Gilded Cage: A World Book Night Pick

· The Dark Gifts Trilogy Book 1 · Pan Macmillan
3.6
29 reviews
eBook
304
Pages

About this eBook

From the bestselling author of Sanctuary comes a thrilling Orwellian vision of Britain, with a rebellious Hunger Games heart. Gilded Cage is the astonishing debut novel by Vic James, and the first title in her electrifying The Dark Gifts Trilogy.

A modern Britain.
An age-old cruelty.


Britain's magically skilled aristocracy compels all commoners to serve them for ten years – and now it's the Hadleys' turn. Abi Hadley is assigned to England's most ruthless noble family. The secrets she uncovers could win her freedom – or break her heart. Her brother Luke is enslaved in a brutal factory town, where new friends' ideals might cost him everything.

Then while the elite vie for power, a young aristocrat plots to remake the world with his dark gifts. As Britain moves from anger to defiance, all three must take sides. And the consequences of their choices will change everything, forever.

'A dark and intriguing vision of an alternate, magic-drenched Britain, Gilded Cage kept me up way into the night'– Aliette de Bodard, author of The House of Shattered Wings

Continue the fantasy series with Tarnished City and Bright Ruin.
3.6
29 reviews
Aditi Nichani
27 March 2017
“Always look at the people, not the mass. A face, not the crowd. Look at the world, not the ground. Every little detail you see is a victory.” This book has been on my radar for quite a while now. It sounded like exactly something I would read and honestly, I have no idea why I waited so long to start reading it. Before I began, however, I did read a few reviews that told me that this book contained a lot of politics, but honestly, that had me EVEN MORE excited to dive in! I do believe that a good fantasy book should have enough governance for it to be believable. Gilded Cage is a powerful page-turner, filled with politics and rebellion, family and courage, love and freedom that will leave you desperate for more. SOME OF THE THINGS I LOVED INCLUDE: 1. THE BRUTALITY: Honestly, I would have been disappointed if this book wasn’t brutal. A Skilled Aristocracy that have the power to alter and erase memories, control over the weather and the elements and healing that rule over common folk – HOW COULD THEY NOT BE BRUTAL? While it shocked me, all the brutality made the book what it was. 2. THE REBELLION: When I read The Lunar Chronicles last year, the one thing that hit me was how the rebellion seemed SO EASY to orchestrate. IT ISN’T. Otherwise, anyone would do it. The rebellion or rather the growing unrest among commoners in Gilded Cage was believable, palpable and it made me feel like I was in a slave camp, right there with them. 3. SILYEN JARDINE: If you know me, you know that I CANNOT RESIST A SLIGHTLY SOCIOPATHIC HUMAN/ VILLAIN LOOKING OUT FOR ONLY HIMSELF. Silyen was such a BEAUTIFULLY COMPLEX character with POWER and a BRILLIANT MIND and I cannot wait to see what Victoria James does with him next. 4. THE MULTIPLE POV’s: I usually find it hard to get used to/ remember multiple points of view in a book, but IT WAS SO WELL DONE this actually was a huge plus point for me. I LOVED EXPLORING the minds of all the characters – Leah, Abi, Luke, Gavar and even Bouda and Euterpe. THINGS I WISHED WERE EXPLAINED MORE: 1. THE SKILLS: The Skilled or the Aristocracy or the people with Magic’s abilities were SO VAGUE. Apart from a ONE LINE naming of all the various Skills, I got nothing. Do the Skilled have ONE SKILL or can they have a number OR does it depend on how Skilled they are? What even ARE the different kinds of Skills? I wish that these were a) described better and b) that we saw MORE OF THE POWER because there was more drinking than power being thrown and I NEED MORE, OKAY? 2. Jenner and Abi: These two would be on the top of the list of romances I DID NOT GET. I swear, the minute she saw him Abi a) blushed and b) thought, “If he wasn’t an Equal (Aristocrat) he might be someone I let myself love and be loved by. WHAT. And then there were a few scenes about some office romance – but I FELT NOTHING. It was insta love that COULD HAVE BEEN BETTER but was such a C-plot line that it just felt like a waste. A book DEFINITELY worth diving into. A brutal, powerful, political fantasy with high stakes and intense prose. I can’t WAIT for more! 4 stars.
1 person found this review helpful
A Google user
A delightful read! Although there were a lot of characters and sometimes hard to follow, I did enjoy it. Can't wait to see what the next book in the series has to offer!
A Google user
Reviewed months after reading What really happened? There are so many layers of intrigue in this household and in society. And after it all crashes apart near the end, I'm looking forward to seeing what happens to the characters in the next book.

About the author

Vic James is a current affairs TV director who loves stories in all their forms. Her programmes for BBC1 have covered the 2016 US presidential election and Britain's EU referendum. She has also twice judged The Guardian's Not the Booker Prize. Gilded Cage is her first novel, and an early draft won a major online award from Wattpad for most talked about Fantasy. She has lived in Rome, Tokyo, and now London.

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