Three ‘Skilled’ stars ???
‘Gilded cage’ is the first novel of Vic James’s debut series about an alternative United Kingdom which has plenty of magic, political and sociological issues, emotionally and physically tortured people and lots and lots of intrigue.
The world is built beautifully, with descriptions scattered around the chapters, allowing the reader to put the jigsaw of what alt-Britain looks like. Obscure references in the beginning, such as the family singing a song in Chinese, threw me off at first but as I kept reading, things started mostly falling into place.
The plot is interesting, and while the pacing is a bit all over the place, it’s promising. I want to know more, despite some paragraphs about history being rather tedious to read.
The characters are this novel’s strongest point. There is good selection of different narrators, presenting plenty of different points of view. As this is the first book out of three, however, some of them fell flat as there was not enough time to develop them. I struggled to find some of them compelling and was not sure why they made it as a POV character – I’m looking at you, Bouda and Jenner – and I hope that will be clearer as the story moves on further.
I have become a definite fan of Silyen, a wonderfully complex character, and can’t wait to know more. There is something inherently sexy about the way he carries himself and I hope Ms James has some romantic development in store for him!
I also adore little Daisy and her interactions with Gavar. She seems very mature for her age and the scenes with her are fascinating to read. She seems to soften the perpetually sulking and short-fused Jardine heir so is a nice tranquil part of the ensemble.
The writing style is beautiful. Ms James writes eloquently and commands language very well to provide the reader with an easy way to distinguish which character’s POV they are currently observing the story from. Only reason this section did not receive five stars is that the more obscure words are not always suitable to the book’s YA genre audience and some teenagers might find it difficult to read.
The Panda Meter
Writing Style ????
Minus half a ? for the cliffhanger ending. I’m biased because I hate them in all media. Sorry not sorry!
All of my reviews are available on my Goodreads profile.
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