Updated: Aug 8, 2021
Overall Rating: 🤩🤩🤩🤩/5
Spice Level: 🌶🌶/5 (there are sexual situations)
*TW: Kidnapping, non-consensual sex, gaslighting/emotional abuse*
A Quick Summary…
Auren is a woman who has been gold-touched by King Midas, known to the kingdom as his favored and housed in a gilded cage as a symbol of his power. As events transpire, Auren begins to wonder if Midas’s comfort and love is actually what she’s led herself to believe. This is an adult fantasy that is dark, intoxicating, and unique ⭐️.
Gild will make you go through a rollercoaster of emotions. You will be angry, frustrated, and irritated but you will also be proud, surprised, and excited. While we would classify this series as fantasy romance, do not go into this thinking you will get romance immediately, you are not going to nor are you supposed to like the main male character 😤. This is very much a “trust the process” situation, but believe us when we say that Auren’s journey is 100% worth it. Many of the men in Gild will infuriate you but there is a reason why they do, and it’s all how it is meant to be for the development of the story.
The world building was effortless - you do not even realize it’s world building because of how flawlessly it is integrated into the story. Raven finds the best way to give us information without taking away from the plot or story. We also loved some of the side characters, specifically Digby, Sail, and Rissa. All of them added so much to the story and made you even more invested in how they affect Auren’s journey. And we cannot not talk about Commander Rip 🥵. We are so excited to see more of him in the next books and already like his character (Katherine may be a little biased as she’s caught up on the series).
Even though this is a high fantasy series, Raven makes Auren’s character really relatable, which is hard to do since she is a golden woman who lives in a cage ⚜️. The dialogue uses modern language which we always love in a high fantasy because it makes it so much easier to connect with the characters. Raven’s writing is so effortless and often makes you think about how you may react in Auren’s situation. One of the reasons we love Raven is that she is able to insert humor into her books without it ever seeming out of place. Obviously, Gild is a dark book and you would not think that humor would have a place in it, but Raven finds a way to make it tasteful.
As for Auren, despite her situation you can see that she is a very confident character. But she is very dependent on the men in her life, specifically King Midas. She calculates her worth by what Midas thinks and says of her. As Raven Kennedy said in a recent Instagram Post, this story is about self-love and finding your strength emotionally. It is very difficult to get through the first half of the book due to the brainwashing and gaslighting that Auren continues to face. It will make you uncomfortable, but we promise that if you stick with the series, you will be amazed by Auren’s character development 🤩. We don’t think this story could’ve worked had the first half of the book not been there. You need to see Auren’s life in the cage (as well as background into her past) to understand why she makes the choices she does. Gild is just the start of Auren breaking out of her gilded cage, both physically and mentally 🕊.
💛 Look out for our Glint and Gleam reviews 💛
Similar Books: A Court of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah J Maas, The From Blood and Ash series by Jennifer Armentrout
“Does it really matter if your cage is solid gold when you aren’t allowed to leave it? A cage is a cage, no matter how gilded.”
“I’m ridiculously fun. You kind of have to be when the only person you hang out with is you. I wouldn't want to bore myself.”
“It’s almost funny how much people will say in front of a woman they only view as a possession”
“If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that this much wealth...it becomes meaningless after a while. Empty. You can have all the gold in the world and yet lack everything of real worth.”
“It’s strange to have a friend.”
“I’ve probably inherited some unreasonable expectations. Living in a solid gold castle will do that to a girl.”
“Sooner or later, every troubled thought and aching bitterness is going to come pouring out and demand I face them.”
“It’s the arrogance of men, to think so little of women. And it’ll be their downfall too.”