The Silvered Serpents

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 01 Oct 2020

Member Reviews

Thank You to NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of this book in exchange or my honest opinions!


UUUGGGGGHHHH! I feel so conflicted about this review. On one hand, I absolutely adore Roshani Chokshi's work, and I was so looking forward to being able to review a piece of her's. On the other hand, this is not her best piece by a long stretch. I appreciate a lot about her writing and yet, so much fell flat in this book. Yes, I enjoyed the character's and I enjoyed the setting and I adored the way that she utilized tension between the two lead characters, but it wasn't enough to salvage the undeserved, rushed ending and the plot confusion. As much as I wanted to follow the character's I must admit that she lost me for a bit in the middle. And the ending reveal comes out of the left field with no indicators and left me largely at a loss. In addition, she tries to humanize her character's oten in their insanity and a lot of it feels undeserved. I am hoping against hope that this is just a sequel slump because I love a lot of things about this series and I think it's incredibly salvagable. I look forward to the next book and anything else she writes in the future
Was this review helpful?
Thank you Netgalley for providing me with an ARC of The Silvered Serpents. This book is just as good as The Gilded Wolves! The pacing is a bit slower, but I loved getting to know the characters more and understanding their personal motivations. I do think there were a few things that didn't make sense, like how easily they seemed to trust Eva. However, I loved the ending and the twists and turns throughout the story. I can't wait for book three! I just wish we didn't have to wait so long!
Was this review helpful?
Note: Review to be posted to Goodreads on November 10, 2019 and on retail sites (Barnes & Noble, Amazon) upon publication date, September 22, 2020.

This eARC was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Silvered Serpents left me completely breathless and in awe of Roshani Chokshi’s ability to craft such a mesmerizing, intricate tale. The second installment of The Gilded Wolves series, Chokshi’s latest entry is certainly darker than its predecessor and will leave you reeling from the countless twists and turns. 

From the first chapter, Chokshi lures readers back into the immersive world introduced in The Gilded Wolves, which eruditely interweaves real-world history, religion, and folklore with fantasy. Continuing shortly after the events of The Gilded Wolves, The Silvered Serpents centers on Séverin and his team as they embark on another dangerous acquisition; however, this time set against the backdrop of Imperial Russia. Without giving too much away, let’s just say that the stakes are even higher and the events of this book leave our favorite characters irrevocably changed. 

Prior to reading The Gilded Wolves and The Silvered Serpents, I considered Roshani Chokshi to be one of my favorite authors based on her beautiful The Star-Touched Queen series. Through her words, she is able to breathe life into every page and make her characters truly come alive. The Silvered Serpents was no exception and I frequently found myself taking notes with my favorite sentences and passages (not common for me). I was also delighted by her subtle nod to The Star-Touched Queen in one of Laila’s chapters towards the conclusion of the book. 

As the events of The Silvered Serpents slowly unfolded, Chokshi’s cast of characters only continued to develop, at times in unexpected ways. Each chapter gave us a unique look into these characters’ lives and made me feel as if I knew each one personally. In particular, I felt most connected to Laila and found her story to be captivating. My only critique of The Silvered Serpents is that I occasionally had to reread sections because of the complexity of the situation or location being described. 

