BookPage Top Pick in Teen, starred review, January 2019
In bestselling author Roshani Chokshi’s The Gilded Wolves, a crew of young people in an alternate version of belle epoque Paris use their wits and daring to restore their leader to his rightful place.
In this world, some have “Forging” power—creative and metamorphic power over matter or minds—which is made possible through fragments of the Tower of Babel. These broken pieces are scattered across the world and safeguarded by the mysterious Order of Babel, which is organized in national factions and then further divided into Houses.
Séverin Montagnet-Alarie is the heir to France’s House Vanth, but he was denied his Order inheritance years ago and now watches the two remaining French Houses—Nyx and Kore—with envy. But Séverin has a plan to claim his right, and a crew of various talents who live with him at his glamorous hotel will help him pull it off. They plot to steal an ancient artifact that will help Séverin buy his way back into the good graces of the Order, but the artifact and its owner turn out to be more than they bargained for.
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.
This article was originally published in the January 2019 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.