Book Review: The Gilded King by Josie Jaffrey

40127369Book Title: The Gilded King
Author: Josie Jaffrey
Series: Sovereign #1
Publication Date: June 25th 2018
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal, Young Adult
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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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 received a copy of this book from the author (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review.



If you know me, you know that I can be pretty inarticulate when I finish a really great book. So, I have to try extra hard to write a coherent review and force you to read this one. Just kidding… kind of.

Okay, just to get it out of the way, the only reason why I ticked off 1 star from my rating is because I had trouble getting into it. It was a lot to take in, as I expected, so I had a bit of a rocky start. Everything turned out fine though, because things eventually made sense as the story went on.

But never mind that, because if you plan to read The Gilded King, you are in for a treat!

This book is told in the third person perspective, alternating between Julia’s confined life in the Blue and Cameron’s excursion through the land of the Red. The author did an amazing job weaving two separate journeys of the main protagonists into one story while also casting light on other important characters.

Speaking of characters, I didn’t particularly like Julia—one of the main protagonists—because she didn’t appear to have much of a development for me. Cameron, on the other hand, was so much fun to read about, especially when he was on the hunt for Emmy; his coping techniques when compromised and his interactions with different people along the way. However, if you’ll ask me, my favorite character would have to be either Lucas or Felix. They have such contrasting personalities so I’m having a hard time choosing. While Lucas is charming and gentle, Felix is placid and mysterious. It’s just so refreshing to read about a wide variety of personalities in this book, each having different voices of their own.

Plot-wise, the book really is astounding. I’m not normally a fan of vampires and zombies, I’m more neutral on it, so I didn’t expect to like this book as much as I did! There were definitely a few surprises and a few nail-biter scenes so I found myself speeding through the book in no time.

I’ve actually just recently found out that this is a spin-off series to the author’s first one called the Solis Invicti series—which, let’s be real, I would love to read as well. With all that said, this is an absolutely great read so I definitely recommend this one. The last chapter of the book was enough to get me all hyped up and excited to read the others in the series.

The author, Josie Jaffrey, has kindly provided an excerpt for The Gilded King. This is probably one of my favorite scenes in the book!


At the very furthest point of the temple, at the end of the double row of pillars that processed towards it, there was a pedestal mounted on a stepped dais. A figure was laid out on top of it. For a moment, Julia froze, thinking it was a real person lying there, slumbering in the temple, but something didn’t fit.

The figure wasn’t breathing. It wasn’t moving at all.

‘Come on,’ Lucas said, leading her down the aisle towards it.

‘Is it a statue?’ she asked.

‘A tomb, really.’

As they walked, he snuffed out the lamps that lined the walls, until finally the only illumination came from the rounded alcove into which the dais rose. It was a bright island in the centre of the darkness, and in the middle of it the statue shone: a man, wearing fine clothing in an unfamiliar style, with a blanket of stone covering his body. His exposed skin was tinged with a sheen of gold that glowed like the walls of the temple.

‘He looks so real,’ she said, reaching out to touch the golden curls that crowned his head. They were slick under her fingers, so intricate they might have been moulded from a real person.

‘They say he was.’

‘You mean this is his coffin?’ The pedestal certainly looked like a tomb. It was wide and deep enough to accommodate a body.

‘No,’ Lucas said, ‘I mean that this is him, that this statue was once alive.’

Julia’s hand had been tracing the lines of the face, but now she snatched it away. ‘You’re not serious.’

‘I am.’

‘This is why you brought me here,’ she said.

‘Of course. You want to hear the fairytale, don’t you?’

The Gilded King promo slide


DISCLAIMER: By clicking the Amazon and Book Depository buttons, you will be directed to my affiliate links for the respective sites. If you purchase the book using my link, you have supported me and my blog since I will get a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you!


7 thoughts on “Book Review: The Gilded King by Josie Jaffrey

  1. I can’t get over how gorgeous that cover is, and this book honestly sounds like something I would love. I like the idea of being stuck somewhere out of fear of what is outside. Getting to read from the perspective of someone inside and outside the city sounds so intriguing. I haven’t even read the book yet, but I feel like Lucas would be one of my favorite characters as well, and I am intrigued by Felix. Another book added to my endless TBR! Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

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