Trigger Warnings: PTSD, mutilation
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 rumoured to grant its possessor the power of God.
Their hunt lures them far from Paris, and into the 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 (Goodreads, 2020).
Things I Enjoyed: Being a fan of historical fantasy, I loved the way that Roshani Chokshi was able to reimagine 19th century France by adding magic to it. I enjoyed reading about the way that forging, the magic in this universe worked and felt the same wonder as the team did with the discovery of each new forged object, which was often described with exquisite detail. And, of course, I was envious of Laila’s forged dresses, which really seem like works of art.
In terms of the plot, Roshani Chokshi does a great job of hooking the reader with her prologue, especially after setting up some sort of mystery in the epilogue of Gilded Wolves.
I also thought that she did a great job of tackling the way that grief can affect a family, which is what Severin and his team really are. All the characters are left adrift in different ways. Severin especially is wracked with guilt and tries to push everyone away in an attempt to keep the rest of the team safe. His abandonment issues definitely come to the surface as well. Meanwhile Zofia is forced to tackle her fear of being a burden to the others, Enrique his sense of irrevalence and Laila her fear that she is unlovable.
The adventure aspects of the story were just as good as in Gilded Wolves and I loved how each member of the team was integral to the discovery of the Divine Lyrics.
Things I Didn’t Enjoy: The one thing I did not enjoy about this book was the author recycled multiple scenes from Gilded Wolves such as Zofia’s flashback to her mother’s miscarriage I felt that the recycled scenes didn’t necessarily serve a purpose in terms of advancing the story and could have been left out completely.
Overall Thoughts: I thought that this was a well written sequel to Gilded Wolves. It was definitely darker than the first book, but this in no way detracted from my enjoyment of the story. This was a 4 out of 5 star read for me. I highly recommend it if you are a fan of historical fiction and adventure stories
Quotes I Enjoyed/Found Significant:
The essence of her was walking into a room and all eyes pinned to her as if she were the performance of a life time”
If there were stairs to Hell, would you venture down those?
It depends on what was inside Hell and if I needed it?”