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.
A tale of love and betrayal as the crew risks their lives for one last job.
The sequel to The Gilded Wolves hits the ground running with the crew getting back together and continuing their search for The Divine Lyrics. I had a lot of fun with this one, even more than the first book if I’m being honest. Although, watch out for a bit of a cliffhanger of an ending.
So first let me talk about this one compared to the first one. I didn’t love the first book although I thought it was perfectly serviceable, I didn’t rave about it. Which is a shame because I’ve loved Chokshi’s previous books. But the things that didn’t work for me there (mostly caring about the characters and their fates) was all fixed here for me. I don’t know if we actually got more insight to the characters and their thoughts or if it’s just me–I did read the first one via audio and this via print–but I was able to empathize with them much better in this sequel.
I will say that Severin’s character is both one of my favorites and also one of my least favorites because of his traits haha. He’s a bit mysterious and also in charge and sets himself apart from others for reasons. Mostly he doesn’t want to get close to people. But then he also does the thing where he’s lying to himself about his feelings. I get not wanting to get close but don’t lie to others and hurt them in the process! Anyway, I did love all the characters this time around. They’re all proving to be more complex than they were at first glance. They each have their own things going on and their reasons for wanting to join in the gang and pull off this heist.
Speaking of, all the heisting! There was a good amount of planning and then heisting and solving all kinds of riddles and putting together clues. The overall plot of this one as the story moved along was quite fun and kept up a good pace. There was plenty of time for those moments between characters but those were interspersed with great action scenes which I really appreciated. I enjoyed the flow of the story a lot in this one. It made it feel like a quick read! It also had some great twists and turns and some things I did NOT see coming. Also. That ending. THAT. ENDING. Aaaaaah. I’m going to be a bit on pins and needles until book three now!
Underneath the fun heist crew story are some pretty heavy themes, most notably colonialism and its effects on the world and its people. All of the characters here are essentially of two or more worlds and some of them struggle with that and where to fit in–Enrique especially has feelings on that. I feel like the way these themes are explored in the story are interesting as it’s more than just the characters and their backgrounds.
Overall, I had a lot of fun with this sequel and I’m so glad I stuck with the series even though I was mostly ‘meh’ about the first book. Can’t wait to see what happens going forward! 4.5/5 stars.