The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi is the story of a unique and talented group of teenagers and the eclectic leader who holds them together. The characters are already a seasoned group of treasure hunters by the time the story begins, but the mission that the book sends them on is an important one. The acquisition of this ancient artifact has the power to alter each of their individual lives for the better. The story is set in 1889 Paris and Chokshi takes full advantage of the lush setting, with prose that paints a picture of a world as beautiful as it is harsh. The characters and their relationships are also a highlight of the book. Each character is loveable and witty with individual quirks and characteristics that make them unforgettable. Their friendships and romances with one another felt realistic and never failed to bring a smile to my face.
For the most part, I was very happy with The Gilded Wolves. The few problems I have with the book lie in how confusing I found certain elements to be. For instance, the innerworkings of the magic system completely eluded me and if you asked me to explain it to you now I almost certainly couldn’t. The plot was also occasionally hard to follow and I found myself putting down the book to mentally review what had happened. My other problem with the book was how overly mature its supposedly teenage characters felt. Honestly, I felt like it would have just been in Chokshi’s best interests to age them up to adults.
The Gilded Wolves is an interesting book. Part heist, part historical fantasy, part romance—it is, above all things, entertaining. I had a couple of problems, but for the most part I liked (not loved) it. However, one paragraph towards the end of the book completely reshaped my opinion and turned this from a 3 star book to a 4 out of 5 star book. On page 361: “Everywhere he looked, he was surrounded by gilded wolves. And for whatever reason, it made him feel perfectly at home. Wolves were everywhere. In politics, in thrones, in beds. They cut their teeth on history and grew fat on war. Not that Séverin was complaining. It was just that, like other wolves, he wanted his share.” This paragraph, this titular paragraph, caused me to look at the book in a completely different light. It changed my entire outlook on the novel, something that I had no idea a single sentence could do. Essentially, Roshani Chokshi’s prose is powerful. Because of it The Gilded Wolves exceeds all expectations and proves itself to be a true masterpiece of a novel.