A Powerful Page Turner // ARC REVIEW: Gilded Cage by Vic James

Title: Gilded Cage (Dark Gifts #1)
Author: Vic James
Publication Date: January 26th 2017
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Part of a Series?: Yes, Book 1/3 of the Dark Gifts Trilogy
I Got A Copy Through: ARC From Pan Macmillan India (THANK YOU!)
Buy Links: Amazon IN || Amazon US || Amazon UK || Barnes and Noble || Wordery || The Book Depository || Kobo || Books A Million || Indigo || Google Books || Foyles || Waterstones
Blurb Description: For readers of Victoria Aveyard and George RR Martin comes a darkly fantastical debut set in a modern England where magically gifted aristocrats rule and commoners are doomed to serve.
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 the 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?
“Always look at the people, not the mass. A face, not the crowd. Look at the world, not the ground. Every little detail you see is a victory.”

This book has been on my radar for quite a while now. It sounded like exactly something I would read and honestly, I have no idea why I waited so long to start reading it.

Before I began, however, I did read a few reviews that told me that this book contained a lot of politics, but honestly, that had me EVEN MORE excited to dive in! I do believe that a good fantasy book should have enough governance for it to be believable.  

Gilded Cage is a powerful page-turner, filled with politics and rebellion, family and courage, love and freedom that will leave you desperate for more.
SOME OF THE THINGS I LOVED INCLUDE:

1.       THE BRUTALITY: Honestly, I would have been disappointed if this book wasn’t brutal. A Skilled Aristocracy that have the power to alter and erase memories, control over the weather and the elements and healing that rule over common folk – HOW COULD THEY NOT BE BRUTAL? While it shocked me, all the brutality made the book what it was.

2.       THE REBELLION: When I read The Lunar Chronicles last year, the one thing that hit me was how the rebellion seemed SO EASY to orchestrate. IT ISN’T. Otherwise, anyone would do it. The rebellion or rather the growing unrest among commoners in Gilded Cage was believable, palpable and it made me feel like I was in a slave camp, right there with them.

3.       SILYEN JARDINE: If you know me, you know that I CANNOT RESIST A SLIGHTLY SOCIOPATHIC HUMAN/ VILLAIN LOOKING OUT FOR ONLY HIMSELF. Silyen was such a BEAUTIFULLY COMPLEX character with POWER and a BRILLIANT MIND and I cannot wait to see what Victoria James does with him next.
Image result for gilded cage vic james
4.       THE MULTIPLE POV’s: I usually find it hard to get used to/ remember multiple points of view in a book, but IT WAS SO WELL DONE this actually was a huge plus point for me. I LOVED EXPLORING the minds of all the characters – Leah, Abi, Luke, Gavar and even Bouda and Euterpe.

THINGS I WISHED WERE EXPLAINED MORE:

1.       THE SKILLS: The Skilled or the Aristocracy or the people with Magic’s abilities were SO VAGUE. Apart from a ONE LINE naming of all the various Skills, I got nothing. Do the Skilled have ONE SKILL or can they have a number OR does it depend on how Skilled they are? What even ARE the different kinds of Skills? I wish that these were a) described better and b) that we saw MORE OF THE POWER because there was more drinking than power being thrown and I NEED MORE, OKAY?
2.       Jenner and Abi: These two would be on the top of the list of romances I DID NOT GET. I swear, the minute she saw him Abi a) blushed and b) thought, “If he wasn’t an Equal (Aristocrat) he might be someone I let myself love and be loved by. WHAT. And then there were a few scenes about some office romance – but I FELT NOTHING. It was insta love that COULD HAVE BEEN BETTER but was such a C-plot line that it just felt like a waste.

A book DEFINITELY worth diving into. A brutal, powerful, political fantasy with high stakes and intense prose. I can’t WAIT for more! 4 stars.
Vic JamesVic lives in London’s Notting Hill, but her life is more action-adventure than rom-com.

She studied History and English at Merton College, Oxford where Tolkien was once professor. Relocating to Rome, she completed her doctorate in the Vatican Secret Archives (they’re nothing like The Da Vinci Code), then spent five years living in Tokyo where she learned Japanese and worked as a journalist. She now writes full time.

Vic has scuba-dived on Easter Island, camped at Everest Base Camp, voyaged on one of the last mailboats to St Helena, hang-glided across Rio de Janeiro, and swum the Hellespont from Europe to Asia. But there’s little she loves more than lying in bed till midday with a good book and a supply of her favourite biscuits.
What was the last fantasy book you read? 
If you could have one superpower, what would it be? 
Have you read Gilded Cage?
What did you think of it?/ I can't wait to hear from you!