- Series: Dark Gifts (Book 1)
- Hardcover: 368 pages
- Publisher: Del Rey (February 14, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0425284158
- ISBN-13: 978-0425284155
- Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.2 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (135 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #67,708 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Gilded Cage (Dark Gifts) Hardcover – February 14, 2017
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“Beautifully characterised and compellingly plotted, Gilded Cage is an impressive debut.”—The Guardian
“An alternate modern-day England where enticing drama and social unrest mix with aristocratic scandal and glamorous magic . . . conjuring up the specters of Les Misérables and Downton Abbey . . . an absorbing first installment that presages an intriguing new fantasy series.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Gilded Cage is a heart-pounding combination of dark magic, political revolution, and forbidden romance that had me addicted from the first page!”—Danielle L. Jensen, USA Today bestselling author of The Malediction Trilogy
“Devious and deliciously dark with lashings of magic, mystery, and mayhem, this juggernaut of a book will keep you hanging on by your fingernails until the very last page.”—Taran Matharu, New York Times bestselling author of The Summoner Trilogy
“A dark and intriguing vision of an alternate, magic-drenched Britain, Gilded Cage kept me up long into the night.”—Aliette de Bodard, author of The House of Shattered Wings
“Brisk plotting, sympathetic characters, and plenty of intrigue will keep readers on the edges of their seats, eager for the next book in a very promising series.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
About the Author
Vic James is a current-affairs TV director who loves stories in all their forms. Her programs for BBC1 have covered the 2016 U.S. presidential election and Britain’s EU referendum. She has twice judged The Guardian’s Not the Booker Prize. Gilded Cage is her first novel, and an early draft of it won a major online award from Wattpad for most-talked-about fantasy. She has lived in Rome and Tokyo, and currently lives in London.
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Top Customer Reviews
In this dystopian fantasy, the Equals (people with magical abilities) hold all the power. They control the government and make all of the decisions. The common people, who have little rights to begin with, must spend 10 years of their life as a slave and give up their rights completely during that time. Abi manages to apply for her entire family, including her younger brother and sister, to do their slave days together on the estate of an Equals' family. However, it is not as great an achievement as it originally seems. Her brother, Luke, gets denied and is sent to work in a backbreaking slave town instead, while working on the estate is definitely different than the family imagined.
From these two places, the story does an excellent job of painting the picture and viewpoints from the Equals, from the position of servants living on the estate, and from those working in the slave towns. Everything flows seamlessly together in a way that left me seeking more and becoming enraptured with the world and the characters. It was great to get to see from all of the different perspectives, and that element itself is one of the key things that made this book so great. I found myself enjoying both sides, not just one or the other. (If I had to pick favorites, I would say Luke and Silyen are my two favorite character story lines!)
The political conniving, the plight of the common people, and the bonds between the characters left me wanting more at every check point. Like a good dystopian should, I was left mourning the injustices occurring to the people and yearning for characters to act on it. Another thing I loved about this particular dystopian is the time spent on the oppressors. I got to know not only the common people affected by this situation, but those with the power to do something about it and blatantly refused to. Gilded Cage doesn't work in shades of black and white, but instead with many hues of gray.
I adored this book. I know I will read it many more times to come. I give it a full 5 out of 5. I would highly recommend it to any fans of dystopian worlds in particular, but it is so good that I would suggest it to many, many others as well.
In fact, it hindered the author from being able to develop the characters and get the reader emotionally engaged. Had the author not put herself in a position where she had to gloss over/quickly go through the parts of the story that would have been perfect for emotionally engaging the reader in order to keep the story moving. For example, building the budding romance between Jenner and Abi. We got about 3 sentences that informed us that they shared little looks, he kept her longer than necessary, etc. We were also informed of his attributes. We didn't get SEE his attributes. Or SEE the budding romance. Had we, we would have cared about him. Had we, we would root for them.
A good book, a good story, doesn't TELL you, they SHOW you. They use words and phrases that bring you in and make you feel. This book does not.
Being slaves for 10 years was a little unbelieveable. I get it, the author changed the history of modern earth in order to make this work. She's far from the first author to do so. I love fantasy, paranormal books. But it just didn't make sense that just a handful of people are Equals and everyone else were commoners that had to slave for 10 years of their life. And that's it's been this way for a few hundred years. I just don't see it this author's particular setup as viable, even in an alternate earth with a totally different history. I feel like a revolution would have happened MUCH sooner in all honesty. Perhaps that's just me though.
I kept thinking the setting was modern, as there are many modern elements mentioned.....but it also seemed historic as well, as there were a lot of historic elements....and for some reason the two didn't mesh quite right. Maybe because I don't live in England and never actually been??? So I deem a lot of things "England" historic??? I'm an American reader of historical romances as well, though I haven't read one in many years. A lot of those historic romances took place in historic England.
Idk, it might just be me.
The author attempted to be suspenseful.....but it just didn't work. That's the only way I can put it
Anyways, it seemed the author was on the verge of something great....and it just fell flat.
I did not want the book to end, and cannot wait for a follow up to continue a story I already am deeply involved with.
So much treachery, back-stabbing, young love, mystery, suspense, there are just not enough words to describe all the twists and turns in this book.
For a first novel, this is an excellent effort, and I am very much looking forward to more from Vic James.
She is now on my watch list of authors.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Vic James has woven a vision of a dystopic alter-earth where certain people, known...Read more
Right away, there's indication that the world of Gilded Cage is a bit different.Read more