Teen Reader Recommends: The Gilded Wolves

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The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chakshi

A mathematician who can bend metals to her will. A historian with an affinity for colonial independence. A dancer who can read the memories of objects. A boy who can coax the unlikeliest of plants into bloom. All gathered by a hotelier with a goal of reparation for what he’s lost. Set in 1889 Paris, a city on the cusp of the Exposition Universelle and brimming with magic, Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chakshi is a masterpiece of historical fantasy. For those who liked the historical references and clever puzzles of the DaVinci Code but were not a fan of the gore, this book will suit you perfectly. 

The story is somehow charming and mysterious all at once, much like its cast of characters. It’s as action packed as National Treasure, but there’s more at stake here than physical treasure. The descriptions of magic and the heart-pounding action scenes are well-written, but where the book truly shines is its characters. Everyone has their own motivation for joining the crew, and we understand all of them by the end of the book. Even if some are more noble than others, I found myself rooting for everyone’s happy ending. The romantic chemistry between certain characters had me literally holding my breath at some points, but it’s never the focal point of the story. 

I truly don’t have anything bad to say about this book. It’s the first of a trilogy, so it doesn’t really end on a cliffhanger even if it feels that way. My favorite part of the book was how each character has a fatal flaw that ends up complicating their plans in one way or another. The book is definitely for people who like YA fantasy, but it could also be used as a good gateway into fantasy for the uninitiated because of its approachable world building and historical elements.

— submitted by New Trier student Charlotte R.

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Krista Hutley
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