THE GILDED KING by Josie Jaffrey

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, who believes in fairytales that her 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 going to come down. The only question is what side you’ll be on when they do.


Title : The Gilded King
Author : Josie Jaffrey
Series : Soverign #1
Format : Paperback
Page Count : 285
Genre : Dystopian YA
Publisher : Silver Sun Books
Release Date : June 25, 2018

Reviewer : Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★


Micky’s star review

Headlines:
Humans ‘v’ vampires ‘v’ zombies
Parallel stories
Dystopia meets historical

I feel like I’ve possibly done this series starter a disservice on the one hand because this is a story that builds on a previous series. I think I would have understood quite a bit more if I’d read that previous series but with this being a book one of a series, I thought I would be okay. Overall, I found the world building confusing at times and I was jarred by my lack of understanding.

Those aspects said, this was a very character-driven story and some of these characters were ones to get behind. This was a tale with two stories running in parallel where Julia and Lucas were at the fore of the story in the Blue and Cam was at the fore of the story in the Red. It took a long time for these stories to intersect but I wasn’t bothered by that.

While this was a dystopian tale that occasionally harkened back to our contemporary times, life in the Blue felt somewhat historical, ancient Grecian or Roman with nobles, servitude and a basic standard of living. I was most interested in Julia and Lucas in the Blue for these reasons, but still, there was a lot to get your head around.

The story did pull the threads together towards the end but I’m left with many unanswered questions that I’ll have to read on for.

Thank you to the author for the review copy.

THE WOLF AND THE WATER by Josie Jaffrey

Some secrets are worth killing for:

The ancient city of Kepos sits in an isolated valley, cut off from the outside world by a towering wall. Behind it, the souls of the dead clamour for release. Or so the priesthood says.

Kala has never had any reason to doubt their word – until her father dies in suspicious circumstances that implicate the city’s high priest. She’s determined to investigate, but she has a more immediate problem: the laws of the city require her mother to remarry straight away.

Kala’s new stepfather is a monster, but his son Leon is something altogether more dangerous: kind. With her family fractured and the investigation putting her life in danger, the last thing Kala needs is romance. She would rather ignore Leon entirely, however difficult he makes it. But when she learns the truth of what really clamours behind the wall at the end of the valley, she faces a choice: share what she knows and jeopardise her escape, or abandon him to his fate along with the rest of the city.

If she doesn’t move fast, then no one will make it out of the valley alive.


Title : The Wolf and the Water
Author : Josie Jaffrey
Series : The Deluge #1
Format : Paperback
Page Count : 268
Genre : YA Historical Fantasy
Publisher : Silver Sun Books
Release Date : October 8, 2020

Reviewer : Micky
Rating  : ★ ★ ★ ★


Micky’s 3.5 – 4 star review

The Wolf and the Water was a complex and fresh historical fantasy told from a Greek mythological context. The characters were YA in age but the themes felt older and I appreciated the story not holding any barrs.

Kala, the protagonist was the newly bereaved and unwanted daughter with a physical disability. Kala was not unused to derision and rejection from her community but with the loss of a loved one, she’d lost protection. Kala was a strong young woman with courage and her tale was compelling.

This was an intricate story, some re-envisaging of elements of Greek mythology tales influenced by Atlantis. Misogyny, slavery and power was on the menu and in reference to my earlier comment about themes, some elements were brutally told. I did lose my stride with a bit of confusion at one point, but I was able to pick up the story again and what was happening.

The story felt unpredictable, the friendships, relationships and allegiences were interesting and the eventual story direction left me wanting to know more. This was the first time I’ve read Josie Jaffrey but I’ll definitely read her work again and follow this series further.

Thank you to the author for the review copy.