Author: Roshani Chokshi
Audiobook Length: 11 hours 55 minutes
From New York Times bestselling author Roshani Chokshi comes a novel set in Paris during a time of extraordinary change–one that is full of mystery, decadence, and dangerous desires…
It’s 1889. The city is on the cusp of industry and power, and the Exposition Universelle has breathed new life into the streets and dredged up ancient secrets. Here, no one keeps tabs on dark truths better than treasure-hunter and wealthy hotelier Séverin Montagnet-Alarie. When the elite, ever-powerful Order of Babel coerces him to help them on a mission, Séverin is offered a treasure that he never imagined: his true inheritance.
To hunt down the ancient artifact the Order seeks, Séverin calls upon a band of unlikely experts: An engineer with a debt to pay. A historian banished from his home. A dancer with a sinister past. And a brother in arms if not blood.
Together, they will join Séverin as he explores the dark, glittering heart of Paris. What they find might change the course of history–but only if they can stay alive.
The Gilded Wolves is the first novel in a historical heist trilogy of the same name. I have heard form other readers that this is very similar to Six of Crows, however, I can not confirm or deny it as I have not read it. The story is set in 1889 Paris during the Exposition Universelle, the world’s fair. The novel features an ensemble cast of characters, which is great as
Séverin Montagnet is the son of a French father and North-African mother. He is the heir to House Vanth, but the Order of Babel denies him his inheritance because of his origins. To get what is owed to him, he sets out to find a Horus Eye, which has a Babel fragment. His character is, at times, arrogant and unlikable, but he was enjoyable to read throughout. He is the leader of the group and the older brother, from foster care, of another member, Tristan. He is known as the botanist, who also has a love of tarantulas with his pet Goliath. The love interest of Séverin is Laila, who is an Indian dancer and pastry chef. She was a stillbirth but was brought back to life through magic.
There are three more members of the group: Enrique, Hypnos, and Zofia. Enrique, who is Spanish-Filipino, is the historian of the group. Hypnos is the heir of House Nyx and is originally Séverin’s rival. He is the patriarch of the group and is half-Haitian and half-French. Then there is Zofia, who is Jewish and Polish. It is inferred she may be autistic, but I do not recall it being confirmed on-page. There is a love-triangle type situation between Enrique and Zofia/Hypnos. It is difficult to tell how this one will go as there is the possible m/f, m/m, or m/m/f that could be end-game.
Overall, there are two pieces to this story. The first is the found family aspect between all the characters and the second is the actual heist. There is a lot of possibility for how the rest of the series will go as some plotlines were wrapped up and others were left open. There is a lot going on throughout the story, so there were moments that were difficult to follow. As there are two more novels in the series, it will be interesting to see how it turns out.