I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
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 their 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?
Give me more of this (somewhat dystopian) alternate universe and I’ll be one happy reader. Gilded Cage by Vic James is an awesome, gritty, and edge of your seat read that asks you to question what you know about human rights and politics.
[This is what I imagined Millmoor, a slavetown to look like.(Image from the movie Soylent Green.)]
At first I thought that maybe there was a little too much going on in this story. I actually still think that. BUT! Somehow it works as an advantage. Slavedays, Equals, magic, politics, rebellion, friendships, and just plain nasty people; I kept asking myself: what is going on!? Is it dystopian? too fantastical?
It grows on you, believe me.
Slavedays=10 years of a person’s life spent serving the high and mighty magic freaks. Holy heck, but there were some human rights violations with that. Lovely. Give me more.
“You weren’t a full citizen until you’d completed your slavedays, and only certain citizens could hold certain jobs, own a house, or travel abroad.”
Equals=The high and mighty magic freaks/jerks. The good thing about this is that the history of how they came into power is slowly explained throughout the story. History as we know as the norm is rewritten because of the “Skill” certain people posess. Just think of it as a magic power that is unique to the person who possesses it. These Equals are in power both politically and supremely. Are they gods? They like to think so.
Everyone else is just a commoner. I loved the political play in this story; with just a hint of fantasy it made for a fun read. Albeit at times there were some slow parts. But when the action happens, BOOM! You are in for a ride. Like I said, it takes a while to get used to. Probably because of all the backstory you have to read through. Once you understand that, then you can truly appreciate it.
Each chapter is a different character’s POV. You get to be in the mind of both commoner and Equal (It will say who, so you don’t have to guess); the good guys and bad.
Totally invested in this story however….
A Little Note…
This ends in a CLIFFHANGER! Boo, hiss! How can you do this to me Vic James? I want to know more!
And if you’re reading this review after the other books in the series have been released, READ THIS ONE FIRST.