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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2.5 star, YA

ARC Review: My Contrary Mary by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton and Jodi Meadows

Series: Mary #1

Welcome to Renaissance France, a place of poison and plots, of beauties and beasts, of mice and . . . queens?⠀

Mary is the queen of Scotland and the jewel of the French court. Except when she’s a mouse. Yes, reader, Mary is an Eðian (shapeshifter) in a kingdom where Verities rule. It’s a secret that could cost her a head—or a tail.⠀

Luckily, Mary has a confidant in her betrothed, Francis. But after the king meets a suspicious end, things at the gilded court take a treacherous turn. Thrust onto the throne, Mary and Francis are forced to navigate a viper’s nest of conspiracies, traps, and treason. And if Mary’s secret is revealed, heads are bound to roll.



**My Contrary Mary comes out June 22, 2021**

Thank you Edelweiss and HarperCollins for this copy in exchange for an honest review.

I’ve been a fan of the Lady Janies since their first collaborative work, My Lady Jane, came out. With humor and plenty of witty asides to us readers, these ladies can really draw you into their version of history full of the miraculous and happy endings. My Contrary Mary follows this same line of storytelling, the first in I’m assuming a series of ladies named Mary instead of Jane. However, sometimes like a joke that repeats itself a bit too much in a comedic routine, it just loses its initial appeal.

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3 star, adult

Review: The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles

Based on the true World War II story of the heroic librarians at the American Library in Paris, this is an unforgettable story of romance, friendship, family, and the power of literature to bring us together, perfect for fans of The Lilac Girls and The Paris Wife

Paris, 1939: Young and ambitious Odile Souchet has it all: her handsome police officer beau and a dream job at the American Library in Paris. When the Nazis march into Paris, Odile stands to lose everything she holds dear, including her beloved library. Together with her fellow librarians, Odile joins the Resistance with the best weapons she has: books. But when the war finally ends, instead of freedom, Odile tastes the bitter sting of unspeakable betrayal.

Montana, 1983: Lily is a lonely teenager looking for adventure in small-town Montana. Her interest is piqued by her solitary, elderly neighbor. As Lily uncovers more about her neighbor’s mysterious past, she finds that they share a love of language, the same longings, and the same intense jealousy, never suspecting that a dark secret from the past connects them.

A powerful novel that explores the consequences of our choices and the relationships that make us who we are—family, friends, and favorite authors—The Paris Library shows that extraordinary heroism can sometimes be found in the quietest of places.


“We all have a book that changed us forever,” I said. “One that let us know that we’re not alone. What’s yours?”

The Paris Library lived up to its name, bringing bursts of sympathy and wonder in equal measures. With a deep look into Odile’s past during the Nazi Occupation in Paris and her current life in the States, the biggest question one can ask is, how do the two points in her life connect?

I came in thinking this was going to be equal, alternating POVs between Lily and Odile, but it definitely focuses on Odile a lot more in the past. Lily’s story fills in the gaps and gives us glimpses into who Odile somehow becomes while pieces of the puzzle are still missing. I will start off by saying that I docked off stars because it does get slow in the middle at times, and the flow doesn’t always propel me to flip through the book as fast as possible. It meanders and lets us laze in the pages like we are going out on a stroll or browsing aimlessly in a library. But this is the only reason why it’s anything less than 5 stars, let me tell you.

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