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In its glittering milieu move the all-powerful Jardines and the everyday Hadleys. The families have only one thing in common: Each has three children. But their destinies entwine when one family enters the service of the other. They will all discover whether any magic is more powerful than the human spirit. Have a quick ten years. Look for all three books in the mesmerizing Dark Gifts trilogy: Read more Read less. Add all three to Cart Add all three to List. Buy the selected items together This item: Ships from and sold by Amazon.
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Tarnished City Dark Gifts. Bright Ruin Dark Gifts. Furyborn The Empirium Trilogy. A Darker Shade of Magic: A Novel Shades of Magic. Here's how restrictions apply. Dark Gifts Book 1 Paperback: Del Rey; Reprint edition July 25, Language: Don't have a Kindle? Try the Kindle edition and experience these great reading features: Share your thoughts with other customers.
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See all customer images. Read reviews that mention gilded cage vic james ten years slave days looking forward world building exchange for an honest next book slave town points of view cage by vic abi and luke dark gifts harry potter red queen netgalley in exchange young adult year old brother luke years of their lives. Showing of reviews.
Top Reviews Most recent Top Reviews. There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. Dear authors, if you want to keep people interested in your books, don't save everything until the last chapter. Gilded Gage is all aspects sounded so good. Magic, revolutions, British elite, maybe even a budding romance.
In all honesty, almost all of it. Well maybe with how this ended up being a political book instead of fantasy, magical awesomeness. There were so many rules and laws and history of laws and history of rules thrown at us along with a million names as to who was Lord of what or Chancellor at this. Not going to lie, I kept forgetting a lot of people, including some of the main characters because there were so many names. Don't even ask me to name any of Luke's friends in the slavetown because it's all lost.
Then let's talk about the million POV's that I had to sort through. It wasn't just Abi and Luke, like the blurb makes it seem. We also had all three brothers and the comatose Aunt yup, you read that right and the future wife of one of the brothers sorry, I can't remember her name. There may have been more that I've lost. Along with constantly switching POV's, the chapters were so short that I never got the chance to really dive into any one character. The minute I felt like I was starting to get a hold of someone, chapter ends and we move on.
There were also multiple chapters that just seemed like a waste. They weren't needed and they didn't move the little plot we had ahead any. I don't know about you, but I really need to know my characters if I'm going to root for them. Every little detail you see is a victory. It really feels like a book you either love or hate. This large cast of characters and heavy emphasis on other-world politics is not for everyone.
But I really did enjoy it. I received an ARC of this through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to the publisher and the author for this opportunity! This plot is smart. There were literally over a dozen characters to keep track of, all with their own motivations and secondary plots. AND their family trees and political alignments are important in determining their relations to one another. At first it was hard to keep track of and made it a more difficult read. This ended up working well for me and I found it akin to several classic British novels, like A Tale of Two Cities and Middlemarch but I can see how others would dislike it.
Despite the large amount of characters, this remained a character-driven story. They have distinct voices, are interesting, and allowed to be multi-faceted. The domineering bully is shown both abusing staff and doting on his infant daughter—without one action excusing the other. This felt true for most of the characters, but especially my favorite: But he was a delight to read.
In fact, there were very few characters I didn't like. Cons I said this was similar to classic Brit-Lit… but it isn't completely. It's still very much a fantasy. There are traces of insta-love. Though the romance itself is compelling, I couldn't help but feel like they'd never had a proper conversation before they were pining. There's also imbalanced power dynamics that are never really addressed. Easily my biggest problem with this book. It was too repetitive, and I dislike being asked questions that only serve to tell me things I already know.
In the scheme of things, the prologue was unnecessary and just added another POV we really didn't need. Was the man-dog really the best way to go with that storyline? I haven't seen anyone else having problems with it, so maybe it's just me. But it was so odd it pulled me out of the story at times. Though I did ultimately enjoy the large cast and complex political system—it was confusing at times.
In Conclusion A fantastical political drama with a large diverse cast of characters that some are going to really enjoy, and others are not. Yet, it remains a pleasure to read something that proves I can still be swept off my feet. Thought provoking and highly original, the first installment in the Dark Gifts series is a scintillating blend of urban fantasy and political intrigue. The world-building is gorgeous and magnificently detailed. It is a world ruled by an insular Parliament who call themselves Equals—magically Skilled aristocrats. Those who are misfortunate as to be born a commoner must serve them for ten years.
