Not all will be saved.
One glorious summer, Luke's family is torn apart. He's expecting nothing more sinister than exams, while his sister Abi anticipates university. But they'll be separated to do their slavedays - a decade of labour demanded by law, enforced by a magically-skilled aristocracy.
Luke will dream of rebellion in a barbaric factory town. Abi will navigate the malice of a high-born estate, and find an unlikely love. But the siblings must choose sides as Britain moves from anger to defiance. They'll become entangled in acts of savagery and magic, as nobles vie for power. No one is safe and none will emerge unscathed. Is there a better way - or will a dangerous young aristocrat remake the world with his dark gifts?
5 Words: Family, slavery, magic, rebellion, separation.
This book was horrifying in the best of ways.
I'm not sure what I was expecting when I started reading Gilded Cage. Perhaps something fun and a little vapid, and totally unbelievable.
What I actually read couldn't have been more different.
Gilded Cage is a challenging read. It is challenging in content and the way it explores the current definitions of words. Being set in an alternate universe the world is startlingly familiar, yet chillingly different. I loved how the word "equal" was redefined, and its use in this context was perhaps the most striking thing in the book. It made what happened all the more powerful.
This is a world of magic and power, slavery and abuse. Each of the characters seemed to be trapped in their own little cage in so many different ways.
Starting off, my own cover-judging (what are blurbs, anyway?) meant that I was expecting sunshine and a HEA. I didn't expect the hard-hitting subject. I wasn't ready for it, I was surprised.
There is one scene at the end of chapter three which chilled me to the bone. It was heart-stoppingly repellent. I couldn't believe what I had just read, and all of a sudden the book changed and was so much darker than I could have possibly imagined.
Read this book. But be prepared. Be prepared for horror and heartbreak, be prepared for your heart to race and to be broken. Because this book is one hell of a ride.