The Silvered Serpents by Roshani Chokshi
Series: The Gilded Wolves #2
Format: ARC provided by Raincoast books
Published by: Wednesday Books
Top 3 Genres: Young Adult, Historical fiction, Fantasy
My rating: Set it on fire/ If you have nothing else to read/ you need to read it/Run and buy it.
To buy the book: CA•US• FR• Bookdep
Add to: Goodreads • Storygraph
Hey bookdragons! Almost two years ago, I fell in love with the world building in The Gilded Wolves, so you can imagine how happy I was to get back to it in the Silvered Serpents! And it did not disappoint 😉
Séverin and his team members might have successfully thwarted the Fallen House, but victory came at a terrible cost — one that still haunts all of them. Desperate to make amends, Séverin pursues a dangerous lead to find a long lost artifact rumored to grant its possessor the power of God.
Their hunt lures them far from Paris, and into the icy heart of Russia where crystalline ice animals stalk forgotten mansions, broken goddesses carry deadly secrets, and a string of unsolved murders makes the crew question whether an ancient myth is a myth after all.
As hidden secrets come to the light and the ghosts of the past catch up to them, the crew will discover new dimensions of themselves. But what they find out may lead them down paths they never imagined.
A tale of love and betrayal as the crew risks their lives for one last job.
Complex and rich world building
A bit like in the first book, it took me a bit to get back into the universe of the Gilded Wolves, to remember how Forging works and what are the Houses. Well, at the end I still was not sure of some things (like how can Laila gets so quickly so many gorgeous gowns? why do they always take tea and toasts?) but I remembered/understood enough to be captivated by this world.
What helped? All the incredibly beautiful descriptions Roshani Chokshi writes: they are rich and colorful, whimsical and dreamlike, and they depict a world of magic you would jump into without any hesitation! It allows you to picture in so many details, and with all your senses involved, the incredible world we are invited to in this book.
» Christmas had passed, but winter was not yet robbed of its holiday magic. Colorful lights winked behind frosted panes. Warm steam drifted from the bakeries, carrying the aroma of pain d’épinces, deep golden spice bread glossed over with amber honey. «
Here, we are mostly in Siberia, surrounded by snow and ice (why didn’t this book come out in Winter??), mixing European history, legends from all around the world, and magical elements. I was fully immerged and could see myself there!
Loving the characters even more
The other strong point of this book lays in its character: a diverse cast of characters, whether we talk about race, sexual orientation or neurodiversity. I love these characters to pieces, each with broken pieces of themselves they try to keep together:
– Zofia, with her unique way to see the world, needing numbers to feel safe, but maybe in the end needing her friends even more.
– Laila, Forged but so full of life, with a heart of gold and an impossible attraction to Séverin.
« Maybe for girls made of snow, love was worth the melt. But she was made of stolen bones and sleek fur, grave dirt and strange blood – her heart wasn’t even hers to give. Her soul was all she had, and no love was worth losing it »
-Séverin always scheming and being so devoured by the loss of Tristan that he cannot see what he still has.
– Enrique, never feeling like he belongs, addicted to cakes and forgotten history
– Hypnos, looking for love everywhere except maybe in the right places, and bringing a touch of humor and lightness that is needed sometimes
Having their points of view on the story, on their life, it brings so much more to the book, and makes each of them really stand out (note: Hypnos does not have POV chapters though)
A treasure to find
And finally, we have the heart of the story, the impulsion that makes all of our characters work together: the search for the lost treasure of the Fallen House, including the mysterious Devine Lyrics. They would grant the finder of the power of God afterall, quite an incentive! This will lead our characters in Siberia, in a beautiful and dangerous ice palace, where magic is everywhere, for the better but also for worse. And Séverin and his team must hurry, because the Order is also very interested in what they could find, and they may not be the only ones…
In a few words
An incredibly lush and whimsical writing, immerging you fully into this world full of magic and secrets. A new quest for a lost treasure, old tales coming back to life, and amazing characters, this sequel was everything I was hoping for!
See you for a cup,