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Set in an otherworld England, society is split between those with magical "skills" and those without. Skilless citizens are legally required to serve 10 years as slaves to the wealthy Equals. While the rest of his family is sent to work for one of the most powerful families in England, Luke Hadley is shipped off to work in a warehouse district alone where witnesses the beginnings of a political uprising. Meanwhile at the house, Luke's sister Abi gets tangled up in the dangerous personal lives of the Elites. Full disclosure: this is a multiple POV story which usually means I only care for certain characters. But every character was unique and compelling. From the rich elite sons of the big house to the anarchists igniting a slave revolt to the family of Abi and Luke just trying to survive, I was completely invested in every aspect of this story.
— From Halley
MAGIC RULES. WE SERVE.
In a darkly fantastical debut set 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. . . . Praise for Gilded Cage
"Beautifully characterised and compellingly plotted, Gilded Cage
is an impressive debut."--The Guardian
"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
"An alternate modern-day England where enticing drama and social unrest mix with aristocratic scandal and glamorous magic . . . conjuring up the specters of Les Miserables
and Downton Abbey
. . . an absorbing first installment that presages an intriguing new fantasy series."--Kirkus Reviews
e is a heart-pounding combination of dark magic, political revolution, and forbidden romance that had me addicted from the first page "--Danielle L. Jensen, USA Today bestselling author of The Malediction Trilogy
"Devious and deliciously dark with lashings of magic, mystery, and mayhem, this juggernaut of a book will keep you hanging on by your fingernails until the very last page."--Taran Matharu, New York Times bestselling author of the Summoner series
"A dark and intriguing vision of an alternate, magic-drenched Britain, Gilded Cage
kept me up long into the night."--Aliette de Bodard, author of The House of Shattered Wings
"Brisk plotting, sympathetic characters, and plenty of intrigue will keep readers on the edges of their seats, eager for the next book in a very promising series."--Publishers Weekly (starred review)