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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

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4.9 out of 5
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  • Lyrical storytelling, lovely settings & characters

    There are about a million things I love about 'The Silvered Serpents,' the latest in the Gilded Wolves series by Roshani Chokshi, and one thing, I absolutely detest. We'll save that for last though, because in no way do I want to allow it to overshadow the rest. Though the series seems to be billed as Young Adult, the themes are actually very mature and fully developed, as are many of the scenarios the group of characters find themselves in. The relationships don't lack depth or physical contact, the author simply.. easily manages to convey it without getting down into the 'smutty details.' Her prose is elegant and she deftly swings between intimate emotional sequences and moments of fast-paced action, without interrupting the flow of the story. The pace is constantly in flux, yet not disjointing. This is a genuinely talented writer and I loved the references to the legend of Laila and Majnun. Severin, the focal point in much of the story, is absolutely sexy. He's the perfect mixture of beautiful, brooding, self-loathing behavior. The darkness and conflict in him, only serving to draw those around him (as well as the reader, in my case), closer and closer with every glimpse. Truly, he breaks my heart, and not just when he's good. Laila.. is a lovely combination of strength and vulnerability. She has weaknesses, as we all do, but she's a tough girl. Not physically imposing or annoyingly overbearing. She doesn't overcompensate by trying to intimidate or insult (as a rule).. no. She's just tough enough to build those walls out of pride and the self-awareness that sometimes letting things through, might break her. I often struggle to like more than a character or two in a story.. finding the others to be grating or insubstantial, but that's really not the case with any of Chokshi's characters. I am just as drawn to Hypnos' understated neediness, as Enrique's desperation for recognition, and Zofia's struggle to see things in the same ways as those around her. Even the antagonists and supporting characters are likable in their ways. Good, bad, or neutral, they're all vivid characters that I won't soon forget.. and.. don't wish to. Now, remember that thing I said I hated? It's a cliffhanger. An utterly unnecessary.. mistake.. in my opinion. If this were some short, weekly serial a la the original release of Stephen King's 'The Green Mile?' Acceptable. If the writer/story were weak.. and the author needed something to capture the reader and bring them back for the next book.. at least understandable. But it's a tactic and nothing more.. and in this case.. it cheapens the work. The cliffhanger takes a stunning story, filled with rich characters, creative mechanical and magical/alchemical elements, and gorgeous scenic imagery.. and rather than trusting in what it has to offer to draw the reader back.. it forces the issue. I understand that there's a continuing arc here that will carry throughout the books, but there's no reason to double down on that and give us an incomplete Act either. And that's how this feels. All that being said, I highly recommend this novel. I'm going to go out and buy the first in the series, and I'll buy this one too when it releases in physical formats. I'll eagerly wait for news of a third. I didn't want to put 'The Silvered Serpents' down.. and I'm willing to bet.. you won't either.. (More reviews like this at Betwixt The Sheets.) (I received this title as an ARC, but loved it so much I also purchased a print copy. All opinions are mine and freely given.)

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  • Be Gay, Do Crime (and perhaps murder)?

    For fans of Leigh Bardugo's Six of Crows and the like! I love this series and when I saw I got approved for this on Net Galley I almost cried (and I immediately called my mom). This book is the epitome of "Be Gay Do Crime" and I loved every second of it. Very few YA books that I've read depict diversity as well as this series does-- we have people of different genders, ethnicities, traumas without seeming like Roshani Chokshi (who is amazing and everyone should follow on Instagram) is just trying to tick groups off on a list. The characters are nuanced and fun and three dimensional and the story (started with Gilded Wolves) is GLORIOUS. This is a heist book that melds technology and fantasy wonderfully and just the world-building itself is beautiful and intricate. I was so honoured to get this as an arc but now I CAN'T WAIT TIL BOOK THREE COMES OUT. But it was totally worth it. A true joy to read!

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  • 4.5 STARS

    ‘The Silvered Serpents’ was one of my highly anticipated reads of 2020. I couldn’t wait to get my grubby little hands on it, and I am ecstatic to say that the author knows how to deliver! This was absolutely phenomenal, breathtaking and everything in between! I am seriously blown away. Usually I don’t have much success with sequels of any series, so I was a little apprehensive going into this read but the Book Gods above were on my side! We basically started off where we left off ‘The Gilded Wolves’. The aftermath of Tristen's death, which still makes me tear up, and the crew attempts to find the whereabouts of The Divine Lyrics—the ancient book that holds the secret of Forging, the knowledge of how to rejoin the Babel Fragments and—in the eyes of the Fallen House—how to access the power of God. It was darker, grittier, angstier, and more emotional than the prequel. The depressing undertones were refreshing because typically once a centralized character dies in any book, they usually mourn for a few chapters before heading out of the next adventure. Our precious baby Tristan was still very much on their minds throughout the whole read and I loved how the author touched on the aftermath of his death— it was real and it was raw. I love every second of this book and I must now suffer in silence until the next book comes out. The anticipation is killing me!

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