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Gilded Cage

by Vic James

Part of the The Dark Gifts Trilogy Series

eBooks of the Month Fantasy

LoveReading View on Gilded Cage

Vic James’ magical yet chilling debut novel describes an alternate contemporary world in which, since the 1640s, Britain has been divided between the Equals, a ruling Aristocracy who have magical skills at their fingertips, and the commoners, the vast majority of the population with no magical skills and little hope. To even become a full citizen, to be able to own your own home, to travel abroad you must go into slavery for ten years – working either in the cities or on the vast estates owned by the aristocrats. There are clearly metaphors here about the distribution of power and opportunity in our own world but James leaves the conclusions to her readers, rather employing her skills as a writer to tell a gripping story of one family.


The Hadleys have decided to serve their ten slave years together but find themselves in service to one of the cruellest of Britain’s aristocratic families. Our heroine Abi is separated from her brother Luke who is taken to the factories of Manchester so is alone when she discovers a secret that could be the death of her, or which could change the world for good. James’ prose is clear and swift with some lovely descriptive flourishes in the detail and her novel should appeal particularly to fans of Neil Gaiman and Susannah Clarke. ~ Simon Spanton

Simon Spanton

Gilded Cage Synopsis

A modern Britain. An age-old cruelty. Britain's magically skilled aristocracy compels all commoners to serve them for ten years - and now it's the Hadleys' turn. Abi Hadley is assigned to England's most ruthless noble family. The secrets she uncovers could win her freedom - or break her heart. Her brother Luke is enslaved in a brutal factory town, where new friends' ideals might cost him everything. Then while the elite vie for power, a young aristocrat plots to remake the world with his dark gifts. As Britain moves from anger to defiance, all three must take sides. And the consequences of their choices will change everything, forever.

Gilded Cage Press Reviews

'I really enjoyed this. It was a fast-paced, entertaining story, in a world that left me wanting to find out more. I will definitely be getting the next book when it comes out' -- Genevieve Cogman, author of The Invisible Library

'A dark and intriguing vision of an alternate, magic-drenched Britain, Gilded Cage kept me up way into the night' -- Aliette de Bodard, author of The House of Shattered Wings

'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, bestselling author of the Summoner series

'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

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781509821457
Publication date: 26/01/2017
Publisher: Pan Books an imprint of Pan Macmillan
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781509821457
Publication date: 26th January 2017
Author: Vic James
Publisher: Pan Books an imprint of Pan Macmillan
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 416 pages
Genres: eBook Favourites, Fantasy,
Categories: Fantasy,

About Vic James

Vic James is a current affairs TV director who loves stories in all their forms. Her programmes for BBC1 have covered the 2016 US presidential election and Britain's EU referendum. She has also twice judged The Guardian's Not the Booker Prize. Gilded Cage is her first novel, and an early draft won a major online award from Wattpad for most talked about Fantasy. She has lived in Rome, Tokyo, and now London. Author photo © Jay Dacey

More About Vic James

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