The Slaveday Compact, as they call them, is a brutal violation of freedom and dignity, perpetrated by the Equals. With perhaps one of the most interesting cast of characters I've read in awhile, Ms. James offers a good balance that promises engagement without being overwhelming. Silyen is a Skilled, but he neither plays nor follows the same rules as the Equals. Siblings Abi and Luke are commoners, unskilled, but are pivotal characters. Strangely, I felt that they were underdeveloped and often seemed lost amongst the grandeur of the political game. I was a bit disappointed that they seemed like marionettes on strings being tugged by mysterious hands, whom you'll enjoy discovering.
Nevertheless, as the curtains of their innocence fall, I glimpsed the first sparks of victims turned victors—bringing the story to a climax that is emotionally intense and exhilarating as well. Gilded Cage , by Vic James, is as beautiful and nuanced, as it is dangerous and cunning. It is a treasure that I stumbled upon by chance. But, it proves some chances are still very much worth taking. View all 24 comments. An unique magic-system, a compelling narrative structure, enthralling writing and an unguessable plot. From the very first page I was enchanted by the intriguing and complex storyline.
The converging of these separate narratives provided an unguessable ending and a multitude of plot twists to appear along the way. However, it was the evocative and compelling power of the writing tha An unique magic-system, a compelling narrative structure, enthralling writing and an unguessable plot. However, it was the evocative and compelling power of the writing that truly grasped my attention. Each facet of the world, the magic system, and the society was relayed with a captivating lyrical beauty. This has incorporated the subtlety and elegance of the British Classic novel with the adventure and awe of the fantasy tome.
And I already can't wait to see what direction the next installment will take us in! View all 8 comments. Jul 03, Taran Matharu rated it it was amazing. Devious and deliciously dark with lashings of magic, mystery and mayhem, this juggernaut of a book will keep you hanging on by your fingernails until the very last page!! You only have to look at my favourites shelf to know that much.
Despite its modern setting you really do get the sense of smog and chimney sweeps. Indeed, we have children as young as ten put to work and a smug parliament filled with extortionately wealthy families all jostling for power. Think of the iron sharp, back stabbing society of Bronte and Thackeray, but left to grow obese and wasteful on its own power. An upperclass that has begun to take its place in society for granted, a once strong muscle that has not had to work and has grown atrophied, leaving space for dissension and discontent. It has taken me a good few weeks to mull and decide what exactly I want to write because, for a while, my thoughts were meandering all over the shop.
Gilded Cage (Dark Gifts, #1) by Vic James
How to decide whether to focus on character, world building, environment, the political wrangling, eugh…almost impossible. I loved it all. So my one piece of advice would be to pick up a copy as quick as you possible can. The UK Paperback edition comes out on the 26th of January , but the Kindle version comes out on the 1st of December this year…I will allow you to mull over that one.
I'd been putting off finishing this book because I knew the ending would hurt That was a good guess. View all 17 comments. Feb 09, Steven rated it it was amazing Shelves: Just as good on round 2. This book gets all the stars from me. I'd give it more if I could. You've got an interesting concept - two kinds of humans, Equals and the normal people.
Equals have superhuman powers. Normal people are, well, normal. Every normal person is required at some point in their life to serve ten years of "slavedays," service to the Equals in some form or fashion. You've got superpowers - instant hook for me - and they're not used on every page or Just as good on round 2.
You've got superpowers - instant hook for me - and they're not used on every page or constantly thrown about. We get glimpses of the power throughout, and it feels like a taste of what's to come You've got some great characters - a family divided, an infant with mysterious seeming lack of powers, some Equals very full of themselves, a creepy Equal with stranger powers than most, power hungry politicians and rebellious normals. I don't want to give away too much -- but I will say this.
I wasn't surprised at all by one of the biggest twists of the book. I had actually come to expect it a while before the reveal. View all 19 comments. Gilded Cage is a fiction novel written by Vic James. This is book 1 in the Dark Gifts series. The genres are young adult and fantasy. The author obtained her doctorate in the Vatican Secret Archives. As always, my reviews are spoil-free. This book is an excellent read. It draws in my About: It draws in my attention and keeps me there. There are hints of romance and there are some heart-stopping moments.
After chapter 3, I was intrigued and my heart started beating faster. Trust was what made everything possible. Made you bigger than just yourself. I like that this book has multiple POVs. There are views from the commoners and views from the Equals. I like the suspense and actions in this book. The story flow nicely. Vic James wrote a compelling story with brave characters and unique world building. The characters are smart and independent for their age.
