Thrilling, gritty ... Chokshi shines as a master storyteller in her newest novel; the setting, world building, plot, and conflict are all staggering. However, the elements that perhaps shine the most are the history, riddles, mysteries, and science, woven together in a world brimming with power and magic.
I can’t write a review about Roshani Chokshi’s The Gilded Wolves. What’s there to say? It’s great, a marvel, lightning in a bottle. It’s an extremely well-written and tightly plotted series opener jam-packed with captivating dialogue and mesmerizing description. Not putting it at the top of your TBR pile would be a travesty. There, review done.
The author does an excellent job of blending fantasy, history and reality to create a unique, lushly imagined world which glitters with the opulence of La Belle Époque but shows the shadows in which the dark stain of colonialism cast upon a large portion of the world’s population. The fantasy aspect weaves gently and naturally through this universe, the rich costumes, decadent cuisine and fabulous, lavish parties of the era a perfect fit for the luxurious, often ornate, magic of Forging ... The author has a writing style entirely suited to such work. She paints word pictures which are always sumptuous, gorgeous, and posh. Her characters might face hardship and hatred but they do so in style. This really adds to the enchantment of the work, forging an extra layer of bewitchment to the text ... the first book of a trilogy that promises to be entertaining, engrossing and utterly enjoyable. This is a must read for fantasy fans.
With a diverse ensemble—characters are multiracial, from different cultural and religious backgrounds, have differing sexualities, and one character is non-neurotypical—Chokshi challenges the notion that historical fantasy novels (even those with a European setting) must be populated by mostly white characters. She balances four points of view, although the lack of any significant entry into the psyche of two major characters is awkward, especially in light of their significance to the plot ... The glittering and lavish 1890s setting is the perfect complement to the marvelous possibilities of Forging, and the chemistry between Chokshi’s romantic pairs is realistic yet slightly off-script from what readers may expect. In this delicious first entry in a new series from a veteran YA author, readers will find sumptuous visuals, deep characters and a maddening eleventh-hour twist.
There can be no doubt that Chokshi has grown as a writer with each book, and The Gilded Wolves takes us to a new level of intrigue. The diverse characters each have an iconic presence and the necessary tragic backstory. Their intertwining friendships are artfully crafted, giving us a multitude of reasons to root for them as they sprint their way through the plot. The world is lush and complex, blending magic and technology with the golden glimmer of late nineteenth century Paris. And the heist itself is breakneck, tumbling from one incident to the next with mindboggling complexity ... Individually, I love all three of these sides that make up the book's narrative triangle — character, world, and plot. But when they all come together, the whole becomes almost bloated. There are so many characters with unique motivations, so many magical artifacts and conventions, and so many twists that it becomes difficult to feel truly grounded in the story ... The element of this book that most excited me is one that was never fully realized — but hinted at strongly enough that I have hope it may be the focus of whatever adventures may follow in sequels.
Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows (2015) and Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code (2003) converge in this dazzling new fantasy ... Readers will be fascinated by each cast member’s unique background and personal motives. Chokshi creatively reimagines history, weaving fantastical elements with symbology and broadening the scope of her narrative by integrating multiethnic worldviews ... An opulent heist adventure that will leave readers voracious for more.
Spellbinding ... Evocative writing, sumptuous set pieces, and vividly sketched, authentically flawed characters distinguish this immersive tale of found family and star-crossed romance. Kaleidoscopic narration complements the intricate, high-stakes plot and allows Chokshi to showcase numerous aspects of her richly imagined universe all the way to the closing cliff-hanger.