"As the dystopian trilogy that began with Gilded Cage and Tarnished City concludes, the people of Britain rise up against their magically gifted masters. They must break the system-or be broken. MAGIC RUINS. WE RISE. The rules are simple, the system cruel: the lower classes must give ten years in service to Britain's powerfully gifted rulers. With one uprising crushed by the glittering elite, commoners and aristocrats alike now take sides for a final confrontation. At the center of it all are two ordinary siblings: Abi Hadley and her brother, Luke. Each has reason to hate the ruling Jardine family. Abi was once their servant-and now seeks revenge for a terrible wrong. Luke was imprisoned on their whim but his only hope may be an alliance with the youngest and most powerful of the clan, the cold and inscrutable Silyen Jardine. Staking everything to end a bright and shining tyranny, Abi, Luke, and Silyen find themselves bound by a single destiny. Their actions will change their fates and change everything. But at a cost almost too terrible to contemplate. What price would you pay for freedom? Praise for Vic James's Gilded Cage "Exquisitely wicked. a lavishly opulent, yet brutally vivid, alternate England which subtly questions modern beliefs. If ever there was a speculative fiction book that captured the zeitgeist of an era this is it." SFFWorld "Compelling and fascinating. [an] outstanding fantasy debut." Bookreporter "A great book to start your new series obsession. for those who can barely get enough of the British dramas like Downton Abbey or the magical worlds of J. K. Rowling."BookPage Tarnished City "Highly recommended. There's an admirable level of world-buildin g. with real moments of empathy and compassion [and] a true nail-biter of a cliffhanger ending."-Fantasy Literature "Multifaceted complexity. lively, determined characters."-Publishers Weekly"-
Vic James is the author of Gilded Cage, which was shortlisted for the Compton Crook award and was a World Book Night 2018 pick, and its sequels Tarnished City and Bright Ruin. A current-affairs TV director who loves stories in all their forms, she has covered the 2016 U.S. presidential election and Britain’s EU referendum for BBC1 and has twice judged The Guardian’s Not the Booker Prize. She has lived in Rome and Tokyo, and currently lives in London.
The conclusion of the Dark Gifts trilogy (after Tarnished City, 2018) is set in a world with some eerily familiar-if exaggerated-political tropes and a dramatic class division based not on mere financial wealth but on a family's magic. It's certainly an engaging look at the work of revolution, and James doesn't allow for easy answers, even when the solution to a problem seems obvious, creating some juicy dilemmas for its multifaceted cast of characters. One uprising has already been crushed, leaving the Hadley family and the ruling Jardine family at the center of a battle for moral and political supremacy. Abi Hadley is in the center of the action, part of the revolution's planning team. Luke Hadley, wanted for murder, is in the countryside with the youngest Jardine, unraveling a vast and well-hidden national mystery. The ending is not, in itself, necessarily unexpected, but it leaves open doors for all of the characters, heroes and villains alike, and promises them a great deal of postrevolutionary work. The telling is fast paced, entertaining, and a satisfying end to an epic story. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.