Gilded Cage: 5/5
Writer: Vic James
Release date: February 14th, 2017
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
“There’s no magic more powerful than the human spirit.”
This book was sent to me by the publisher. This does not affect my judgement in any way.
You might have seen this book around Bookstagram a little because it came out this month. It was my first 5/5 read of the year 2017. To be very frank, I haven’t read Gilded Cage entirely in 2017, but I did finish it in 2017… so that counts, right?
Gilded Cage is a story that takes place in an alternate reality Britain. It is ruled by elite families called Equals that were born with Skill, which is a certain magical power that affects and helps everyone that has it in a different way. Then there’s the commoners: the majority of the population, the people without Skill. Every commoner has to do Slavedays at some point in his/her life. This means being sent to the outskirts of the city closest to them to do extremely hard labour for a decade.
The world building is nice, because it’s not too big. Most people have an idea of how Britain looks, so the writer could give us more information about the way it is being ruled in her story, but also the character development and the plot. I also really loved the writing style.
This book uses quite a few different POVs, through which we get insight into both the world of the Equals and the commoners. The lives of the Hadley family (commoners starting their Slavedays) and the Jardine family (Equals) become intertwined as the entire Hadley family, except for son Luke, gets sent to the Jardine estate instead of the work camp in Manchester. The POVs are very well balanced so that the reader gets a good view of the characters.
The characters are intriguing and as you are swept into their lives, you are also left in the dark and wondering about certain traits they have. The Jardine family could be seen as the enemies/villains as they are Equals and the Hadleys are being forced to work for them, but as you get to know each one of them better, you realize there’s much more going on than can be seen on the surface. I personally found especially Siljen Jardine the most interesting and complex character.
Honestly, this book was a ride and I absolutely loved it! Recommending this to everyone who loves a good YA Fantasy story. I’m super excited to dive more into this world and even though this book hasn’t even been out for long yet, I’m already looking forward to the sequel.