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BBNYA 2020 – The Gilded King by Josie Jaffrey – Book Review

I received this book to read and review as part of the BBNYA 2020 competition and/or the BBNYA tours organised by the @The_WriteReads tours team. All opinions are my own, unbiased and honest (or insert your own standard version of the same). 

About the Author.

Josie is the author of nine self-published novels plus short stories. She is currently working on a range of fantasy and historical fiction projects (both adult and YA), for which she is seeking representation. Ultimately, she hopes to be a hybrid author, both traditionally- and self-published.

​After finishing her degree in Literae Humaniores (Classics) at the University of Oxford, Josie wasn’t sure what to do with her life.

She slogged through a brief stint working for an investment bank in London during the 2008 credit crunch, then converted to law and qualified as a solicitor specialising in intellectual property. She worked at a law firm for five years before moving to a UK-based international publisher in 2016. Whilst she loved law, in the end she didn’t love it quite as much as writing, which she now does almost full time.

​Josie lives in Oxford with her husband and two cats (Sparky and Gussie), who graciously permit human cohabitation in return for regular feeding and cuddles. The resulting cat fluff makes it difficult for Josie to wear black, which is largely why she gave up being a goth. Although the cats are definitely worth it, she still misses her old wardrobe.

About the Book.

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.

My Review.

Having read Josie’s May Day last year I was incredibly happy when I got the full book of this for BBNYA. It wasn’t exactly what I expected but I was quickly dragged into the almost post apocalyptic/urban fantasy world and found myself flying through the pages.

Julia is a servant in the Blue, a city where humans and monsters live side by side. She longs to escape, and she would but for the certain death awaiting her outside the walls. That all changes though when she becomes a server to Lucas a silver. Their relationship starts off tenuous at best, but as they grow to know and trust each other feelings blossom, but her relationship with Lucas puts her in more danger than she realises, and when she realises the truth of the silver and the Blue Julia will start to question everything she has ever been told. Cameron is a Silver and spends his days searching the Red, the world outside the blue filled with dangers for his kind, for his friend and lost Queen. His journey will take him further than he has ever travelled and will have him questioning his friends and loyalties.

I loved the dual POV style of this book. Julia and Cameron couldn’t be more different, and the fact that they never even meet makes for a unique plot. Julia is strong and resilient, she has never wanted to serve the Silver, more than happy to spend her days out of the limelight in the kitchens or arms deep in weeds. When she gets called up to serve Lucas she is initially worried, but the more she gets to know him the more she realises he isn’t like the other Silver she has met and heard about. There is a softness to him, he doesn’t wish to hurt her and only takes her blood when absolutely necessary. She isn’t like the other girls who see the romance in being picked to serve, but the more time she spends with Lucas the more her feelings start to warm towards him.

Cameron is a Silver (vampire) part of the elite guard, he is a creature of the past. He is determined and incredibly loyal to those he loves. He remembers the time before the Red and the Blue existed, when Humans and Vampires lived side by side in peace, with no need for forced servitude. Unfortunately the virus that swept through humanity disrupted their food supply and they had to create the Blue to survive. But Cameron spends most of his days scouring the days for clues to the whereabouts of his lost Queen and friend. He likes to spend his time alone, so when he unexpectedly comes across a human heading in the same direction he is loathed to team up… no matter how attractive he is. But the more they travel, the more their stories become entwined and Cameron may have to put his trust in a human before the end.

I really, really loved the world that Josie created. Having read May Day which is a prequel series to this, I was already familiar with her breed of vampire; super speed, can go out in the daylight etc. But the difference between the two is The Gilded King is set after a virus has swept through the human population, one which if a Vampire drinks from an infected human they loose their immortality. And so the Blue was created, somewhere with uninfected humans being bread, an everlasting food source. I found this concept really interesting, and although the plot in this book was more of a set-up for whats to come, I really enjoyed learning about the world and the events that caused it to exist as it does today.

The Gilded King is also a kind of paranormal romance. The romance does play a rather large part in the plot, with Julia and Lucas as well as Cameron and his human ally, both ‘relationships’ were written beautifully, charcaters were given time to trust and get to know each other. There was no ‘insta love’ and they felt really natural. They don’t however detract from the overall plot, in fact they add to it. Both Julia and Cameron learn things from their partners, things that could change their worlds.

Filled with twists and turns, deceptions, romance and action I easily flew through this book in one sitting and will absolutely be picking up the rest of the series soon.


BBNYA is a yearly competition where book bloggers from all over the world read and score books written by indie authors. 

If you are an author and wish to learn more about the 2021 BBNYA competition, you can visit the official website (https://www.bbnya.com/) or our Twitter account, @BBNYA_Official. If you would like to sign-up and enter your book, you can find the BBNYA 2021 AUTHOR SIGN UP FORM HERE. Please make sure to carefully read our terms and conditions before entering. 

If you are a book blogger or reviewer, you can apply to be part of BBNYA 2021 by filling out this form (also remember to read the terms and conditions before signing up)! 

BBNYA is brought to you in association with the Folio Society (If you love beautiful books you NEED to check out their website!) And the book blogger support group TheWriteReads.

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