Author: Roshani Chokshi
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Published: January 19, 2018
Genre: Fantasy, YA
The book starts with the main characters stealing an artifact in a museum. From that, the POV changes from each character and are given their own life backgrounds and the author introduces their skills and personalities to the readers. They have a group and their aim is to retrieve an artifact and in the process, the city of Paris and the culture of France is established and described along the way. The main plot of the story is a certain artifact going into the wrong hands and being used to destroy something vital to the world. You could say that this book also involves a redemption of a character since there are a lot of multiple characters told in mutiple POVs.
This book is rich with fantasy and mythology because of the various artifacts and heists that the main characters are looking for. It’s kind of like a Rick Riordan book and Cassandra Clare together minus the beasts.
There are so much Filipino references in this book that I’m so ecstatic about. As a blogger currently living in the Philippines, I was able to relate to Enrique’s scenes and all the Filipino words used. The book also contains references of houses like in Red Rising as well as Greek mythology names. It also included Egyptian artifacts and places in Paris, France.
The story and the characters remind me of the movie, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, but this time mixed with Tomb Raider. It seemed similar and there was a also a great man who is a threat. Although in this book, it contains a much more cool and skillful squad and much more stealing. My favorite character is Laila and her complex yet enigmatic character. The author doesn’t give a complete, deep and detailed character background of her but I already love her and the mystery she possess. I’m also excited to see more Severin and Laila because I totally ship them!
To be honest, I didn’t completely understand every setting and plot in the book because of the writing style. There were multiple POVs as I mentioned, that it turned out confusing especially at the action parts. One moment a character is fighting another, then I get another shot of the story from the different POV which to me is confusing. Even the character Hypnos is confusing. It seemed to be that he was described as a bad guy then the next thing I know, he’s part of the group.
I would recommend this book to fans of plot lines that involve a certain object that when possessed by the wrong person, everyone will be in mortal danger. One could say it’s kind of an amateur plot line but the characters are anything but. Even the setting is something adventurous and thrilling to read about.
It has a rich background story filled with mythology and magic. It’s like it created its own artifacts and mythology world. Fans of Rick Riordan, Cassandra Clare, and Leigh Bardugo will love this book!
The Matriarch of House Kore was running late for a dinner. In the normal course of things, she did not care for punctuality. Punctuality, with its unseemly whiff of eagerness, was for peasants. And she was neither a peasant nor eager to endure a meal with the mongrel heir of House Nyx.
“What is taking my carriage so long?” she yelled down the hall.
If she arrived too late, she would invite rumors. Which were a great deal more pesky and unseemly than punctuality.
She flicked at an invisible speck of dust on her new dress. Her silk gown had been designed by the couturiers of Raudnitz & Cie in the 1st arrondissement’s Place Vendôme. Taffeta lilies bobbed in the blue silk stream of her hemline. Across the gown’s low bustle and long tulle train, miniature fields of buttercups and ivy unfurled in the candlelight. The Forging work had been seamless. As well it should be given the steep price.
Her driver poked his head through the entryway. “Deepest apologies, Madame. We are very nearly ready.”
The Matriarch flicked her wrist in dismissal. Her Babel Ring — a twist of dark thorns shot through with blue light — gleamed. The Ring had been welded to her index finger the day she became Matriarch of House Kore, successfully beating out other members of her family and inner-House scrambles for power. She knew her descendants and even members of her House were counting down the days until she died and passed on the Ring, but she wasn’t ready yet. And until then, only she and the House Nyx patriarch would know the Ring’s secrets.
When she touched the wallpaper, a symbol flashed briefly on the gilded patterns: a twist of thorns. She smiled. Like every Forged object in her home, the wallpaper had been House-marked.
She’d never forget the first time she’d left her House mark on an artifact. The Ring’s power made her feel like a goddess cinched to human shape. Though that was not always the case. Yesterday, she’d stripped the mark of Kore off an object. She hadn’t wanted to, but it was for last week’s Order auction, and some traditions could not be denied . . .
Including dinners with the head of a House.
The Matriarch marched toward the open door and stood on the granite threshold. The cold night air caused the silken blooms on her dress to close their petals.
