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, a boy who believes in fairytales that Julia’s 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 coming down. The only question is what side you’ll be on when they do.
Description taken from Goodreads
Julia, an angry and somewhat bitter young woman living in the Blue, dreams of the leaving the city but dares not. The Blue is safe, but the forested wilderness of the Red is a place where creatures with toxic blood promise instant death to any humans who venture into it. Like all the cleverest lies, there is a modicum of truth to the cautionary tales the Blue’s humans are raised on, it just doesn’t apply to them.
The Blue is, in essence, a farm. Humans living here are free of the blood-borne contaminant lethal to the Silver. The bars of this prison are not built from stone and steel, but a rigid class system that places the Silver, known as Nobles, at the top. As with all social hierarchies, the power afforded to those of high status brings out the worst in some of the Nobles, allowing them to be cruel and wicked without repercussions.
But, Jaffrey has built a nuanced society. Through Cameron’s POV we see a more human side to the Blue’s Nobles while the basic desire to survive, their need for the humans in the Blue, also becomes more apparent. I could relate to the Nobles’ cause. I could even understand why they would establish the oppressive societal laws of the Blue.
From its killer opening to the surprising conclusion, The Gilded King is amazing. Jaffrey balances conflicting motives rather than presenting a rigid view of Right VS Wrong. Both the vampiric Silver and the zombie-like effects of the Weeper virus have just the right balance between originality and canon. The romance between Julia and Lucas is packed with sexual tension while eschewing the puerile sappiness that generally accompanies developing love interests. In essence, Jaffrey breaks the rules in all the right ways with The Gilded King.
Book provided by the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review