The Gilded King by Josie Jaffrey

My Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

The Gilded King promo slide

“In the Blue, the world’s last city, all is not well.

Julia is stuck within its walls. She serves the nobility from a distance until she meets Lucas, a boy who believes in fairytales that Julia’s world can’t accommodate. The Blue is her prison, not her castle, and she’d escape into the trees if she didn’t know that contamination and death awaited humanity outside.
But not everyone in the Blue is human, and not everyone can be contained.
Beyond the city’s boundaries, in the wild forests of the Red, Cameron has precious little humanity left to lose. As he searches for a lost queen, he finds an enemy rising that he thought long dead. An enemy that the humans have forgotten how to fight.
One way or another, the walls of the Blue are going to come down. The only question is what side you’ll be on when they do.”

Or, here’s a trailer for the book:

So, to be honest, when I started this book I was pretty apprehensive because I don’t have a great history with vampire novels (here’s looking at you, Twilight.) The only vampire-esque series I will go to the mat for every time is J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series.

But, I was intrigued by the premise of the book and the cool cover so I told myself to see it through. And I’m really glad I did! The world in The Gilded King is different than anything I’ve read before; there are mysteries and dark secrets that can’t be easily guessed. What I particularly liked is that it isn’t just a paranormal romance. I mean, I love me a good romantic storyline but what kept me intrigued throughout this novel was Jaffrey’s ability to build up elements of intrigue and drama, along with romance.

I would also consider this novel to tiptoe the line between classic YA and New Adult, as there is a fair amount of profanity and the sexuality is more high school age than middle school age. Nothing wrong with that though, I’m really loving how YA authors are exploring harder stuff (I’m obviously a Sarah J. Maas fan.) And I would be remiss if I didn’t also mention how awesome it is to see a M/M relationship in this novel. Way to freaking go.

The only thing about this book that knocked it half a star is that some of the explanations for the happenings in the book are hard to follow. I often found myself a bit confused and looking back a few pages to try to put the pieces together. That said, I have read George R.R. Martin so I can’t complain too much.

On a final note, this book is the first in a planned YA trilogy called the Sovereign series. That means there are more mystery and romance moments to come so I’m excited to see where Jaffrey takes her story.

You can find The Gilded King on Goodreads and Amazon.

*Note: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a review. This did not influence my opinion of the book.*

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