Earlier this year I got a chance to read the ARC of «Gilded Cage» the first book in Dark Gifts series by Vic James and was blown away by the political plays, rebellion, magic and a new concept of slavery.
Of course when the second book was published, I had to get my hands on it immediately. And it didn’t disappoint!
“A thrilling Orwellian vision of Britain, with a rebellious Hunger Games heart, Tarnished City is the second title in Vic James’s electrifying Dark Gifts Trilogy, following Gilded Cage.
A corrupted city
A dark dream of power
Luke is a prisoner, condemned for a murder he didn’t commit. Abi is a fugitive, desperate to free him before magic breaks his mind. But as the Jardines tighten their grip on a turbulent Britain, brother and sister face a fight greater than their own.
New alliances and old feuds will remake the nation, leaving Abi and Luke questioning everything – and everyone – they know. And as Silyen Jardine hungers for the forgotten Skill of the legendary Wonder King, the country’s darkest hour approaches. Freedom and knowledge both come at a cost. So who will pay the price?”
If you haven’t had read the first books yet, I highly recommend you to start right now! And if you need a little bit more incentive, stick around for the list of everything I loved in the second book of Dark Gifts series.
The main thing that got me hooked immediately as I started reading the first book was the political plays and Vic James’ new Britain – different, conflictuous and captivating. «Tarnished City» does a great job in maintaining this trend and focusing on political issues just as much as on our main characters’ lives. It is all intertwined and I love it!
The second book also accentuates more the concept of common people as a sheep herd blindly following cruel and evil fates attributed to them by the Skilled, by Equals. But the confrontation between Skilled and unSkilled gets to another level, as we see different plots take place. We finally see who is behind the rebellious actions, that not all Skilled are blind to what their regimen have done to the population of Great Britain.
Power is not children’s toy, that we learn from the very first book. Who can be trusted with the power to decide destinies of people? How can power change people for the worst? It’s all out there for us to witness. And that’s when some of the characters finally show their true colours:
- Gavar’s inner battle,
- his father’s cruel reign and tyranny,
apparently not all Jardines were baked in the same oven.
The Jardine brothers keep surprising us – from Gavar’s inner struggles to Silyen’s impressive magic tricks, from love to betrayal. I still can’t decide which brother I prefer the most. Hopefully the third book will provide some much needed light on the recent events!
Finally, Tarnished City expended the universe and brought to our attention Great Britain’s position in the world. France, Russia and United States of America has abolished the unSkilled regime long time ago – will there be a World War? Will other countries ally themselves against Great Britain? It would be interesting to see more of the Skilled regimen impact on the international scale.
What did you think about this series? Have you read it? Are you interested in starting the first book?
Let me know in the comments down below!
With love, Alex