The Gilded King by Josie Jaffrey
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.
Review copy received from the author in exchange for honest review.
I was pretty excited when I received this book because I had seen it around on other people’s blogs and stuff, but I still ended up taking like half a year to finish it thanks to uni so uh.. oops?
The Gilded King isn’t exactly the type of book I would usually go for since it’s a dystopia, but I decided to give it a try anyway since it has fantasy elements as well.
Funnily enough the fantasy side ended up being the part that confused me a lot in the beginning and I struggled a bit getting into the world. It took me a long long time to realize the Silver are basically vampires and that the whole Red/Blue thing had something to do with that. I did take pretty long breaks from this book so that definitely didn’t help me with remembering all the little details. Once I finally got myself into a proper reading mood at the end of December I read the last 50% of the book in only a few days, so that was a pretty wild ride.
The book has two points of view, Cameron who is a Silver and Julia who is human, and I think I ended up liking Cameron’s side of the story more just because it was more active rather than just watching events unfold, but Julia wasn’t bad either. Cameron was just more interesting to me and that one part where he and Felix dig through a pile of rotting bodies is forever seared to my brain (honestly I’m impressed when a written thing manages to gross me out).
While I liked Julia too, I had a bit more issues with her story, mostly just the romance because it felt like it came out of nowhere after one kiss. Sure, I could pretty much guess that there was going to be a romance before anything even happened but it still felt a bit too instant. I warmed up to them though.
I think The Gilded King is pretty much setting the stage for the rest of the series with Cameron showing what’s going on in the Red and Julia showing what’s happening in the Blue so I very much expect the next book to be a lot more intense. For a dystopia thing it was very enjoyable and I’m pretty sure I would have liked it even more if I had had the proper time to dedicate to it, but life happens. I still had a good time with it though!
I’d say if you like vampires and want something a little different definitely give The Gilded King a try!