The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi
Paris in 1889 is a dazzling backdrop to any story, but add in a magical heist and it becomes breathtaking. Séverin Montagnet-Alaire was set to lead the House of Vanth until his birthright was taken from him. Dismissed by the other great Houses, Séverin creates his own fortune with his lavish and successful hotel, and by stealing back what rightfully belongs to him. He and his crew of unlikely treasure hunters set out to reclaim the magical artifacts belonging to the House of Vanth, as well as creating trouble for the ruling order over all the Houses of France, the Order of Babel.
When another House leader offers Séverin the opportunity to reclaim his rightful place as head of his House, Séverin leads his team onto a dangerous journey that will test everyone’s skills and loyalties.
This book has an amazing cast of characters and their magical, or forging, abilities are fascinating. There’s Laila, born stillborn but crafted into a new body by magicians, has the ability to read all objects, except those forged, with her touch. Zofia, a socially awkward and completely genius engineer, has a tendency to magically start fires and cause explosions. Tristan with his love of insects, especially large spiders, and his ability to forge incredible flowers. Enrique with his love of history and his disappointment at being unable to forge. All members of Séverin’s team and bound to him through magical contracts. The group is such a tight knit family that completely accepts one another for who they are and without judgement.
The world building within this story is incredible. The magical ability to forge dictates your place within a family and within society and abilities differ from person to person. The way the character’s outfits and costumes can change with a sweep of a hand would be incredible to see on the big screen-or you know, the t.v. screen because it would be a great series. Laila has a headband type piece that transforms into her entire costume and it sounds incredible. The story is fast paced with with plenty of action to keep the pages turning.
Political intrigue, mysterious artifacts, magical abilities-it’s all so amazing.
I loved this story and I’m looking forward to what will come next in the series.
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Full disclosure time: I borrowed this copy from the Library. Don’t see it at your Library? Recommend it to your favorite Librarian. It’ll make them look really good when it gets checked out right away!