I like them all, the good guys and the bad. There are enough backgrounds to each characters to understand them in this book. The people who are able to perform magic are called Skilled or an Equal. The commoner can choose to serve anytime in their life and there are pros and cons to serve at a young age or an old age. Someone will take action and change the course of life between the commoners and the Equals, but who? I received this ebook for free via NetGalley in an exchanged for an honest review.
Nov 29, Katerina Kondrenko rated it liked it Shelves: Let's start with the concept. We have blue-blooded people with different abilities not like in Red Queen , local system of powers is better thought-out , and they're called Equals. A few centuries ago one of these X-men-ish guys took over and bring the Great Britain on its knees, then decided that people without any Skill must serve to the Skilled for 10 years of their pitiful lives, and, of course, without any payment.
They are free to choose those years they give up to Equals, but no one can escape this duty. Okay, I can see people from the past centuries accepting suchlike shit, 'cause, c'mon, slavery was everywhere and had no color: But mind that this book's setting is here and now, thus I can't comprehend following things: I mean, these people are Skilled and their Skills are marvelous they build houses with their minds, they heal people and themselves, they can do anything, they don't need anyone to wash their panties!
Slavery makes them lazy. They almost stopped using they gifts. For whom UnSkilled make products? There are too many of them and too little of Equals, and those who are done with their days or yet to start them aren't that rich to buy and buy and buy. I doubt it, since slavery is all over the world with a few expectations. Plus people lose their qualifications while they work at factories in slave towns and can't find a good job after that.
They also lose their health and I can go on and on. I think you already see my point. Especially, knowing that in other countries it happened and happened successfully. I can't believe that people after being slaves for so a while could go to their normal lives without giving a second thought to what has been done to them. You can't see the better life and be okay with the worse, you can't let your children to do the same! I don't see any reasons why people didn't try to rebel before the events of this book.
Oh, and you know what?
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And you want to dismantle this system? To free you to govern? I have no idea how modern governments find time to do their jobs without slaves. That makes NO sense. Now we know that Equals have a lot of time not only to govern, but to make up something like Sosigenes too. Now to the pros It's variative for different POVs: I like how Vic James combines her words, what undertone she chooses, and her intuition she knows when to show, when to tell.
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The only thing I'd suggest to improve is the structure of scenes, so historical notes won't interfere romantic or action-packed scenes, ruining the climax. The characters are the strongest side of the book. I can't say that I liked them all, but they all are well-done and fleshed-out not fully, alas, but there are a few books to come to get us under the heroes' skin, so I'll wait.
I was interested in following Leah and her almost horror prologue-part, Abi and ruination of her I-know-it-all way of life, Luke and his desire to belong with further realization that not everything is what it seems, Gavar and his angry, but snarky I found his POV to be the funniest , and even tender when it comes to Libby chapters, Bouda and her determination to gain the power even through a not pleasant marriage, Euterpe with her creepy abilities and their consequences, and Silyen my favorite character in here with his dark, calculating and clever mind. Yes, there are that many different POVs, but I wasn't annoying with frequent change of perspectives, since each of them was showing not only the characters inner selves, but the main picture and others persons from different angles as well.
Gilded Cage is full of ships and various kinds of bonds, but none of them are too bright or too big to become a leading plot-line. We have impossible loves, undying loves, forbidden loves, tragic loves, hatred, passions, tenderness and more, but you have too look closer and not to blink or you'll miss it like a shooting star in the sky. Usually, I'm not a fan of such subtle ways, but here everything's been enough. By the by, I think Sileyn and Luke might be a thing.
All the characters try to achieve their goals by any means and no matter what. Can you imagine how far each of them would go? And how twisted or wrong or stupid or crazy their methods would be? You won't find here devils or saints. Only mix of these two incarnations. Funny thing is, predictable twists always turn out to have unpredictable parts within. You say, "I knew it! This is a nice way to surprise your readers. You keep their attention on one thing and give them no time to consider others. Overall , if you look for a character-driven story with action elements, you've just found it.
I still don't like the illogical part of the concept, but I ADORE the way Vic James develops her characters and show us their interactions, so I already DO wait the second installment and suggest you to read this one. View all 16 comments. I was sent this book as an advance copy by the publisher via NetGalley for reviewing purposes, but all opinions are my own.
Honestly I feel a little bit bad about DNF'ing this one, and seeing that many people have enjoyed it, I feel like I might just have commitment issues, but I promised myself that I wasn't going to do anything that I don't fully enjoy, and that includes reading. Listen, I am okay skim reading or entirely skipping action scenes or descriptions, but you have to have me hooked on the characters and what's going through their heads.
If you don't do that, Furthermore, I had issues with the world building. Like, literally you could postpone it until you're old and about to die and screw the system into taking you to serve your years when you're useless and can't do shit. Sign me the fuck up for postponing my slavery until I'm almost on my deathbed please??
The characters seemed to jump from "We all know we have to serve and that's okay" to "Oh no this sucks I don't want this" with no internal struggle whatsoever, and they only seemed to go from one mood to the other to serve the plot. Feb 11, Char rated it really liked it Shelves: In Gilded Cage , Vic James has created a world where slavery still exists- 10 years of it for every single person. It doesn't matter if you serve your ten in a glass mansion or a dingy factory-slavery is still slavery. I enjoyed the world-building and almost in spite myself I became attached to the Hadley family.
Even though their rather naive daughter, Abi got on my nerves a little bit, I did care about her brother, Luke, her sister and parents. I found the concept of the "Equals" a fascinatin In Gilded Cage , Vic James has created a world where slavery still exists- 10 years of it for every single person. I found the concept of the "Equals" a fascinating one, they being the people catered to by everyone else.
Capable of chilling powers and yet the true depth of their power was not fully evident until near the end of the story. Another thing I very much enjoyed was the complexity of the villains. At some points, it was difficult to distinguish who they even were and I liked trying to figure that out. Lastly, I relished the fact that not everything is all laid out and explained in great detail like at the end of a TV show.
I don't feel like there was too much, exactly, just perhaps too much all at once. It's always nice to be surprised by a book on which you take a chance. I requested this one based on the appeal of the description alone-I really didn't think the book would live up to my expectations, but I'm happy that it did! Recommended to fans of YA, magicians, of a sort , and fantasy! You can get your copy here: Jul 08, Michael rated it it was amazing Shelves: View all 5 comments. Gilded Cage is a thrilling new start to a series by Vic James.
The read is thrown into a somewhat fantastical dystopian world. Although there are different situations going on around the world, the story's focus is on Britain. In Britain, those with "skill" or magical abilities are the rulers. While there is a mandatory 10 years of slavery due by everyone else by their 65th birthday. Focus is on one of the families of equals and a family that has decided to enter into their 10 years as a family Gilded Cage is a thrilling new start to a series by Vic James. Focus is on one of the families of equals and a family that has decided to enter into their 10 years as a family of 5.
Only when the family is to be picked up, the middle child, Luke is not going to the aristocratic estate as originally bargained and will instead be going to one of the industrial slave towns alone at Supposed laws indicate that a child cannot serve without their parents until the age of While Luke tries to fend by himself, his older sister Abi finds her fantasies about the equals were far from her trashy romance novels and year-old Daisy finds herself caring for an illegitimate child. There is a lot of political intrigue and many fissures built into the fine cracks of families both equals and non as many are starting to play their hands "all-in" for the ultimate win, but which side will come out on top?
In Gilded Cage the world is ruled by Equals who are aristocrats with magical gifts. Everyone else are known as commoners and at some point during their lifetimes they have to serve the Equals for a period of ten years as their slaves. A comedy with appealing characters, a brisk pace and some great chuckle-out-loud moments. The business model becomes a gilded cage , and management won't do anything to challenge it, while doing everything they can to protect it," says Larry Keeley, an innovation strategist at Doblin, a consulting firm.
As Megan's friend reminded her and us a few episodes back, Megan wouldn't have the leisure to pursue an acting career if it weren't for Don and his gilded cage. Before you know it you will be happily ensconced in your gilded cage. Out in the stars. Old New York on the page: But while the nation's richest clubs finalise their bi-annual spending spree, splashing the cash on unheard-of foreign stars, most of whom will fail to make much impact inside the Premier League's gilded cage , so the sporting summer's biggest financial transaction is likely to involve the transfer of a large portion of Britain's undulating greenswards for around pounds million.
Scene is set for bidding war over Arena Leisure. At the Lloyd Center Doubletree Hotel, more than attendees enjoyed the atmosphere created by primary colors, gumball centerpieces and a gilded cage.