Published by Josie Jaffrey on June 25th 2018
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.
Josie Jaffrey was kind enough to provide a review for The Gilded King in exchange for an honest review.
The society Jaffrey created is interesting. The Silver use fear to keep their servants in check. They share stories about the Red and punish the people who cross the line and banish them. None of the banished people ever return and confirm that the Red means death. It’s a dystopian society, but necessary for the Silver to survive. The worldbuilding is excellent, although I think there could’ve been a little more about how Europe changed geographically. Because a lot has to happen for Dresden to be seaside.
I prefer Cameron’s story over Julia’s story. Cameron explores the Red and you really get a taste of what’s going on, while Julia is working with people. Her story is more about relationships than it is about the world. This doesn’t mean that any character is flat or undeveloped. All of them were interesting and the main characters had enough obstacles to challenge them. Jaffrey did well to include both perspectives, even when they hardly intertwine. It gives a better view on what’s going on in the world, why the events are happening and how it influences the characters.
One thing that really stood out to me was the neatly woven plot. Even until the end, the reveals and plot twists kept my attention. It ends with one big cliffhanger and loose ends tied together. There’s just one big question that probably will be answered in the next book.
The Gilded King earned five stars. The fascinating world and the twists make for an interesting story to which I really want to know the ending. It’s one of the best self-published books I’ve read and highly recommend it for anyone who’s looking for YA fantasy.
The sequel, The Silver Queen is set to be released on the 17th of October. Be sure to keep your eye out for a review here. If you like this world, you can also check out Jaffrey’s other series, Solis Invicti, starting with A Bargain In Silver