Discover a New Book: Gilded Cage by Vic James

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Book Review
Gilded Cage
by Vic James

I acquired Gilded Cage by Vic James at MidAmericon II last summer. I was thrilled to get an ARC, by chance, at the event and even more delighted when a few of my fellow bloggers started mentioning the book because I had picked up a copy months prior! I’m rarely ahead of the book craze game so I was somewhat proud of myself for selecting a book that others were excited to read as well.

Sadly, Gilded Cage did not deliver. At the end I was with too many questions.

What EXACTLY can the Equals do? Is Skill magic? Where does the power come from? Why do some people have Skill and others don’t? Because I got the distinct feeling that perhaps Skill can be transferred and/or manipulated by Skilled folks who have stronger powers than another.

What is the political game at foot here? Instead of a love triangle, there is a political game triangle (maybe it’s even a different shape) and it is confusing! There’s Silyen then Bouda then Silyen’s father and his cronies plus the Equals trying to bring justice to the Unequals/Slaves/Commoners (what were they called again?!) What was this book about again? Someone tell me!

My biggest problem with the books…all the different points of view! What is the point to having so many points of view in such a short book?

The multiple points of view muddled the story and created an incomplete picture and completely unsatisfying read. As a reader, I felt detached from the story. I spent most of my time struggling to get to know the characters and understand their motives, as well as figuring out the world and its rules. In the end I was angry at the rushed ending and confused about how the world worked and why it worked that way.

Unfortunately, Gilded Cage is a mess. Told from way to many points of view, you never get a complete painting of the world, its political structure, its magical rules or what game is being played. There are two many players for a three hundred page young adult novel. This felt like it was trying to be A Song of Fire and Ice (aka The Game of Thrones) for kids, but less masterfully composed.


A version of this review also appeared in The Gazette. Read it now.


The Quick Book Review

Discover a New Book: Gilded Cage by Vic James

Gilded Cage

Author: Vic James
Published on: February 14, 2017
Pages: 368
Series: Dark Gifts #1
Genres: fantasy, young adult
Goodreads • Amazon Affiliate Link
My Rating: Thumbs Down


I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

About Vic James

Vic 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.

(from GoodReads)