Hey all! I’m finally getting back to reviewing, so here’s a quick one about two of my recent reads.
At the end of 2020, I reread The Gilded Wolves, one of my favorite books of 2019, to prepare to finally read The Silvered Serpents. This happened after a year of me discovering that I prefer adult SFF to YA fantasy, so I was a bit afraid I wouldn’t enjoy The Gilded Wolves as much as the first time. (Unfortunately, I was right.)
For the majority of my reread, it felt like an easy three stars. It was good, but not great, and it wasn’t really keeping my attention, even though I remembered being captivated by it the first time. However, I had forgotten how absolutely incredible the ending was. Roshani Chokshi is really, really good at creating an ending that makes you question everything you thought you knew about the characters, the plot, and the relationship between the two.
I feel inclined to reiterate that my reading tastes really have changed over the last year, so I wasn’t surprised to find that what had once been a favorite had become something I wasn’t sure I loved anymore. The Gilded Wolves will always have a place in my heart, but that place isn’t so big anymore.
I did really, really love the ending though and was glad I had reread it to read The Silvered Serpents because I really had forgotten everything that happened. I did find the transition between the two a bit awkward; I think The Silvered Serpents was missing a bit in the beginning as the characters were thrust into a completely different dynamic than I expected. I also didn’t love the route she took with Severin and Laila, especially with how The Gilded Wolves ended, so I was thrown off about that.
However, while I didn’t quite love the direction she took The Silvered Serpents and found much of it rather mediocre, once again, Chokshi wowed me with a simply immaculate ending. I loved the way she took the last fifty or so pages of the book. It made me wish that the entire novel had been paced like those pages with the same high stakes and same dark tone.
Ultimately, I am glad to have read both of these and I know I will read the third book (which just got a title and cover!!), but I won’t be expecting anything groundbreaking either. I do love this series and I love Chokshi’s writing, but I can’t help but wish that the beginnings and middles of her books could be as powerful as the endings. But alas, I look forward to seeing where she takes these characters I have grown to care so much for (and I simply wish Enrique and Hypnos could get it together because seeing their relationship *SPOILER* deteriorate in The Silvered Serpents made me quite sad).
I gave both of them a solid four stars because while I was disappointed in both of them, I still found myself in love with the worlds Chokshi drew, the words she wrote, and the characters she created.
If you love YA fantasy, heist novels, found family, and things of that sort, I definitely think you’ll love The Gilded Wolves + The Silvered Serpents.
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