4.5 star, YA

Review: The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi

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.



Today I review yet another popular one that has been a long time coming: The Gilded Wolves! Always nice to see that it is a BIPOC author putting out these amazing stories. This book was once again suggested to me by our very own Andge, and she was definitely right in predicting that I would enjoy it. She actually rated it 5 Drink Me Potions. I would be inclined to agree, but I had a couple of small issues holding me back, some of which will be discussed below.

The Gilded Wolves is a story that revolves around what is essentially a heist. But there really is so much more. The story is told through many POVs, and is basically comprised of the team that Séverin (our “main” protagonist) has put together into his employ. Each has their own unique skills to add to his quests. If this sounds a lot like Six of Crows to you, you’re right! I found many parallels, though I felt that this story had even more, and as such I enjoyed it more. The Gilded Wolves also features many historical and fantastical elements, which I thought were executed well. The main magic involved in this story is known as Forging, and is fueled by a mystical Babel Fragment (all biblical references intended).

The plot was quite excellent. I am always a fan of heists: watching all the pieces move simultaneously for the final execution of all the moving parts to attain a goal. Each individual(ish) story line was interesting and moved well, and we really got to see every character’s POV. Not everything goes smoothly and according to plan, which is a sign of something well-written. I’m not personally a fan of when things that are pre-meditated go 100% according to plan – it’s a little bit too unrealistic for me. I found the plot in this novel to have great depth and complexity, which I found to be very satisfying.

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4.5 star, YA

Review: Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

Six of Crows #2

Welcome to the world of the Grisha.

Kaz Brekker and his crew of deadly outcasts have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn’t think they’d survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they’re right back to fighting for their lives.

Double-crossed and badly weakened, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz’s cunning and test the team’s fragile loyalties.

A war will be waged on the city’s dark and twisting streets – a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of the Grisha world.



This is the second and final book of the Six of Crows duology. Continuing from where we left off in the previous book, we are immediately thrown into the action and unending plots from our main protagonist, Kaz Brekker. Having been betrayed once again, and weakened from the great heist they pulled off in the first novel, does he and his motley crew have enough to recover? This was certainly an exciting journey for me, so much so that I dare say it was more exciting than the first one! Andge and I both agree on the 4.5 rating here.

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4 star, YA

Review: Night of the Dragon by Julie Kagawa

Shadow of the Fox #3

Master storyteller Julie Kagawa concludes the enthralling journey into the heart of the fantastical Empire of Iwagoto in the third book of the Shadow of the Fox trilogy. As darkness rises and chaos reigns, a fierce kitsune and her shadowy protector will face down the greatest evil of all. A captivating fantasy for fans of Sabaa Tahir, Sarah J. Maas and Marie Lu.

Kitsune shapeshifter Yumeko has given up the final piece of the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers in order to save everyone she loves from imminent death. Now she and her ragtag band of companions must journey to the wild sea cliffs of Iwagoto in a desperate last-chance effort to stop the Master of Demons from calling upon the Great Kami dragon and making the wish that will plunge the empire into destruction and darkness.

Shadow clan assassin Kage Tatsumi has regained control of his body and agreed to a true deal with the devil—the demon inside him, Hakaimono. They will share his body and work with Yumeko and their companions to stop a madman and separate Hakaimono from Tatsumi and the cursed sword that had trapped the demon for nearly a millennium.

But even with their combined skills and powers, this most unlikely team of heroes knows the forces of evil may be impossible to overcome. And there is another player in the battle for the scroll, a player who has been watching, waiting for the right moment to pull strings that no one even realized existed…until now.



The final conclusion to the Shadow of the Fox series, and boy was it a wild ride to its crazy finish. Andge and I both rate it about a 4 Drink Me Potions here. Full of rich Japanese lore (all the books had this), and the climactic finish to the whole journey, it certainly was a dramatic ending. This was the final culmination of all the characters we have met, and the final ending for all of them.

Night of the Dragon is the last book in the Shadow of the Fox trilogy. In this final part, Yumeko and her motley crew are on the last part of their journey to the summoning site. Of course, the evil Master of Demons, Genno, will already be waiting for them there, with blood magic fueling an entire army to prevent Yumeko from stopping him making his wish. Certain to sustain many losses in the journey, she nonetheless bravely ventures forth to prevent the world from falling into darkness under Genno’s rule.

This was quite a finish to this epic tale. I would say the biggest strength is the use of Japanese lore: the samurai and their code, the famous greater and lesser kami spirits, and even yokai (demons) from their lore as well all making an appearance. Creatures of all kinds felt like they were themselves being summoned from Japanese scrolls into this novel. I found that extremely enjoyable and it was awesome to have a closer look into these Japanese historical myths and stories. It goes beyond just the regular surface level concepts that everyone knows and the research really added an extra depth in the story to sink us in.

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