Diverse Books, YA Books

The Silvered Serpents by Roshani Chokshi – ARC Review

This book is pure pain but I loved every second of it.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Séverin and his team members might have successfully thwarted the Fallen House, but victory came at a terrible cost — one that still haunts all of them. Desperate to make amends, Séverin pursues a dangerous lead to find a long lost artifact rumored to grant its possessor the power of God.

Their hunt lures them far from Paris, and into the icy heart of Russia where crystalline ice animals stalk forgotten mansions, broken goddesses carry deadly secrets, and a string of unsolved murders makes the crew question whether an ancient myth is a myth after all.

As hidden secrets come to the light and the ghosts of the past catch up to them, the crew will discover new dimensions of themselves. But what they find out may lead them down paths they never imagined.

This sequel was spectacular and pure pain but I loved it so much. Roshani’s writing is incredible and she had me completely enthralled by the hidden world she has created within our world. In this book the story continues soon after the events of the first book and we see how everything that happened in The Gilded Wolves has affected and changed each of the characters.

My place is wherever I damn well please.

Laila is my queen, I loved her so much in this book and how she handles everything despite everything going on she makes sure that they are all okay. I especially loved seeing her friendship with Zofia and how she looks out for her and the love between them. She also has a wonderful relationship with Enrique and it was so beautiful to see Zofia and Enrique accept her completely.

Severin is in a dark place in this book and does things out of desperation and fear of losing the rest of them like Tristan. Even though it is clear that he loves them all, he pushes them away and creates a wall around himself which creates tension between him and the others, especially with Laila. Honestly the way he treats Laila at times, I was screaming at her to slap some sense into him.

I wish my love was more beautiful.

Enrique, Hypnos and Zofia also have their own issues to deal with as well as trying to find the divine lyrics with Severin and Laila. It was really great to see their relationships develop and grow and they themselves also grew a lot. Zofia realises she is more capable than she believed herself to be. Enrique learns he is valued and heard by those he loves. Hypnos finds family in these people although it is still a tentative relationship especially as Severin constantly pushes him away.

History is full of ghosts, because it’s full of myth. All of it woven together depending on who survived to do the telling.

The story is incredible and had me completely hooked from the beginning and I was truly rooting for the characters and I loved seeing their friendships. Not only as a group but each of them have individual friendships with each other too. The loyalty between them and the way they love each other despite not always showing it. I just loved them all so much.

The build up and the tension that Roshani created in the book was killing me and I was just wanting to read one more chapter to know what happens next. I loved how we are slowly given clues about the divine lyrics and the fallen house and yet the plot twists still killed me. I was so shocked from the revelations at the end and what an ending that was. I was left an emotional wreck as one thing after another kept going wrong with no good ending in sight.

When a man cannot see a person as a person, then the devil has slipped into him and is peering out of his eyes.

There was also some great discussions about history and colonialism and how the history of people of colour has been destroyed. Discussions about how you are seen as inferior based on where you are from and the colour of your skin. How those with dark skin are seen as barely human and anything can be done to them because no one will care what happened to them. Things that are still relevant today. I really loved seeing that in the book.

These books and these characters have stolen my heart and I just cannot wait for the final book although I am also terrified to read it because I know that this book will hurt me.

Diverse Books, YA Books

The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi – Book Review

I have had an ARC of The Gilded Wolves sitting on my shelf for several months but I kept putting off reading it because the sequel was so far away. But I am so glad I did read it because I absolutely loved it!


Rating: 5/5

Synopsis from Goodreads:

It’s 1889. The city is on the cusp of industry and power, and the Exposition Universelle has breathed new life into the streets and dredged up ancient secrets. Here, no one keeps tabs on dark truths better than treasure-hunter and wealthy hotelier Séverin Montagnet-Alarie. When the elite, ever-powerful Order of Babel coerces him to help them on a mission, Séverin is offered a treasure that he never imagined: his true inheritance.
To hunt down the ancient artifact the Order seeks, Séverin calls upon a band of unlikely experts: An engineer with a debt to pay. A historian banished from his home. A dancer with a sinister past. And a brother in arms if not blood.
Together, they will join Séverin as he explores the dark, glittering heart of Paris. What they find might change the course of history–but only if they can stay alive.

This book had me on the edge of my seat the whole time and I stayed up way too late because I just needed to read one more chapter. Roshani’s writing is so beautiful that you can just get lost in her words and never want to leave. Honestly this book is beautiful inside and out.

The story revolves around a group wonderfully diverse, complex characters and I instantly fell in love with them. The story begins with them planning a heist, one which is important for all of them for different reasons. It is intertwined with short paragraphs which explain the history of the Order of Babel and their significance to the story and the world. The history nerd in me absolutely loved seeing the historical references throughout the book. And the fact that not only is the story revolving around a heist, it’s a heist for magical artefacts! Excuse me while I go fangirl!

One house fell. And another house’s line died without an heir. Now all that is left is a secret.

Roshani also weaves some very important still very much relevant themes into the story. She discusses colonialism and racism and how it affects the characters and their lives. All of them come of a wide range of different ethnic backgrounds and because they are not white they are denied opportunities in all walks of life. I absolutely loved seeing this in the book because this is something that still affects so many people throughout the world. At one point in the story they have to wear disguises and Hypnos, who is in charge of getting their disguises, puts them all in the stereotype of what people would expect them to be. It was really interesting seeing that, especially as who they are so different from what society expects them to be.

When you are who they expect you to be, they never look too closely. If you’re furious, let it be fuel.

The characters are the main reason as to why I just couldn’t put the book, they were all amazing and so different from each other but I loved how they all protected and supported each other. They knew each other so well.

There’s Severin, who had his inheritance stolen from him, then there’s Laila who is desperately searching for an artefact that will help her get the answers she needs. These two are my absolute favourites, the tension between them, the way they work together was just perfection. Then there’s Tristan who has known Severin since childhood and who Severin is fiercely protective of and Zofia who is an actual genius but struggles with social situations. I loved how Laila looked out for her. Then there’s Enrique who is a historian and activist who wants to help improve the lives of his people. And lastly Hypnos, the newest person in their group who is a Patriarch of his family but not completely accepted because of his background.

But what no one tells you is that even when you decide which world you will live in, the world may not always see you as you would wish. Sometimes it demands that you be so outrageous as to transcend your very skin. You can change your name. Your eye colour. Make yourself a myth and live within it, so that you belong to no one but yourself.

I loved all of them so much! Their interactions and their banter and even good-natured rivalry between some of them. Even when they didn’t agree with each they still supported each other. I just wanted to protect them all. Their cultures and traditions were are huge part of them and I loved that they didn’t lose that part of their heritage to “integrate” living in Paris. My favourites are Severin and Laila and I just need them to just admit how they feel about each other. Make it happen please, Roshani!

Don’t capture their hearts. Steal their imagination.

I am so excited to read the next book! I cannot wait for it to come out especially after that ending!