That being said, The Silvered Serpents completely shattered my expectations and is definitely my favorite book in The Gilded Wolves series (so far). Fortunately, I was able to dive right into The Silvered Serpents immediately after finishing The Gilded Wolves. I have absolutely no clue how I am going to wait until the (presumably) final book in this series is released (expected publication date 2021)!
Was this review helpful?
Thank you NetGalley for providing this ARC!  Assigning a rating to this book is difficult.  Although it qualifies as highly engrossing, it was not particularly enjoyable to read.  A melancholy pervades the narrative landscape of The Silvered Serpents, creating a somewhat bleak reading experience for the reader.  The shadow of Tristan's death permeates the story, effectively excising buoyant moments for the reader.  None of the lightheartedness and camaraderie spills over from the previous book. Roshani Chokshi’s diction choices are still vivid and magical, but now her brand of magic is at times soulless and devoid of joy.  All the characters of the story are emotionally damaged to some degree, seeking connection in their actions and subsisting on a fervent hope of belonging and being loved unconditionally.  Their voices seamlessly and effectively propel the story forward, but it is a story steeped in sadness and bereft of hope for much of book.  Perhaps Chokshi wanted to push her readers to the brink of despair along with her characters, but I hope the next installment will offer a much-needed reprieve from the darkness.  I will definitely continue reading this series because I am ravenous for a resolution to this harrowing tale.  Chokshi  deftly dangles the reader at the precipice of her story, but mercifully  offers a hopeful glimpse of a satisfying conclusion.
Was this review helpful?
This series continues to be very confusing for me. Like a lot of other readers, I found it difficult to follow the plot of this book, as well as The Gilded Wolves. The only reason I continued the series is because I really enjoyed the characters and their relationships, and I wanted to see what happened to them next. But I didn't really enjoy anything other than the interactions between characters.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you, Netgalley for providing me with this ARC! After really enjoying The Gilded Wolves, I was excited to see what Chokshi was going to bring in the sequel, and ultimately I was not disappointed! Although at the beginning I was a little worried as she started to undo most of the cliffhangers from Book 1 (ex. Severin finding out about Tristan so quickly), I held out and it seemed like it was a better story because of it. 
In many ways, Book 2 was easier to follow than Book 1 because the magic system was already in place and required less detailed explanations. I thought Zofia really shined in this book, moreso than any other character. I enjoyed seeing her Jewish heritage brought into more detail through their trip to Russia and discussions of the pogroms. Enrique and Laila both remained constant from Book 1, although I thought Laila's feelings toward Severin fluctuated too often and too quickly to remain perfectly believable. Severin, although frustrating, was believable in his reaction to Tristan's death. My biggest disappointment with the series has always been a lack of description of the setting-- I often find characters in places that I had no idea where they were.
Overall, I keep coming back to this series due to Chokshi's wonderful discussions and depictions of diversity in her chosen time period. I am always impressed and pleased with her handling of cultural artifacts, biracial characters, and different religions, as well as her phenomenal characterizations of Zofia and Enrique across both books. I enjoyed this book and will be looking forward to Book 3!
Was this review helpful?
A little note to say that this is a spoiler free review, for those who have not yet read The Gilded Wolves. I urge you to do so, it will only enrich your literary life.

Another note: I am so incredibly thrilled to have read an early copy of The Silvered Serpents. Roshani Chokshi is one of my favorite authors, and I am constantly amazed by her stories. It is an absolute honor to review this novel. You all need to read this trilogy.

Again, Roshani Chokshi blows me away. I am eternally stunned by her world and character-building, which came out in equal force to create the dynamics of Séverin’s team in icy, beautiful Siberia. The Silvered Serpents expands upon the tale wound up in The Gilded Wolves, a masterful sequel that does not suffer from second-book syndrome. I was already in love with these characters, but Chokshi used that to wrench my heart around, as I suspected would be the case. I am so incredibly torn that The Gilded Wolves is a trilogy and not a duology—I love these books so much, but my heart cannot take much more!

Where, even, to start? Probably with the world and the prose. The depiction of the world in 1789 links history (colonization, European powers) with the magic of Forging and connections to ancient references (the tower of Babel, the Nine Muses), to a magical effect. Readers can understand and connect with each clue towards The Divine Lyrics (the object of desire for Séverin’s team) because of their cleverly crafted historical and magical significance within the real world. I especially loved seeing representations of the Nine Muses from Greek mythology, each with a special connection to an art or science. They each also had a symbolic item that signified their presence in a work, because they were otherwise indistinguishable from one another. My favorite muse has always been Urania, depicted with stars and compass. Chokshi’s prose is lyrical and devastating, as always. A couple of my favorite quotes are "What is magic but a science we cannot fathom?” and "Love does not always wear the face we wish."

