Title: Gilded Cage (Dark Gifts, #1)
Author: Vic James
Publisher: 1st December 2016
Release date: Pan Macmillan
Blurb from Goodreads:
One glorious summer, Luke's family is torn apart. He's expecting nothing more sinister than exams, while his sister Abi anticipates university. But they'll be separated to do their slavedays - a decade of labour demanded by law, enforced by a magically-skilled aristocracy.
Luke will dream of rebellion in a barbaric factory town. Abi will navigate the malice of a high-born estate, and find an unlikely love. But the siblings must choose sides as Britain moves from anger to defiance. They'll become entangled in acts of savagery and magic, as nobles vie for power. No one is safe and none will emerge unscathed. Is there a better way - or will a dangerous young aristocrat remake the world with his dark gifts?
*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to Pan Macmillan and NetGalley*
The Hadley family live in a version of Britain which is divided into Equals - those with special abilities (Skills) who are aristocrats and rule the country - and those without - normal humans who serve them.
Throughout their lives each human has to complete their slavedays - a decade of servitude - and the Hadley family have decided that it's time for them to do theirs.
Abi Hadley has arranged for her family to spend their slavedays on the Jardine estate but the Hadleys are separated when Luke is sent to a factory town.
Events lead to the Hadleys becoming involved in the struggle for power as the seed of revolution is planted in the population.
Can the Hadleys serve their slavedays without getting into any trouble?
Gilded Cage had a very interesting concept and I thought that this book set up the series well.
I liked the Hadleys and I felt sorry for them - they were pawns to the Equals, some of who treated humans like dirt. I also liked some of the Jardines - more than I probably should have!
The plot was quite slow in places but this book was setting up the rest of the series so that was understandable.
I liked the writing style - it held my attention but I wasn't gripped.
I'm interested to find out more about the world that Vic James has created.
Overall this was an enjoyable read and a solid start to the series.