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Title: The Gilded King (#1 Sovereign)
Author: Josie Jaffrey
Published: 25th of June 2018 – Silver Sun Books
Format: Digital (Kindle Edition) – 293 pages
Hello Hello! How are you?
Today I am absolutely thrilled to be bringing you my review of The Gilded King by Josie Jaffrey, which is the 2nd book I read for #BBNYA2020 and which was awarded 4th place in the competition!
I received this book to read and review as part of the BBNYA 2020 competition and the BBNYA tours organised by @The_WriteReads tours team. All opinions are my own.
BBNYA is a yearly competition where book bloggers from all over the world read and score books written by indie authors.
If you are an author and wish to learn more about the 2021 BBNYA competition, you can visit the official website here, or our Twitter account, @BBNYA_Official. If you would like to sign-up and enter your book, you can find the BBNYA 2021 author sign up form here. Please make sure to carefully read our terms and conditions before entering.
If you are a book blogger or reviewer, you can apply to be part of BBNYA 2021 by filling out this form (also remember to read the terms and conditions before signing up)!
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, who believes in fairytales that her 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.
The Gilded King by Josie Jaffrey is the first book in the YA Fantasy Paranormal Sovereign series, and one of the numerous books that Josie has written. When I read the blurb, saw that it had vampires and saw that cover, I could not say no and I’m so glad this book was allocated to me to read.
The minute I started this book, I was hooked and I read this one in a matter of hours. There is just something about Josie’s writing and pace that pulls you in again and again and keeps you reading. I can’t go into detail about the plot because I really think that this one deserves to be read whilst going in blind, but I can say some things about it and hope to entice you.
This book is set in what I would call a kind of post-apocalyptic world, there is only one town left, called the Blue. As the reader makes their way through the book, we realise that is not all that is left, however, the rest of the world is in a dire state and not at all what you would associate with today’s planet. I found this setting to be eerie but so well done. I can imagine this world existing and Josie’s writing style flowed so well throughout it that I was swept up in the moment. The world-building was amazing, in my opinion. I found this world to be dark, ominous, but hope still managed to seep through the cracks. In her books, Josie is not afraid to write raw and real things, but I find there to always be a little something extra that just makes the whole story special.
There were a lot of characters in this book and multiple POVs, which I adored. I have to say that I liked Lucas and Cameron the most. They were very different and we followed them in different places, but I found them both to be complex and fascinating, especially Cameron. I followed his storyline hungrily as I just couldn’t get enough of what was happening to him, where he was going, what he was doing. I also really liked Julia, she came across as a very grounded person, she just wanted to escape and make a life for herself. I’m really looking forward to picking up the next books in this series – well, actually all of Josie Jaffrey’s books!
Finally, the writing style and pace flowed. It was a beautiful book, it was raw, and it had just the right balance of tension, intrigue, plot twists and angst. This is definitely a book to sink your teeth into if you know what I mean. 😉
I just can’t get over how unique this world and this story were. Everything fit seamlessly and I was thoroughly engaged from start to finish – as I mentioned, I read this in a few hours, it definitely has binge-worthy qualities.
Trigger Warnings: violence, blood-drinking, war, death, torture, a type of tyrannical government, sexual innuendos, abuse (mostly physical through blood-drinking) and child death.
MY THOUGHTS AND RATING
Overall, this was a fantastic first book in a series that I know I will adore. I love Josie’s writing style, the worlds and characters she creates, the plots she weaves together. This first book set up really nicely for the next ones and I know that I have a lot of questions, but they will be answered throughout the series. There were so many things that happened and I can’t wrap my head around how complex this world and these characters are, but I enjoyed it all immensely!
I can’t fault the writing style, it hooked me and like I said, the characters were complex. I am looking forward to reading more from this author as I know that she is now an auto-buy author for me.
I gave this book 4.5 stars, (full ASPECTS rating below). I enjoyed this story immensely and I know I will adore the next ones, I’m just keeping my 5 stars for next books as I know I’ll get everything I want – and more – from them! I would definitely recommend this book to YA fantasy, paranormal, vampire fans who also love books with great, intricate world-building, an engaging and unique plot and also complex and likeable characters. In my opinion, if you are reading a Josie Jaffrey book, you can’t go wrong!
I am so honoured to have had the chance to read this book for BBNYA, it was one of the best books I read in 2020 and has made me want to read all of this author’s backlist and all the new books she publishes too.
So, once again, thank you so much to @BBNYA_Official and all the team over at BBNYA for letting me be on the panel and read this book; Dave and the team over at @The_WriteReads and @WriteReadTours for allowing me to be on the tour, and the author, for writing such a great book!
That’s all for now, I hope you enjoyed reading this post, see you soon, stay safe,
ABOUT THE AUTHOR – JOSIE JAFFREY
Josie is the author of nine self-published novels plus short stories. She is currently working on a range of fantasy and historical fiction projects (both adult and YA), for which she is seeking representation. Ultimately, she hopes to be a hybrid author, both traditionally- and self-published.
After finishing her degree in Literae Humaniores (Classics) at the University of Oxford, Josie wasn’t sure what to do with her life.
She slogged through a brief stint working for an investment bank in London during the 2008 credit crunch, then converted to law and qualified as a solicitor specialising in intellectual property. She worked at a law firm for five years before moving to a UK-based international publisher in 2016. Whilst she loved law, in the end she didn’t love it quite as much as writing, which she now does almost full time.
Josie lives in Oxford with her husband and two cats (Sparky and Gussie), who graciously permit human cohabitation in return for regular feeding and cuddles. The resulting cat fluff makes it difficult for Josie to wear black, which is largely why she gave up being a goth. Although the cats are definitely worth it, she still misses her old wardrobe.
Atmosphere – 7.5
Start – 6.5
Pacing – 7
Ending – 7.5
Characters – 7
Theme – 8
Style – 8
Total = 51.5
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