Review: The Gilded King by Josie Jaffrey

August 21, 2018
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. 


Taken from


I went into this completely blind. I’m always excited to read stories from self-published or new authors and was happy to receive a copy from the author, Josie Jaffrey, in exchange for an honest review. I hadn’t even read what the book was about before I dove on in and so the first few pages were a bit confusing while I adjusted to the idea the the Blue was a city. I’m sure most people read the synopsis of a book before they go into it so I don’t think anyone else should have that problem.

The book follows two separate characters who never cross paths, but have corresponding arcs. While similar, there are a few key differences. Julia’s storyline focuses on her love life with a sprinkle of intrigue and Cameron’s story focuses on his quest with an added romantic feature. Because of this, I don’t expect most readers to love both of them equally. I’m not huge on romances, so I did favor Cameron’s sections, but I was still eager to find out what was happening with Julia as well. Jaffrey balances the aspects of each story well so each is multi-faceted enough to be enjoyed no matter what genre you favor.

What I wasn’t expecting, but thoroughly enjoyed, was the vampiric spin. They aren’t “true” vampires in the traditional way, but the way Jaffrey puts her spin on the popular myth and weaves in her own legends is refreshing and makes for a unique setting. The information on how this world became and the rules for the way it works trickles in slowly. You learn what you need to when you need to and it had me finding extra time to read between work and family obligations just to find out what was going to happen or how the main characters were going to deal with the obstacles thrown in their path.

I sincerely recommend this to those that like dystopian/romance vampire-esque fiction. I am especially excited to realize that there is a series on the events prior to this book which I hope to pick up soon. The world that Jaffrey has created is interesting and full of the details that I live for. The Gilded King is available on as an e-book or paperback and I suggest you give it a try! I’ve included an excerpt below for an extra glimpse into the story.

The Gilded King promo slide




At the very furthest point of the temple, at the end of the double row of pillars that processed towards it, there was a pedestal mounted on a stepped dais. A figure was laid out on top of it. For a moment, Julia froze, thinking it was a real person lying there, slumbering in the temple, but something didn’t fit.


The figure wasn’t breathing. It wasn’t moving at all.


‘Come on,’ Lucas said, leading her down the aisle towards it.


‘Is it a statue?’ she asked.


‘A tomb, really.’


As they walked, he snuffed out the lamps that lined the walls, until finally the only illumination came from the rounded alcove into which the dais rose. It was a bright island in the centre of the darkness, and in the middle of it the statue shone: a man, wearing fine clothing in an unfamiliar style, with a blanket of stone covering his body. His exposed skin was tinged with a sheen of gold that glowed like the walls of the temple.


‘He looks so real,’ she said, reaching out to touch the golden curls that crowned his head. They were slick under her fingers, so intricate they might have been moulded from a real person.


‘They say he was.’


‘You mean this is his coffin?’ The pedestal certainly looked like a tomb. It was wide and deep enough to accommodate a body.


‘No,’ Lucas said, ‘I mean that this is him, that this statue was once alive.’


Julia’s hand had been tracing the lines of the face, but now she snatched it away. ‘You’re not serious.’


‘I am.’


‘This is why you brought me here,’ she said.


‘Of course. You want to hear the fairytale, don’t you?’


Only registered users can comment.

    1. I’m glad I saw it mentioned on twitter or I may never have known! I want to spread my good fortune.

  1. Thanks for the review, I’ll have to check this one out. Do you have have any other books I should add to my reading list? I have a thing for dystopian reads too.

    1. This is the first dystopian I’ve read in awhile, actually. It reminded me what I loved about them, though, so I plan on digging up more!

    1. It’s definitely worth taking a look. Especially if you are looking for a bit of a spin on the traditional vampire. 😁

Leave a Reply