For me, the heart of this story (or, I should say, the characters in this story to which my heart belong) is Laila and Séverin’s plot thread. The two of them are so magnificent together, but are blocked by their own desires: Laila’s to live, and Séverin’s obsession with protecting his friends. I cannot evaluate the strength of their stories objectively, because every time they were on the page, my heart just screamed for these angel children (though, of course, they are neither angelic nor children. This is merely my intense affection taking over my rationality). The tension between them as they continue to hide their desires and intentions from each other builds in a tantalizing way, much as it does through the first book in the series. I especially liked the contrast between Séverin grappling with the concept of godhood and Laila simply wishing to live her mortal life to a longer end. 

Of course, the whole team is depicted in such a beautiful manner. Haunted by loss, and fractured after the events of The Gilded Wolves, they must find a way to focus on their mission while balancing high tension. Each of them is so well defined by the portrayal of their grief. Their individual arcs are given full attention within the scope of the story, which rounds out the novel.

The plot never disappoints. In the novel, we continue the journey of Séverin’s team as they seek the key to divine power. Fast paced and exciting, there’s an exceptional balance between emotion and action in The Silvered Serpents. The tension between the characters changes state throughout the novel, and I found myself screaming, holding my breath, and crying at various moments while reading. The pacing was snappy and each beat precisely placed, exactly as I’d predicted. I didn’t expect The Silvered Serpents to be such a quick read for me, although perhaps this is due to the fact that once I picked it up, I couldn’t put it down. I never imagined finishing a day after I started. 

Overall, an amazing novel. I have exactly zero bad things to say about The Silvered Serpents, and am so excited for you all to fall in love with this series just like I have. 5/5 stars.
Was this review helpful?
Unbelievably good follow up to “Gilded Wolves.” Chokshi creates characters to fall in love with, treasure hunts to twist the mind, and enough romantic tension to ignite an inferno. And she does such a good job of making the reader yearn for the next book at the close of the current book. This book is darker than the first, both internally with regards to the mental state of many of the main characters along with the evil-doings and proclivities of the “big bad.” All-in-all a really well done page turner.
Was this review helpful?
Roshani Chokshi is a  beautiful writer and this novel supports that because it is just a wonderful story.  The second book in this series, it was well done, full of beautiful imagery and captivating! I love reading anything Chokshi creates and look forward to the next one! Thank you netgalley for the arc in exchange for my honest opinion.
Was this review helpful?
The Silvered Serpents was pretty good, despite struggling from sluggish pacing. The problem actually isn’t so much that this book was bad, it’s more so that The Gilded Wolves was so good that it almost can’t live up to it. It has entirely lost The Da Vinci Code vibe, with basically no opportunity for code cracking this time, and the Six of Crows friendship dynamics have utterly dissolved, but the world building is still rich and completely maintains the decadence of the era.  

The story picks up pretty much where the last ended, with each of the characters feeling the loss of a member of their group and struggling to figure out their purpose now that the group has disbanded after Severin turned into a cold-hearted wretch. They end up having to come back together, each once again using their specific skill set to unlock the whereabouts of the (possibly mythical) book which will help save Laila’s life and stop their enemies. 

I feel like I lost touch with the characters in this book. I really liked the dynamic in the previous book, with a healthy dose of borderline rude jibes and unspoken loyalties. This time they felt very separate from each other, almost each with their own story eventually feeding into a greater cause. I guess it just lost its heart, whereas the previous book had so much of it. 

I also found the pacing really difficult to persevere with. I have no problem with slow pacing when it’s a tool to build the world, develop our connection with a character by spending a lot of time with them, or enable the plot to move forward by moving a character from A to B. In this case the pacing is really just an oversight, because it doesn’t contribute to any of those things, it simply is just a little bit boring. 

