Title: The Silvered Serpents (The Gilded Wolves #2)
Author: Roshani Chokshi
Genre: YA Fantasy/Historical Fiction
Expected Release Date: September 22nd 2020 from Wednesday Books
Format: Kindle ARC via NetGalley
Goodreads Synopsis: They are each other’s fiercest love, greatest danger, and only hope.
Séverin and his team members might have successfully thwarted the Fallen House, but victory came at a terrible cost ― one that still haunts all of them. Desperate to make amends, Séverin pursues a dangerous lead to find a long lost artifact rumored to grant its possessor the power of God.
Their hunt lures them far from Paris, and into icy heart of Russia where crystalline ice animals stalk forgotten mansions, broken goddesses carry deadly secrets, and a string of unsolved murders makes the crew question whether an ancient myth is a myth after all.
As hidden secrets come to the light and the ghosts of the past catch up to them, the crew will discover new dimensions of themselves. But what they find out may lead them down paths they never imagined.
A tale of love and betrayal as the crew risks their lives for one last job.
**I had my wish granted of this book from Netgalley but I treat wishes like I did request them. So all thoughts and opinions are my own. Plus there will be some spoilers for the end of the first book The Gilded Wolves so read at your own risk if you’re not caught up**
I FINALLY read this guys! When I found out that this book was postponed to September instead of its intended February 2020 release, I was bummed but I decided to wait a while before reading this. My wish had been granted a long time ago, late last year I believe, but now I’ve read it! I do have to say that this sequel does satisfy as far as some character development and MAJOR plot development that leaves you begging for book three. While I do love the first book more, here’s my breakdown of my thoughts:
- More funny Hypnos moments: This guy is just hilarious! I was curious how much of a player he was going to be when he was introduced in the first book, but I’m glad he’s more of a key player here. I liked a scene where his piano skills actually helps the group find a clue and his reaction to it was perfect and so on point for him. We actually get more depth from him as well and it nicely offsets how much of a party boy and a pampered boy he is so that was nice to see.
- More Zofia amazingness: Let’s just say that Zofia is my child and I love her SO much, especially after reading this sequel. We see her do so much more of her thoughts and some of her past. There was a moment near the end where her epicness WENT THERE and I loved it. I like how she really gets some character development, whether its under stressful circumstances or not. So if Phoenix is your favorite character, you’ll love how important she is in this sequel.
- The Sleeping Palace itself: This sequel takes the crew to Russia, where they’re looking for the famed Sleeping Palace, since the Fallen House has important items there. This place (which I assume is on the cover) is a gorgeous and mysterious place. Roshani Chokshi goes ALL out with describing this magical and dangerous place with all of its content and mystery. All of the crystalline animals and the hidden treasures within were so fascinating and this place captures so much of the magic that this series has.
- Ways the plot unravels: OH MAN, this book get crazy as the book went on. I loved how this book mainly addresses the mystery of the Divine Lyrics, which they’re trying to find for Laila and why it’s so important. These mysteries get complicated and very detailed which I loved, much like the first book. I never knew what was going to happen next and that is something that makes this series so brilliant. The clues can be something unexpected and personally, I think it’s hard to predict a lot of how things actually reveal themselves.
- Consequences from book one: The biggest thing that hangs over our characters is the fact that they’re still hurting from Tristan’s death. They’re sad, memories hurt more now and of course, Séverin is now on the war path to avenge his brother. I loved how the author shows the different ways that these characters are grieving, especially for Laila to find out Tristan’s dark, violent secret after his death. This shows how grief can threaten to destroy a person or how it can help you keep your friends/loved ones closer.
- Can’t stand Séverin!: I don’t know if I’m in the minority at all, but I can’t stand this guy after this second book. I understand that he’s angry and hurt after Tristan’s death. I understand that he’s angry with how the Fallen House took so much away and they’ve snuck back into the shadows. He’s the kind of person that will be destroyed by grief if he lets it. But I still can’t get behind the way he treats Laila and his friends. He lies, goes behind their back and also manipulates emotions (Laila’s case). He’s thinking that if he can reach godhood, it’ll solve his problems. But he could’ve used COMMUNICATION to show his friends that he needs them instead of lying, being cruel and also saying nothing at the same time. With the case of his “angsty” romance with Laila, I hated how he treated her. He says cruel things to manipulate her and shuns any kind of love she can give and wants to give. His treatment of her isn’t healthy and while she does challenge a lot of it, she doesn’t cut him off and say “screw you, I’m done because I don’t deserve this” which also frustrated me some. Again, I get that he’s grieving but the things he does to claim it’s for his friends doesn’t make his decisions okay. I’m curious what will happen to him in the last book.
- Slight confusion over imagery/some slow pacing: This last con is a combined thing of some slow pacing and also not following what some of the prose is describing. There were times when I would pick this book back up and I couldn’t quite place what they were doing. Some of the descriptions, while pretty, were hard to picture of what something/someone was doing or what the item or place actually looked like. When I’ve listened to the audio book of the first book both times, I never had this problem so I’m not sure why I did lol. But I do think that there are few spots where things felt too slow or repetitive that didn’t need to be as long or needed as much attention.
Overall: This was a really good sequel, with fantastic plot development and rich emotions from the characters. Enrique and Zofia are still my favorite and my children, while Hypnos is growing on me more. We get more epic Zofia which this book needed. Plus the new developments of the mythology, the Fallen House and the Divine Lyrics were fantastic. While Séverin pissed me off to no end and some of the pacing and confusing prose made me scratch my head, you’ll like this sequel if you loved the first one. I will say though to not read many in depth reviews on this sequel; go into this book knowing only the synopsis that the book gives. I think having little knowledge of the book makes it more surprising and gripping. But while I think the first book is better as far as having more action in the plot, more humor and better pace, I still think this series is brilliant and original and I need book 3 now!
Have you read this sequel yet and if so, what did you think? Do you agree or disagree with my thoughts?