[A quick note: I bought this series about a year ago, because EVERYONE was talking about it. There’s tons of hype around it. Make sure you read trigger warnings before reading it. It’s an adult series and mature audience. My gorgeous special edition set came from The Bookish Box. I love how pretty it is.]
Auren is a willing prisoner in a gilded cage. But hey, at least it’s made of solid gold. When her beloved king betrays her to conquer a neighboring kingdom, everything begins unraveling.
Did anyone else get smacked in the face by chapter one?!?! IYKYK, right? Warning: it’s basically a sex orgy with the king. Was I expecting that??? No. Did I mind it? Meh. I was indifferent, since I didn’t know any of the characters yet. However, it accomplished one big thing. It made me hate King Midas from the beginning. It also made something else clear: our girl, Auren has a MAJOR case of Stockhome syndrome. Poor thing.
Someone PLEASE find this girl a partner who can show her what REAL love looks like!
Also, kudos for the author at keeping secrets!!! Auren and Midas’s have a huuuge secret. You don’t see it until very end of the book. Wow! I was taken by complete SURPRISE! If it wasn’t for that, I’d rate this book lower. But damn! I’m impressed. There was a subtle hint towards the beginning of the book, a little foreshadowing, but I STILL missed it. Hint: It has something to do with turning things to gold.
Now, for the critical aspects of my review:
Did I enjoy the story? Yes. Did it make me FEEL things? Absolutely. Was it a perfect read? NOOOOO! Not at all. There is no plot arc! You have no idea what the point of the story is—so you’re dragged along on the character’s journey. There isn’t much of a character arc, either. But, hey, Auren’s flaws are obvious (Stockhome syndrome, hello!!) So that’s a bonus! I love flawed characters.
Despite all this? I devoured Gild in a couple sittings. It does have very pretty writing, I’ll give it that. A lot of the story is exposition taking place in Auren’s head. There are flashbacks, and a lot of inner reflection taking place. But, it was pretty and the prose was good.
Admittedly, I was sooo nervous to read this. The hype surrounding it is unreal. Going in, a few things you should know: This is DARK fantasy and very adult. It’s more of a set-up, a prequel, for the rest of the story. There are triggers—be aware of them. Read them. Seriously. I didn’t. I never do because I have thick skin. But I found myself pretty uncomfortable in certain situations. Like, suuuuper uncomfortable, and that’s saying a lot. So, be warned.
I cannot wait to dive into the second book, to learn more about the king of the fourth kingdom, to learn more about the mysterious fae. But mostly, I can’t wait to see Auren find the love she deserves! 𝐌𝐘 𝐑𝐀𝐓𝐈𝐍𝐆: 𝟒/𝟓⭐️