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Incendiary by Zoraida Córdova // Magic, memories and mayhem

I have lived a hundred stolen lives.
Now I live my own.

Renata Convida was only a child when she was kidnapped by the King's Justice and brought to the luxurious palace of Andalucia. As a Robari, the rarest and most feared of the magical Moria, Renata's ability to steal memories from royal enemies enabled the King's Wrath, a siege that resulted in the deaths of thousands of her own people.

Now Renata is one of the Whispers, rebel spies working against the crown and helping the remaining Moria escape the kingdom bent on their destruction. The Whispers may have rescued Renata from the palace years ago, but she cannot escape their mistrust and hatred--or the overpowering memories of the hundreds of souls she turned "hollow" during her time in the palace.

When Dez, the commander of her unit, is taken captive by the notorious Sangrado Prince, Renata will do anything to save the boy whose love makes her place…

Review: Gilded Cage by Vic James

Gilded Cage by Vic James

(A huge thanks to Pan Macmillan India for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review.)

Britain's magically skilled aristocracy compels all commoners to serve them for ten years - and now it's the Hadley's turn. Abi Hadley is assigned to England's most ruthless noble family. The secrets she uncovers could win her freedom - or break her heart. Her brother Luke is enslaved in a brutal factory town, where new friends' ideals may cost him everything.

Then while the elite vie for power, a young aristocrat plots to remake the world with his dark gifts. As Britain moves from anger to defiance, all three must take sides. And the consequences of their choices will change everything. Forever.

This book has a whole lot of characters. The ever changing third person PoVs worried me at first but the author has fleshed out each character so wonderfully that you simply can't confuse one for the other.

Luke and Daisy of the Hadley family were among my favourite characters. Luke is a strong, brave and relatable person and I couldn't help but feel his emotions strongly. He is perfect in no way and makes mistakes but that is what makes him so relatable. My most favourite character though was Renie-Rhymes-With-Genie. She was such a brilliant addition to the cast of characters and brings so much like into the story and of course to Millmoor, the slavetown that makes prisons seem comfortable.

I'm not sure what I feel about Abi. She seems like a poised and brilliant person at times and at times she seemed quite confused and made confusing choices. I was not a fan of the romance involving her in the story. Sorry but it just seemed so awkward and honestly didn't make sense. I'm glad the romance wasn't a huge part of the story.

The Hadley brothers were quite an interesting trio. Each brother is so much different from the others and that makes all the difference. A huge part of the story runs through their actions and character development. I'd say no more about them as that would be spoilery.

When I read the reviews for the book on Goodreads, I was utterly perplexed. People repeatedly call this a 'Political' book. I am not a person who likes politics. But it seems that's true only in real life. In the fantasy Britain of this book, I found the politics intriguing and interesting. The entire concept of alternate reality after a 'skilled' person kills King Charles was so carefully executed. It's not easy to create a modern alternate reality whose roots are so way back in time. Vic James has created one such world and made sure there are no lose ends.

This story has it all- dirty politics, power play, family secrets, rebellions and so much more - everything so well crafted that I read the book in one sitting; interrupted only by the need to sleep at night.

The writing was absolutely wonderful. I enjoyed how the descriptions were wonderfully without being overbearing. Also it's not easy to have so many PoVs and yet manage to make each sound different and unique. The author has done the job skillfully. Pun very much intended.

- The characters
- The plot
-The writing
- The World-building

- The romance

Gilded Cage is a political story set in an alternate-reality fantasy world where not all are born equal. The plot is an intricate web of the actions of the various well written characters and I couldn't stop reading it! Go ahead and pick it up if you think you'd enjoy political intrigue and brilliant plot twists.

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