary. In Love, Simon he’s dealing with being an in the closet gay kid while also trying to find out who his secret online crush is. Almost *any* layer of suspense added to a book and I’ll be hooked.

    1. “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.”

    2. “The magic became harder to imagine, and backstories and villainous motives became unclear.”

    I’m not even finished yet, but I feel like I strongly agree with those two points. I actually had a hard time with Six of Crows because it wasn’t fast-paced enough for me. I ended up loving Crooked Kingdom more. So I think for The Gilded Wolves, it’s pretty slow-paced for something meant to have an air of mystery. Like you said, I’m still hooked because of the characters but would like a deeper plot at the point I’m at in the story.

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