Author: Josie Jaffrey
First Published: 25 June 2018
Rating: 5 stars
“Their folktales had memories long enough to tell them what he was. He might be harmless to them, but he was still strigoi mort.”
I will start by saying that I was given an ARC copy in exchange for an honest review. These opinions are my own. Thank you so much to Josie for sending a copy my way!
In the Blue, the world’s last city, all is not well.
Julia is stuck within its walls. She serves the nobility from a distance until she meets Lucas, a boy who believes in fairytales that Julia’s world can’t accommodate. The Blue is her prison, not her castle, and she’d escape into the trees if she didn’t know that contamination and death awaited humanity outside.
But not everyone in the Blue is human, and not everyone can be contained.
Beyond the city’s boundaries, in the wild forests of the Red, Cameron has precious little humanity left to lose. As he searches for a lost queen, he finds an enemy rising that he thought long dead. An enemy that the humans have forgotten how to fight.
One way or another, the walls of the Blue are coming down. The only question is what side you’ll be on when they do.
Wow, what an adventure! Also, I have so many questions and need the next book right away! The Gilded King is a fantastic blend of paranormal and post-apocalyptic, dystopian fiction.
Sovereign is a young adult trilogy, set in the same world as Jaffrey’s Solis Invicti paranormal romance series. Going into this story, I was a little worried that I hadn’t read the previous series but it’s all for nothing. However, the narrative works as a standalone introduction to the series. I never felt lost within the world. I’m sure there are Easter eggs for those who have read the first series, which I didn’t pick up but any major events are summarised with enough information for the context of the scene.
The Blue is an isolated kingdom filled with humans and is surrounded by the Red, a wasteland of unknown dangers and certain death. Run by the Nobles, the people of Blue are offered protection in the exchange for serving the nobility and providing blood. These vampires aren’t like those of Bram Stoker or Stephanie Meyer. The vampirism has been influenced by the dystopian nature of the world. I’m a sucker for a paranormal story and really loved Jaffrey’s vamps.
The narrative is told in alternating perspectives. First, we have Julia a human who’s mostly ignored because of her parent’s crimes. Julia dreamed of following her parents and running away into the Red until she chosen to attend Nobel, Lucas. But Lucas isn’t what she expected. He’s sweet, kind and seems to value her for more than the substance flowing in her veins.
In the Red, Soils Invicti soldier Cameron searches for the lost queen and old friend, Emmy. During his journey, the towns he once knew are abandoned in the wake of a creature feared by all; Weepers. Cameron is strong but not strong enough to take on the Weepers’ growing numbers and their lust for blood. But the cure for the Weepers is also poison to Cameron. Also, there is a powerful traitor who will stop at nothing to see him dead.
Jaffrey has beautifully melded together the two storylines. I was never confused as to whose perspective I was in. Generally, with multiple perspective novelsI find there is one storyline I don’t enjoy much and skim through to get back to the characters I enjoy. Not with The Gilded King! Each chapter is filled with action and intrigue with a sprinkle of romance.
The Gilded King is a great start to a promising new series. I cannot wait to see where this story goes next. If you’re interested in a world that is a blend of paranormal and dystopian I think this is the one for you.