I’m not sure if the fact I received an ARC was actually a little but inhibiting in this instance, because the E-copy I received didn’t include any of the drawings/codes/diagrams the Gilded Wolves did. This was a huge mistake, and I really hope the finished copy has them in, because that was one of the most compelling features of the Gilded Wolves – being able to crack the codes alongside the characters. 

The ending does significantly make up for the losses though, leaving us on another cliff-hanger desperately grappling for some answers. 

ARC provided from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
I’ll be honest and say that I was a bit scared to start this book. Would it live up to my expectations? Would my kids suffer more? Could I handle it? I will say the answers are: yes, Yes, and NO.

Now, it need not be said, but The Silvered Serpents was truly amazing; second book syndrome who? I think I actually liked this one more than its predecessor. Seriously, The Silvered Serpents is The Gilded Wolves turned up to eleven. Roshani really saw us crying and wanting the second book and said, oh you think you know pain? I’ll show you true pain.

There is more of a treasure hunt in this book, so the plot was quicker-paced yet equally balanced with the character arcs. The crew falls into an easy routine when treasure hunting, a reminder that they’ve done this many times before (something I feel like we only got a brief sense of in the first book). To everyone who said the clues in TGW were too simple: they were more detailed and less obvious here.

Since this is a Roshani book, I knew the writing was going to be stunning, but she really outdid herself in this book. The prose beguiles from start to finish, pulling you into the Gilded Age with all its decadence and wealth, hiding a system built on colonialism and racism. I have rarely been so into a historical fantasy because usually the history has to be established throughout the book, and I grow bored. However, Roshani ties the history in so well with the plot; there’s not any info-dumping, nor is there any time something doesn’t make sense.

Also, make no mistake, The Silvered Serpents still very much focuses on the colonial aspect. Enrique wants to be fully seen and recognized in the Filipino community but never being taken seriously because he’s biracial and therefore other in both the Filipino and Spanish communities. There’s also a small part about marginalized girls being kidnapped because “no one would miss them,” which, naturally, is horrendous.

Anyways, the prose is honestly so breathtaking; I was highlighting quotes on every other page. I particularly adored the metaphors of fairy tales and curses, as well as the comparisons to gods and monsters. If we’re getting angst, I want maximum strength angst!

All of the narrators are wonderfully fleshed out, in a way I didn’t think was possible because we already saw such amazing characterizations in the last book. They’re all still growing and revealing themselves to us, and it was great to see their hopes and dreams. They’re honestly all my kids, especially Laila and Zofia; I love them! I would lay down my life for them!

That being said, there is like ten times more angst in this book, so I was crying constantly. Obviously they’re all dealing with the aftermath of the first book, aka that death. Séverin is spiraling and internalizing his hurt. Meanwhile, Laila is coping with her imminent death if they don’t find the Divine Lyrics soon. Zofia deals with her sister’s health issues and coming out of her shell. Enrique seeks being wanted by the Filipino scholars, by Hypnos, by everyone basically. And Hypnos is desperate to be in the group, despite them, Séverin especially, holding him at arm’s length.

Of course, the romance was heart-stopping. The longing of it all…Although to be honest, I’m usually most into the romance of a book than anything, but with this series, I love all of the characters so much that I’m surprisingly more invested in their individual arcs rather than any romantic ones. That’s the power of Roshani’s writing!

The ending was one of the most gutting things I’ve ever read, and I finished this book right before bed, so naturally I couldn’t fall asleep because my brain was just a conspiracy board. And book 3 is so far away…

I would like to reiterate: do not compare this series to Six of Crows! Although I will say, if you didn’t much love The Gilded Wolves or found it a bit slow, I think you’ll like The Silvered Serpents more.