“Surely the horses are ready?” she called into the night.
Her driver did not answer. She pulled her shawl tighter, and took another step outside. She saw the carriage, the waiting horses . . . but no driver.
“Has everyone in my employ been struck by a plague of incompetence?” she muttered as she walked toward the horses.
Even her courier — who was merely to show up at the Order auction, donate an object and leave — had failed. To his lists of clear cut errands, he’d undoubtedly added: get fabulously drunk at L’Eden, that gaudy sinkhole of a hotel.
Closer to the carriage, she found her driver sprawled facedown in the gravel. The Matriarch stumbled backward. Around her, the sounds of the horses stamping their hooves cut off abruptly. Silence fell like a heavy blade through the air.
Who is there— she meant to say, but the words collapsed noiselessly.
She stepped back. Her heels made no sound on the gravel. She might have been underwater. She ran for the door, flinging it open. Chandelier light washed over her and for a moment, she thought she’d escaped. Her heel caught on her dress, tripping her. The ground did not rush up to meet her.
But a knife did.
She never saw the blade, only felt the consequence of it — a sharp pressure digging into her knuckles, the snap of finger bones unclasping, hot wetness sliding down her palm and wrist and staining her expensive bell-sleeves. Someone prying her Ring from her fingers. The Matriarch of House Kore did not have time to gasp.
Her eyes opened wide. In front of her, Forged moth-lights with emerald panes for wings glided across the ceiling. A handful of them roosted there, like dozing stars.
And then, from the corner of her vision, a heavy rod swung toward her head.
From the archival records of the Order of Babel
The Origins of Empire
Master Emanuele Orsatti, House Orcus of the Order’s Italy Faction
1878, reign of King Umberto I
The art of Forging is as old as civilization itself. According to our translations, ancient empires credited the source of their Forging power to a variety of mythical artifacts. India believed their source of power came from the Bowl of Brahma, a creation deity. Persians credited the mythical Cup of Jamshid. etcetera. The art of Forging is as old as civilization itself. According to our translations, ancient empires credited the source of their Forging power to a variety of mythical artifacts. India believed their source of power came from the Bowl of Brahma, a creation deity. Persians credited the mythical Cup of Jamshid. etcetera.
Their beliefs — while vivid and imaginative — are wrong.
Forging comes from the presence of Babel fragments. Though none can ascertain the exact number of fragments in existence, it is the belief of this author that God saw fit to disperse at least five fragments following the destruction of the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11:4-9). Where these Babel Fragments scattered, civilizations sprouted: Egyptians and Africans near the Nile River, Hindus near the Indus River, Orientals from the Yellow River, Mesopotamians from the Tigris-Euphrates River, Mayans and Aztecs in Mesoamerica, and the Incas in the Central Andes. Naturally, wherever a Babel fragment existed, the art of Forging flourished.
The West’s first documentation of its Babel fragment was in the year 1112. Our ancestral brethren, the Knights Templar, brought back a Babel Fragment from the Holy Lands and laid it to rest in our soil. Since then, the art of Forging has achieved levels of unparalleled mastery throughout the continent. To those blessed with a Forging affinity, it is an inheritance of divinity, like any art. For just as we are made in His image, so too does the Forging artistry reflect the beauty of His creation. To Forge is not only to enhance a creation, but to reshape it.
It is the duty of the Order to safeguard this ability.
It is our task, sacred and ordained, to guard the location of the West’s Babel Fragment.
To take such power from us would be, I daresay, the end of civilization.
About the Author
Roshani Chokshi is the New York Times bestselling author of The Star-Touched Queen and A CROWN OF WISHES. Her middle grade debut, ARU SHAH AND THE END OF TIME, released April 3, 2018 from Disney/Rick Riordan Presents. The sequel, ARU SHAH AND THE SONG OF DEATH is slated to release April 30, 2019. Her next young adult novel, THE GILDED WOLVES, is slated for January 15, 2019. Chokshi’s work has appeared in Strange Horizons, Shimmer, and Book Smugglers. She was a finalist in the 2016 Andre Norton Award and the Locus Top Ten for Best First Novel. Her short story, “The Star Maiden,” was longlisted for the British Fantasy Science Award.