Gilded Cage by Vic James




Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Dystopian, Magical Realism

Pages: 368

Expected publication: February 14th 2017 by Del Rey Books

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Not all are free. Not all are equal. Not all will be saved.

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 the 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?


I’m very torn on how to rate this book!

Luke is a seventeen-year-old boy who lives with his loving family, he has two sister’s Daisy who is the youngest and Abi who is the oldest. He lives in a world where everyone who is born unskilled [one who doesn’t have magical inclinations] has to serve a mandatory ten years of slavery and when his sister Daisy turns ten Luke’s world turns upside down. They are sent to their slave days – but Abi has found a way to get them altogether – or at least she thought so because soon Luke is off to Millmoor [a horrendous pit of a place where people are mistreated, beaten and shoved aside.] Meanwhile the rest of the family is at Kyeneston, the lesser of two evils. The family is devastated.

What happened and why Slavedays were implemented slowly trickled in but a lot of it still didn’t make sense to me. Simply because they could and because the Skilled [those born with magical abilities] wanted to flex their powers? This part of the book felt weak to me. I had a lot of Whys as the book went on and even Hows which were again weakly answered.

There are multiple points of view during the book: Luke, Abi, Bouda, Gavar.

This made parts of the story drag on for me, because I wanted to find out what happen in the case of [insert name here,] but as I thought on I found myself coming up with nothing that could have been removed because each one has something to give to the story, it still did not take away my frustration and the constant feeling of ‘stop and go.’ The bright side to this is that every character is complex and each one has a personality that is entirely them.

This book is sincerely dark and I found myself at times blinking – this is a YA novel but every so often it’d surprise me at the mature turn it took. There is no happy ending in this book and it does leave at a cliffhanger, which even if it didn’t I think I’d still want to read the second novel and want to read more about these characters. There are plenty of characters to read up on and not just the ones we see from their POV.

I really did enjoy this read and yet there was just that something that kept me from giving it a rating of 5, and even a full on 4. I’m teetering between 3.5 and 4…

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