The Silvered Serpents crushed my heart into a million pieces and pieced it back together again. The characters go through astounding character arcs, ones that make me envious as a human being. I genuinely could not put this book down! The Silvered Serpents passes its predecessor in ways I couldn’t even imagine; the plot, the characters, the romance, the prose, all of it was stunning and gorgeous. Do not miss out on this beautiful series about history and all of its magic, bloody and otherwise.
Was this review helpful?
i really tried to push my way through this book but i ended up DNFing it. While I do love Roshani Chokshi's writing, the overall plot and pacing just didn't work for me.
Was this review helpful?
The stakes for our beloved characters from THE GILDED WOLVES  have never been higher. As they battle their life-changing grief and grapple with their deepest desires - to help an ill sister, to be heard by scholars, to live, to become a god - they sign up for one last heist: to find The Divine Lyrics. Chokshi’s mastery of flowing prose and witty banter shines brighter than ever in this story of magical science, portals, and a goliath named David. This glamourous world grows even darker as the characters race against the clock to discover this final treasure… risking themselves, and their trust in each other, to get there. Addictive and thrilling, THE SILVERED SERPENTS is not to be missed, leading up to what is bound to be an incredible finale for the series.
Was this review helpful?
Hi. I made a grave mistake reading The Silvered Serpents so early because now I need book 3 to be in my hands, and that’s not happening for at least another year. I do have a brief extra disclaimer that I am on the street team for this series, and I did receive the e-ARC I read through being on the street (the publisher originally rejected me on Netgalley). This does not affect my thoughts on this book. I genuinely loved The Silvered Serpents book. Also, mild spoiler warning for The Gilded Wolves.

If you happened to be around me while I was reading this book, you might have noticed that I either had my hand over my mouth or I was clenching and unclenching my fist (particularly while reading Séverin’s chapters). There was no in between. Since the very foreboding prologue I was hooked and either distressed or ready to knock some sense into my favourite disaster nerds (but mostly Séverin).

Speaking of my favourite disaster nerds, they go through and grow so much throughout The Silvered Serpents. There were so many moments where I got to (internally because I read most of this on the bus) celebrate how bad*** Laila is, wish the group had listened to Hypnos, and cheer on Enrique and Zofia as they figured stuff out. These characters have my heart and feel so real.

I particularly liked seeing how what happened to Tristan affected all of them. Tristan was maybe my least favourite character in The Gilded Wolves, but seeing all of them deal with what happened broke me. There was one point where I had to stop reading because I was going to cry in public.

One of my favourite things about this series is that it combines math, myth, history, and magic, which is honestly my entire field of interest. Like in no other series do I get to get excited about them (I think) talking about epsilon in a math context after they discussed the muses from Greek mythology. My nerd heart is so happy because this series is somehow up my (very niche) alley.

The writing is magical as always. You can always expect gorgeous writing from Roshani Chokshi’s books though, so it’s hardly a surprise at this point. One of my favourite moments was when one of the characters defined writers and it felt like 100% something Roshani Chokshi would write (I referenced this in my Twitter thread of me live-tweeting the book, but I don’t think it made sense without knowing what I was talking about).

I think understood the world a little better in this one. Not that I didn’t understand it in book one, it’s just that I feel like I have a way better grasp on what forging is. There’s a new (I think) type of forging introduced, and I think it really helped me understand forging better than I did last December.

The Silvered Serpents is filled with massive reveals that I mostly didn’t see coming. The hints are there, but oh my god did this book ever have me on the edge of my seat. There were some parts of ending in particular that I was able to guess, but still made me sob on the bus. To quote my initial Goodreads review, how dare this book stab a penknife into my heart (I really want someone to get this reference and yell at me for it).

Overall, I loved The Silvered Serpents, earning it all the stars (really 5 stars out of 5).
Was this review helpful?
O...M...G!!  I absolutely loves this second installment of the series. I love the unlikely team of misfits. I love the antihero standpoint. I love the banter between characters. I love the mystery. I love the change of location. I absolutely love EVERYTHING!
Was this review helpful?
I had a hard time with this book not because of the plot, or the authors words but because I hit the wrong button and asked for this in error.

