“Paris, 1889: The world is on the cusp of industry and power, and the Exposition Universelle has breathed new life into the streets and dredged up ancient secrets. In this city, no one keeps tabs on secrets better than treasure-hunter and wealthy hotelier, Séverin Montagnet-Alarie. But when the all-powerful society, the Order of Babel, seeks him out for help, Séverin is offered a treasure that he never imagined: his true inheritance.
To find the ancient artifact the Order seeks, Séverin will need help from a band of experts: An engineer with a debt to pay. A historian who can’t yet go home. A dancer with a sinister past. And a brother in all but blood, who might care too much.
Together, they’ll have to use their wits and knowledge to hunt the artifact through the dark and glittering heart of Paris. What they find might change the world, but only if they can stay alive.” (via Goodreads)
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. What I really want to do is talk about the killer themes and biting critiques Chokshi delves into. No, I need to talk about them.
In Gilded Wolves, Chokshi posits a parallel universe of Western colonialism. The highlights are the same—exploitation of resources, enslavement and slaughter of Indigenous populations, the Transatlantic Slave Trade, installation of puppet rulers, and theft of cultural and religious artifacts—but she adds Forging to the list as both a resource and an artifact…
The rest of my review is up at Tor.com.
Once, there were four Houses of France.
Like all the other Houses within the Order of Babel, the French faction swore to safeguard the location of their Babel Fragment, the source of all Forging power.
Forging was a power of creation rivaled only by the work of God.
But one House fell.
And another House’s line died without an heir.
Now all that is left is a secret.
Thanks to Wednesday Books for sending me a review copy.
Do the world a favor and buy this book from your local indie bookstore or get it from your public library.