Book Review – Gilded Cage by Vic James

GCTitle: Gilded Cage

Author: Vic James

Publisher: Pan Macmillan

Publication Date: 26th January 2017

Format: Paperback


About the book:

In modern-day Britain, magic users control everything: wealth, politics, power—and you. If you’re not one of the ultimate one-percenters—the magical elite—you owe them ten years of service. Do those years when you’re old, and you’ll never get through them. Do them young, and you’ll never get over them.

This is the darkly decadent world of Gilded Cage. 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. . . .


What I Thought:

In this alternative modern-day Britain the country is ruled by the magical elite, the equals, if you are born into one of the skilled families that make up Parliament then you are set for life, but if you’re one of the majority of people within the British Isles who is unskilled you’ll find yourself having to given up ten years of your life to serve the Equals during your slave days.

I could gush about this book for pages, but I’ll try to be coherent and keep this spoiler free, the story is focused around two main families, one skilled and one not.

The Jardines are perhaps the most powerful family in Britain, going back generations they can trace their lineage directly back to the glorious revolution, the overthrow of the unskilled king and the beginning of the Equals rule. Gavar, Jenner and Silyen are the three sons that the book focuses on with chapters from each of their points of view. By the end of the novel, I really disliked one, loved another and was completely unsure of the third. I’ll leave it to you to work out which is which once you’ve read it!

The Hadleys are an unskilled family, Abi, Luke and Daisy are set to enter their slave days with their parents after Abi comes up with a plan to keep the whole family together. Unfortunately for Abi when day comes for their slave days to start she discovered that everything has not quite gone to plan and rather than joining the family at the Jardine’s estate, Kyneston, instead he is being sent to complete his days in one of the slave towns, Millmoor.

Gilded Cage follows the two families as Luke becomes embroiled in the uprising of the unskilled in Millmoor and the other slavetowns and the Jardines continue to move within the political elite. With conspiracies abound the plot with leave you breathless with anticipation, will Luke survive in Millmoor? Will life at Kyneston be as bearable as Abi believes and just what is Silyen up to?

Expectation builds all the way through Gilded Cage, there was not a single page that left me disappointed and the final chapters are absolutely breathtaking, luckily for you Tarnished City is already released because without a doubt you’ll be wanting to pick it up within minutes of finishing Gilded Cage!


Would I Recommend?

Oh my word yes! Yes I would without a shadow of a doubt. Gilded Cage is one of my favourite books of 2017 and I will always be grateful to Liv for peer pressuring me into reading it. An alternative Britain, magic and rebellion, villains and heroes, what’s not to love?!

5 Stars


Books in the Dark Gifts trilogy

More Vic James Reviews


Want to buy it?

Amazon UK Amazon US Waterstones The Book Depository


As always if you’ve read the book let me know what you thought! If you’ve not read it yet will my review convince you to pick it up?


10 thoughts on “Book Review – Gilded Cage by Vic James

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