Therefore, I did not and have not read the first book.  I had to persist in reading this to be able to review it fairly.  The descriptions are rich in color and detail.  The plots are convoluted and one within another which makes for interesting reading, speculation and observation.

What was hardest for me was the darkness in Séverin that became more and more obvious the further into the story I went.  At times I had a hard time deciphering his hidden agenda from his overt actions.   Actually I am not sure now what his true intent is.

The ending is interesting as are those who were killed really dead or merely asleep?  Stay tune for the next volume where we will find out what is ahead for 
Séverin and how the author will weave the strings of the Lyre to tell the tale.

I wish to thank the author, NetGalley and St Martin’s Press for allowing me to read this book in advance of its publishing date.
Was this review helpful?
4.5 out of 5 Stars - Lets just round up to 5.

 ***ARC received from Wednesday Books and NetGalley in exchange for honest review, opinions are all my own. Thank you!*** 

I ended up finishing this book a lot faster than I thought I would once I got going. It just pulls you in and refuses to let go. 

The book takes up shortly after the previous book finished going from the lights of Paris to the ice and snow of Russia. I feel in some ways the city reflects on the mode of the characters. The brightness and glamour of Paris reflected in the characters at times light heart nature in the previous book is now replaced by a cold and almost distance that has developed between Séverin and his crew.  They are still reeling from the loss of Tristan but Séverin is also having to deal with the truth of who is brother was and the impact it had on them. The pain is still raw and really influences the decisions that Séverin  in particular makes. 

Speaking of Séverin, he was probably my favorite character in this book. As much as I loved everyone, really there isn't a single character I disliked, I found Séverin both infuriating and real. He is guilt ridden over the decision he made but still actively trying to save each of them in his own twisted way. There is a part at the end when he comes to realize that love manifests and wears many the many faces of beauty, hate, horror, silence and at worst, betrayal. I loved his interactions with Laila, still circling around each other getting close only to shove each other back. Its a beautiful dance but it has consequences and why Séverin would think they wouldn't  at the end it beyond me. But just more true to his character.

This book was so beautifully written to me. I loved the description of the world and the interactions between the characters. The Gilded Wolves felt a little juvenile to me with the characters interactions but this was so beautiful. I think Roshani Chokshi has a talented for writing pain and a love that only seems to hurt. Because that ended certainly hurt me! I don't want to have to wait so long for the next book.
Was this review helpful?
I was lucky enough to get an arc of this book for the publisher and netgalley. Thanks to both of them.

The silvered serpents is the sequel to the Gilded Wolves. It pick up where the first book left us. I like it even more than I have the first one. Its so intense and darker.

With the end the part that i don't like Its that the wait for the third book will be really long. Since Silvered serpents not coming out until february 2020, the third book won't come until 2021. Except if I do get an arc again. I really can't wait for the conclusion.
Was this review helpful?
I liked this one more than the first! The character development was fantastic and I feel like I got a better idea of the setting in this one. I will be recommending that we purchase it.
Was this review helpful?
I couldn’t believe this was available to request on Netgalley so soon! Thank you for granting me an ARC.
I really enjoyed the previous novel and was super excited to see where the story went from there. It was a fairly quick read for me, and all of the characters were enjoyable as ever (except for Severin, he knows what he’s done). It followed similarly to the first book; fantastical heists, Forged objects, enviable aesthetics, all the feels, and the devious and elusive Fallen House.
I never felt like it was getting boring and kept oohing and aahing at descriptions of a Forged ice palace. Definitely one of the better reads of the year.
It ends with a cliffhanger and I’m like “I’m reading this ARC months before the book so when will I be able to see what happens?????” So I’m writing this review through tears because I literally and emotionally can not wait until 2021 (I’m assuming) for the next one.
Was this review helpful?