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“Make yourself a myth and live within it, so that you belong to no one but yourself.”Roshani Chokshi, The Gilded Wolves
There is a great deal of mythology within The Gilded Wolves. It is set in Paris in 1889 during the Exposition Universelle, and the descriptions of everything is the world from the clothes to the food had me immersed. There are puzzles and codes and fights and scheming and romance. I have seen a couple of reviews compare it to “Six of Crows meets Da Vinci Code,” I think that’s a fair comparism.
I loved this book, and I absolutely adored all of the characters, and their dialog between each other. What a great, diverse cast of characters this book has. From Séverin, the leader of the group who is out to reclaim his true inheritance that was stolen from him, to Laila, the Indian dancer and pastry chef who has a steamy history with Séverin and can read objects, Tristan, a botanist with a pet tarantula named Goliath that Séverin considers his little brother, Zofia, who doesn’t understand jokes but is great with numbers (and might be on the spectrum), Hypnos, an unapologetically queer drama-queen with a great sense of humor, and Enrique, a snarky bi-sexual history buff.
I think my favorite thing about this book was the relationships and banter between all of the characters, and the bond they have. A lot of the dialog had me laughing. For example:
Hypnos deflated. “That tells us nothing.”
“We also know that Roux-Joubert wears a honeybee pin,” said Enrique.
“So? Today I’m wearing underwear. It’s hardly monumental.”
Zofia frowned. “Why did you specify today?”
Séverin crossed his arms. “Zofia, tell him he’s pretty.”
Zofia didn’t look up from her tea. “I am personally undecided, but if we’re assessing based on objectivity, then according to the principles of the golden ratio, also known as phi, which is approximately 1.618, your facial beauty is mathematically pleasing.”
I listened to the audiobook version of this book. While I didn’t really care for the male narrator, I did like that it was read in the corresponding accents of the characters. I do intend to purchase the physical version of this book though, that cover!
I don’t give out 5 stars to just anything, but I couldn’t figure out what to dock a star for on this one, I enjoyed it that much.