Gilded Cage (Dark Gifts #1) by Vic James
Published February 12, 2017 by Del Ray Books
Genres Fantasy, Dystopia, Young Adult
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.
This story is told from 3 different perspectives; Abi’s, Luke’s and Silyen’s. Abi is a servant to England’s most powerful family, the Jardines in Kyneston, 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 she might sacrifice love in return. Luke is Abi’s brother and is serving is 10 years enslaved in a brutal factory town, Milmoor, after a mistake is made and he doesn’t have a place in Kyneston with his family. Cruelly oppressed and far away from his family, he makes friends whose ideals could cost him everything. Now Luke has discovered there may be a power even greater than magic, revolution. Silyen is a Jarden and he is considered a shadow inn the world of the Equals, containing mysterious powers no one else understands. Will he be literate or destroy?
I feel like I have read several YA fantasy books in the last year that kind of have some of the same themes. Obviously every book is different, but I feel that I have a read a lot of books where society is divided into the “elite” and the “commoners” and the “commoners” want to rebel against the “elite.” Anyway, I did enjoy this book, but I have to admit I really only was interested in the chapters that were told from Abi and Silyen’s perspective. I found Luke to just be a bit boring, even though what is happening in Milmoor when he is there, isn’t boring at all, I just feel like I have kind of read the same story line before. There are a lot of parts of this story that I don’t want to talk about because it will give away some of the plot that should remain unknown until reading the book. Abi’s entire family ends up working for the Jardens, minus Luke, but her mother, father and younger sister Daisy are all working in different positions on the Jardin’s estate. And Abi becomes involved with one of the Jardin sons, which further complicates things. I will say that the plot twist and the way the book ended was quite unexpected and will leave readers eagerly awaiting the second book in the series, due out this fall.
I think I would have enjoyed this book more if it was only told from 2 perspectives. There are only a few select books I have read where multiple perspectives of more then 2 people really worked, in my humble opinion. It makes you lose interest in certain characters when you go so many chapters in between reading from their perspective. I understand why the author did it in this book because of the multiple locations of characters and wanting the perspective of both a commoner and an Equal. I also felt that I didn’t get to know the characters very well, which again is hard to do when you have multiple main characters you are trying to focus the story on. I just only felt like I really got invested in Abi and Silyen’s characters and didn’t really care that much about Luke’s perspective or story. Overall, a well written book and I believe that fans of the Red Queen series and The Young Elites series will also enjoy this book. Thank you to the publisher for sending me an advanced reading copy.