In modern-day Britain, magic users control everything: wealth, politics, power—and you. If you’re not one of the ultimate one-percenters—the magical elite—you owe them ten years of service. Do those years when you’re old, and you’ll never get through them. Do them young, and you’ll never get over them.
This is the darkly decadent world of Gilded Cage. In its glittering milieu move the all-powerful Jardines and the everyday Hadleys. The families have only one thing in common: Each has three children. But their destinies entwine when one family enters the service of the other. They will all discover whether any magic is more powerful than the human spirit.
Have a quick ten years. . . .
Whoa this book was more intense than I anticipated. To start off, there are two races- normal humans & the Skilled. All of the normal humans have to spend 10 years in slave days before they become official citizens. GILDED CAGE focuses on the Hadley family. There’s the parents, Abi (the oldest daughter), Luke (middle son), and Daisy (youngest daughter). On Daisy’s 10th birthday, Luke finds out that their whole family is entering their slave days together- but they’re not supposed to be going to the horrible slave town of Millmoor. Instead, the whole family of five is heading to the estate of one of the most elite Skilled families. But when the car comes to collect them, it turns out that Luke isn’t coming after all, and he’s sent to Millmoor.
There, Luke ends up joining a group of rebels– it’s more like he joins a group of game players. The game is they put paper down in a hat and the paper contains some sort of challenge but it’s always a good challenge that works toward helping others. However, helping others is very unusual in a place like Millmoor as people generally only look out for themselves.
But enough of the summary- let me tell you why I loved this book. There are many reasons of course, but one in particular. THE SURPRISES NEVER STOPPED. I only predicted one or two of the twists in this novel and trust me, there were a LOT of twists. I never knew what was coming next which was awesome. This caused me to turn each page with anticipation and I just couldn’t put the book down. I wanted to devour it. Anytime someone interrupted me while reading it, I glared at them. Yes, it was that type of book.
I also found it super interesting that adults played a huge role in this book. Most YA novels focus on characters who are…well, young adults, but this one had a pretty even mix of YA and adult main characters. There even was a 10 year old character who played a pretty important role. I love how the different age dynamics played a role in this book. It was definitely something unique that brought a lot to this story.
There were a decent number of different POVS so I definitely suggest making sure you read the top of each chapter so you know whose POV it is, but honestly? I was able to figure it out without trying most of the time. Also, the different POVS were definitely needed to make sure that we the readers knew what was happening (as the main characters were in Millmoor and the other estate).
In addition to the twists and turns, there are also definitely a number of mysteries still unsolved. I will be continuing with this series. Overall I really enjoyed this book and give it 4.5/5 stars.