Gilded Cage by Vic James reviewed

Gilded Cage Book Cover Gilded Cage
Dark Gifts
Vic James
Fantasy
Pan Macmillan
January 26, 2017
ebook
368
NetGalley

Our world belongs to the Equals — aristocrats with magical gifts — and all commoners must serve them for ten years. But behind the gates of England's grandest estate lies a power that could break the world.

A girl thirsts for love and knowledge.

Abi is a servant to England's most powerful family, but her spirit is free. So when she falls for one of the noble-born sons, Abi faces a terrible choice. Uncovering the family's secrets might win her liberty, but will her heart pay the price?

A boy dreams of revolution.

Abi's brother, Luke, is enslaved in a brutal factory town. Far from his family and cruelly oppressed, he makes friends whose ideals could cost him everything. Now Luke has discovered there may be a power even greater than magic: revolution.

And an aristocrat will remake the world with his dark gifts.

He is a shadow in the glittering world of the Equals, with mysterious powers no one else understands. But will he liberate—or destroy?

My first reaction to Gilded Cage by Vic James is simply “wow”. I read it in two days and really didn’t want to put it down. Set some 30 years in the future, this is a world in which some things are very familiar and normal. However in the 1640’s the power in the country, and the world in general too, took a different turn. The Equals (who are anything but that) took power and hold it (and abuse it) using magic. Instrumental in the power, wealth and abuse are Slave Days. Those who are not Equals have to give up ten years of their lives to work in quasi Victorian conditions. This is a story concerning a family doing their Slave Days and those wielding power over them.

Luke is serving his time in an industrial area of Manchester. Abi (his sister) and her younger sister (and their parents) are on the vast luxurious estate of one of the highest families of Equals in the land. I found the primary characters extremely vivid and they worked exceptionally well for me. There is political intrigue among the Equals and unrest among those doing their Slave Days. I would really prefer not to reveal any more than that – readers will enjoy the journey of discovery for themselves.
I enjoyed reading this book and cannot wait for book two (indeed book three as well!).

Put simply – it’s a great debut book which I loved, read it and enjoy and then, like me, wait for the second book!

Note – I received an advance digital copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair review