After engaging with the world of hidden treasure, forging, and mystery, Chokshi leads us further in with The Silvered Serpents, the second book in the Gilded Wolves trilogy. I’ll warn you now, a few spoilers for book one will be spread throughout this review!
Synopsis: (from inside cover)
“Severin and his team members might have successfully thwarted the Fallen House, but victory came at a terrible cost — one that still haunts all of them. Desperate to make amends, Severin pursues a dangerous lead to find a long-lost artifact rumored to grant its possessor the power of God.
Their hunt lures them far from Paris and into the icy heart of Russia, where crystalline ice animals stalk forgotten mansions, broken goddesses carry deadly secrets, and a string of unsolved murders makes the crew question whether an ancient myth is a myth after all.
As hidden secrets come to light and the ghosts of the past catch up to them, the crew will discover new dimensions of themselves. But what they find out may lead them down paths they never imagined.”
“The light the world perceived belonged to the visible spectrum, which meant there was light humans could not see. But Zofia wondered if they could feel it all the same, the way she could sense sunshine against her closed eyelids. Because that was how friendship felt to her, an illumination too vast for her sense to capture.”Zofia pg. 323
I mentioned it in my review of The Gilded Wolves, but the intricate and icy cover of this book is how I came across this series. Mix that with a wintery mansion set in Russia and I am hooked. Luckily, I did not skip book one and jump straight through to this one. Although Chokshi did a good job of reestablishing the characters in the first few chapters, there was so much that I would have missed and not understood about what the characters were like individually and as a team.
The Silvered Serpents really dove deeper into the character’s back stories, especially Zofia and Enrique. The first book was more centered about Severin and Laila in my opinion, which I liked, but it was great to get to learn more about Zofia and Enrique. Their roles were so important in both books that diving deeper into them helped to round them out and make them more realistic.
I felt like book two took the historical elements and mythology to a new level. It was woven even deeper into the narrative and done in a way where myths and legends from different cultures and parts of the world began to make sense. I think this shows how much work Chokshi put into her series. She crafted so much intrigue through these stories that allowed her to shift the setting and adapt her characters as they progressed while not losing the focus.
Just like in The Gilded Wolves, I love the element of Forging (a form of magic that allows one to bend matter and mind to their will). There is such depth to this magic and it was used in creative ways to manipulate characters as well as solve situations.
The ending was… emotionally painful! There was so much intense plot development and character shifting that went on that I was shocked while reading. Without giving away spoilers, the ending prompted me to pick up The Bronzed Beasts and continue the adventure as quickly as I could.
If you enjoyed The Gilded Wolves, I implore you to continue your journey with The Silvered Serpents. This is a book of love and pain and the lengths people go through to achieve their chief desires, even at the expense of others.
I would recommend this book to a high school student. BUT! There is an implied sex scene between two characters as well as some confused feelings and conflict between characters. Nothing is graphic or highly inappropriate, but it is there. If you pre-read it for yourself, find it on pages 341-344 of the library hardcover edition.