The Gilded King by Josie Jaffrey // Spoiler-Free Review

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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.

I was kindly sent this book by the author in exchange for an honest review. All views are my own. I went into this book, other than the synopsis, totally blind and I’m so glad I did. This book has vampires and zombies but not the stereotypical version so don’t go into this book with any fear of it having been done before. Many of the aspects of this book remind me of the kind of books I read when I was a teenager but in this case, they worked really well. This dystopian, paranormal world is split into the Blue and the Red. People who live in the Blue live in the world’s last city whereas everything in the Red is an unknown wasteland, and therefore dangerous. However, in the Blue, the city is ruled by Nobility, otherwise known as the Solis Invicti (vampires.)

The story follows Julia, a resident of the Blue and is newly assigned to become an Attendant of a Noble. In other words, the Nobles are vampires who require blood and the Attendants jobs are to be there to feed them. However, when Julia meets her Noble, Lucas, she soon realises he is unlike any Noble she has ever known and he, too, dreams of leaving the Blue. Our second protagonist in Cameron, a Silver (also vampire) who is dedicated to finding his old friend, queen and fellow Solis Invicti. During his journey across Europe, he meets a woodsman called Felix who accompanies him. It is their friendship and gradual romance that was my favourite part of this novel and I can’t wait to see how it develops in the second book.


The plot itself is slow burning but definitely comes to an action-filled climax when the Blue and Red blend into each other. I loved reading about Cameron’s journey across Europe and his very cute and very funny relationship with Felix. Through him, we learn a lot about the Solis Invicti and all the other creatures of the novel. Although there are a lot of new terms and ‘rules’ to learn, you pick them up fairly quickly and I love the author’s new take on vampirism. Julia’s experiences are a lot different to Cameron’s as she is trapped in the Blue. However, I loved her relationship with fellow Attendant and best friend, Claudia and also her blossoming relationship with Lucas. There is also a secondary character in Marcella – a Candidate to become Noble and I hope to see more of her in the sequel.

Overall, I enjoyed this book a lot more than I thought I would and I am thoroughly excited for the sequel, A Bargain in Silver. This book ended in one hell of a cliffhanger and I really don’t know what characters to trust. I read this book in two sittings – there were no info-dumps and some scenes were truly horrific, especially concerning the Weepers (zombie-like creatures.) I definitely recommend this book if this is a genre you’re interested in and show all your support to Josie as this is a self-published book!

Goodreads | Amazon

Lots of Love,
Angharad @
newlogolg copy

3 thoughts on “The Gilded King by Josie Jaffrey // Spoiler-Free Review

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