Katiebird Reviews Gilded Cage by Vic James



Gilded Cage (Dark Gifts book 1) by Vic James

A darkly fantastical debut set in a modern England where magically gifted aristocrats rule, and commoners are doomed to serve—for readers of Victoria Aveyard and Susanna Clarke.


Our world belongs to the Equals—aristocrats with magical gifts—and all commoners must serve them for ten years.

But behind the gates of England’s grandest estate lies a power that could break the world.

A girl thirsts for love and knowledge.

Abi is a servant to England’s most powerful family, but her spirit is free. So when she falls for one of their noble-born sons, Abi faces a terrible choice. Uncovering the family’s secrets might win her liberty—but will her heart pay the price?

A boy dreams of revolution.

Abi’s brother, Luke, is enslaved in a brutal factory town. Far from his family and cruelly oppressed, he makes friends whose ideals could cost him everything. Now Luke has discovered there may be a power even greater than magic: revolution.

And an aristocrat will remake the world with his dark gifts.

He is a shadow in the glittering world of the Equals, with mysterious powers no one else understands. But will he liberate—or destroy?

Man, oh man. This is going to be a great series! I was completely hooked from the prologue.

I love a book with a great storyline, but this book has multiple amazing storylines. You would think that it would make it more difficult to follow, but when Luke is separated by his family at the very beginning, his story and his sister, Abi’s story, as well as the gifted or Skilled Equals story were all compelling and I loved them all.

First, we will go with Abi. She is the oldest of three, and very smart. She was accepted to all of the universities she applied for, but chose to start her “slave days” instead. She wanted to learn from the experience of being a part of the ruling family of Equals in Kyneston. There she becomes an office assistance to Jenner, middle son of the Parva-Jardines. Her younger sister Daisy is given the task of caretaker for the infant child of the Heir, Gavar.

Luke is taken to Milmoor to do very hard labor in the machinery factory, despite Abi’s efforts to keep the family together. There he joins a group of people who are trying to bring about a revolution to abolish slave days. How can people who have no skills fight against humans that can hurt, maim, and torture people with their minds?

Both of their stories were very intriguing and kept me wondering what was going to happen next, but then there was the political storyline of the ruling aristocrats. I was so taken back by the twist at the end, that I can’t wait to read the next book!

“Always look at the people, not at the mass. A face, not the crowd. Look at the world, not at the ground. Every little detail you see is a victory.” – Jackson

“There’s no magic more powerful than the human spirit” – Jackson

If I were to compare this book to some of my favorite dystopian series, I would say it’s like Shatter Me meets Pawn or Hunger Games. All dark dystopian paranormal series that are amazing!

5 stars

I would give this book 5 “mind-controlling” stars, and put it on my “top shelf fantastic reads” shelf on Goodreads.

****I was given an advanced copy of the book from Net galley for an honest review. The quotes are from that copy.****

Purchase links


Amazon UK

Barnes & Noble


Book Depository 


Indie Bound

Author’s website



About katiebird

I am a huge reader of young adult, new adult, and paranormal romances. I also have an acute fondness of Robert Thomas Pattinson. I love that I get to share with everyone my love of reading.

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