Review of Gild by Raven Kennedy

Synopsis:
The fae abandoned this world to us. And the ones with power rule.

Gold.

Gold floors, gold walls, gold furniture, gold clothes. In Highbell, in the castle built into the frozen mountains, everything is made of gold.

Even me.

King Midas rescued me. Dug me out of the slums and placed me on a pedestal. I’m called his precious. His favored. I’m the woman he Gold-Touched to show everyone that I belong to him. To show how powerful he is. He gave me protection, and I gave him my heart. And even though I don’t leave the confines of the palace, I’m safe.

Until war comes to the kingdom and a deal is struck.

Suddenly, my trust is broken. My love is challenged. And I realize that everything I thought I knew about Midas might be wrong.

Because these bars I’m kept in, no matter how gilded, are still just a cage. But the monsters on the other side might make me wish I’d never left.

The myth of King Midas reimagined. This compelling adult fantasy series is as addictive as it is unexpected. With romance, intrigue, and danger, the gilded world of Orea will grip you from the very first page.

Please Note: This book contains explicit content and darker elements, including mature language, violence, and non-consensual sex. It is not intended for anyone under 18 years of age. This is book one in a series.

Review:
I have a myriad of opinions on this one. Firstly, the relationship between Midas and Auren is, for lack of a better term, dysfunctional. We see bits and pieces of their past, but it seems like Auren is both desired and revered, wanted but isolated. There are definite moments where you can see the separation between her and others of similar status, and while at first I was determined to think that Midas was a possessive self-righteous asshole, in some ways further in I began to wonder if this isolation was also done to keep her naïve to the ways of how “saddles” generally work. There is a definitive moment in the book when Auren realizes that there are certain talents and abilities that women in the entertainment industry have for performance and manipulation that she doesn’t know of, understand, and very much lacks. I had anticipated that might be a bigger, more important part of this novel, but perhaps it will come up in the subsequent ones.

Secondly, we have Auren’s predicament. All the saddles dislike her and she’s seem as an oddity, which she is, but everyone wants to see her and finds her fascinating. In many ways, she has nothing that makes her special except her skin, and her position as Midas’ favored. Because of the gaslighting done to Auren, of how safe and protected she is in her cage, she thinks anything and everything that happens if she isn’t in it is ultimately her fault. While I recognize that there may be a bit more backstory that we, the reader, have yet to learn that makes her feel that way, it really makes you dislike Midas as it seems as if that was a thought he put in her head. In some ways Auren could certainly be seen as a Mary Sue, but there are certainly flaws she has that she looks to overcome.

I very much look forward to reading the second book in the series, so much so that I told myself I can only get it if I finish this review first. I recommend it to people who like fairy tale retellings and don’t mind the warnings in the synopsis.

Star rating: ✯✯✯✯

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