Thursday, February 23, 2017

*ARC* Gilded Cage - Review

Gilded Cage (Dark Gifts #1)

By: Vic James

Published: February 14, 2017 by Del Rey Books

368 pages

Source: ebook, Netgalley ARC from publisher

(Goodreads / Amazon)

For readers of Victoria Aveyard and Kiera Cass comes a darkly fantastical debut set in a modern England where magically gifted aristocrats rule and commoners are doomed to serve.

Our world belongs to the Equals aristocrats with magical gifts and all commoners must serve them for ten years. 
But behind the gates of England s grandest estate lies a power that could break the world. 
A girl thirsts for love and knowledge. 

Abi is a servant to England s most powerful family, but her spirit is free. So when she falls for one of their noble-born sons, Abi faces a terrible choice. Uncovering the family s secrets might win her liberty but will her heart pay the price?

A boy dreams of revolution. 

Abi s brother, Luke, is enslaved in a brutal factory town. Far from his family and cruelly oppressed, he makes friends whose ideals could cost him everything. Now Luke has discovered there may be a power even greater than magic: revolution.

And an aristocrat will remake the world with his dark gifts. 
 He is a shadow in the glittering world of the Equals, with mysterious powers no one else understands. But will he liberate or destroy?"
This would be one of those books where the Goodreads summary's addition of these words drew my attention: For readers of Victoria Aveyard...

Okay I've read ONE book of hers. And liked it enough that I intend to catch the others in the series eventually. So I thought, sure, why not?

The cover didn't pull me in as I generally have a habit of judging books by covers. The synopsis did. I found the first 50% of the book to be interesting but it was not overwhelming me. The part I could've camped out in the entire book about, is the story-lines following the three Jardine brothers. Equals...two of which have power and the youngest somehow was born with zero skill. He's no different than the ordinary commoner humans aside from his family name. Their stories alone would've sold me more on the book.

However, as it is, the book jumps around to different characters. Twenty-Five year old Gavar the oldest Jardine brother, Silyen the middle brother who likely has the most power of the siblings, Abi the oldest sibling of the human family sent to work their slave days out with the Jardines, Luke the middle sibling of Abi's family, and only brother who unfortunately gets separated by his family and is sent to work out his slave days in a slave town called Milmoor. Plus there are other POV's: Bouda comes to mind, Euterpe, and perhaps one or two more. Usually for me, with so many different POV jumps, I sometimes get bogged down. It's unlikely I will enjoy reading from each of these characters. I found that to be the case for me with this story as well. I found Luke's story line to be much more political in nature. Though there's definitely a lot of politics going on with Bouda as well....engaged to the eldest Jardine brother for none other than the power his name will bring to her as she is climbing the proverbial political ladder to be a chancellor: the first female chancellor.

Basically the story is about those with skill, who are called Equals, wanting to rule over those without, the common folk. Skill is an ability which manifests itself in small numbers of the population and is passed down through bloodlines. Some of the skilled talents are healing, alteration, persuasion, perception, and infliction (such as pain). If you are born an ordinary human you have to give up 10 years of your life in service to either a skilled family or a slave town. Who can say if one is better off than the other? Both are slaves to someone else. The timing of your slave days is up to you. The older you are, the more brutal what's required of you can be. But the ordinary humans are tired of living this existence....and as such an uprising is brewing. However, most skilled think the situation is fine the way it has been for centuries and since most can cause damage just with their mind and even more can heal themselves, how on earth are they to be defeated?

Finally the end brought a couple of surprise twists and that piqued my interest.

There's not much in the way of a love story. That left me more on the meh side of this story overall. At this point I'm not so sure I would come back for book two.

Favorite Quote:
"Well allow me to offer a lesson of my own. I know you like history, Abigail. Remember: those who don't learn from it are doomed to repeat it. Or should that be those who learn from it are able to repeat it?"

Language Rating: 1 (light)
Mature Content Rating: 1 (light)
Final Rating: 3 stars


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