Roshani Chokshi is one of my favorite authors and people. I have read almost every single book she has written, and each one is magical. I expected her new novel to be the same. THE GILDED WOLVES is distinct from Chokshi’s other books in that it combines historical fiction and fantasy. While I have seen comparisons between THE GILDED WOLVES and SIX OF CROWS, I think they are very different stories with some resemblances, but fans of Leigh Bardugo will likely love THE GILDED WOLVES.
A19th-century Paris setting combined with a sophisticated, politically-driven magic system makes THE GILDED WOLVES a genuinely enchanting read. Because the book features many points of view and an extensive cast of characters all with compelling backstories and fascinating motivations, it is difficult to pick one favorite character. Even with a mesmerizing setting, it is the characters that make this story addicting. Severin is the leader of the pack, but he is also mysterious and hard to figure out. Zofia is one of my favorites because she is socially clueless yet no one would not survive without her. Laila is probably the most intriguing character because of her background, which slowly reveals itself. Enrique is also a favorite because of his humor and brilliance. Tristan was a character I was kind of indifferent toward because his point of view was not one I read from. It is also worth mentioning that the beginning of THE GILDED WOLVES is a little bit confusing, and you have to anxiously wait for the pieces to come together on the page.
At the beginning of the story, readers are thrown into one of the crew’s many heists to steal magical artifacts. Throughout the novel, different objects arise as the target of these elaborate heists. Even though I did not expect plot twists and turns, but they made the story. Zofia and Enrique cleverly and quickly solve complicated riddles and puzzles throughout the story that impressed me. When a picture may be difficult to imagine in your head from the descriptions when it comes to these clues, the book features sketches of them so you can theorize what the clue means if you want. Chokshi succeeds in writing completely atmospheric reads with a writing style I can only describe as captivating and elegant. The additional books set in the world of THE GILDED WOLVES have incredible potential to expand this intriguing magic system.
I highly recommend THE GILDED WOLVES to readers who enjoy fantasy that develops relatively slowly. While the story is hard to put down, I would not consider it very fast paced. If you like Roshani’s writing style in THE STAR-TOUCHED QUEEN and CROWN OF WISHES, you will also love her writing style in this book. While plot-wise and setting-wise this book is entirely different from her other books, I am thrilled that she has taken this new direction and has created a riveting new world.