In this Gild book review I am sharing my thoughts on the first book in the Plated Prisoner series by Raven Kennedy. As usual I will try to keep spoilers to a minimum in my book reviews, however, there may still be a few small spoilers.
“I’m the gold-plated prisoner. But what a pretty prison it is.”Raven Kennedy, Gild
Gild has been on my “I don’t know if I’ll like this” TBR for a while. I kept seeing people say good things about it however, I also saw a lot of reviews that made me think this just wasn’t my type of book. However, Tik Tok finally convinced me to read the series.
Before we dive in, I want to make it very clear that this series has a bunch of trigger warnings that you will want to be aware of. There is a lot of sexual situations. Grooming, narcissism, and emotional abuse are regular occurrences in this book. I have done my best to identify the triggers in this book below, but my list may not be complete.
Since we don’t always get trigger warnings on books I like to give trigger warnings in my reviews. This can help people avoid certain triggers that could hurt their mental well being.
Possible Triggers in this series are:
- Abusive Relationship
- Attempted Rape
- Emotional Abuse
- Physical Abuse
- Sexual Abuse
- Sexual Assault
- Sexually Explicit Scenes
For a list of the triggers I look for you can check out this link here. This may or may not be a complete list of triggers for this book, I do my best to make sure I mark anything that could be a potential trigger but I may accidentally miss triggers.
Synopsis and Author
Gild is a retelling of the story of King Midas in a high fantasy setting. We follow Auren who is a woman who is completely gold. Her skin, hair, nails, and everything about her is gold. She is also the King’s favored.
With war on the horizon Midas is making moves that are uncharacteristic of how he normally treats his favored and it breaks her trust in him. Still Auren is in her cage and there are worse things outside of it.
Raven Kennedy has given us a beautiful world, complex characters, and a story filled with action, friendship, loyalty, and evil. We see a woman, who’s dealt with trauma through most of her life, grow throughout the series, and her growth is inspiring. This is absolutely the type of series that gets better as it goes.
Gild Reading Experience
In Gild we are in the world of Orea where 6 kingdoms are ruled by 6 powerful kings. Most of our story is based in the 6th Kingdom which is a brutally cold kingdom. The castle we spend a large quantity of time in is gold and everything in the castle is gold.
Our main character is Auren and we have mostly her point of view throughout the entire book with the exception of the last chapter where we get the perspective of King Midas.
The plot points are good, especially as we start seeing some growth in Auren. The pacing is steady through the book with a couple of spots where it’s a bit more fast paced.
The ebook version of this book is 393 pages with 40 chapters. I wouldn’t say that it’s easy to read but it’s also not difficult. Scenes, locations, and people are well described but not overly so. This author likes to take us from present to the past and gives us flashbacks or background in chunks as we need it.
I’ve not read a lot of authors that write that way and I like how she does it. It enhances the story because not only are we hoping to see what will happen in the future, but we are also trying to figure out what brought us to this point.
I did find it a little hard to get into the book because it throws us into a story and we don’t know what brought us to this point. However, the story does suck you in and keeps you interested in what happens next.
Gild Book Review
Auren is a very broken character and you can tell from the start. However, she is snarky, sarcastic, caring, and unafraid to step up and do what needs to be done. You can tell from the beginning that there will be quite a bit of character growth here.
Digby is the strong silent type and he’s one of my favorite characters. He doesn’t say much in this book but in his actions you can tell he cares about Auren.
Sail is another favorite character. He’s not afraid to have conversations and be friendly with the King’s favored. He befriends Auren at a time where she needs that friendship because her life is about to get a whole lot of complicated.
My hated characters list is actually pretty long for this book. While Midas tops that list because his character is completely off and not right, three others also make an appearance. King Fulke, Captain Fane, and Quarter all make the list of hated characters for being disgusting and vile people.
I was not expecting to like any of the other women in this series but Rissa seems like someone who I might actually grow to like. She seems smart and maybe a little more open or understanding of the situation Auren is actually in.
If you need a book that keeps you guessing and isn’t entirely predictable then this is a good book to read. The story moves quickly, there is mystery, and the series will likely need a reread to catch everything you miss in the first read through.
If you like K.F. Breene, CN Crawford, and Amelia Hutchins you will probably like this series.
Before I rate this book I want to give you a bit of background about what my rankings mean. I typically read books that I check out through the Libby app with my local library or through Kindle Unlimited.
I rarely buy ebooks unless they are cheaply priced or on sale. I also very rarely buy physical copies of books. I’m a bit of a minimalist so I have to absolutely adore a book to buy a physical copy that will be proudly displayed in my home.
So my ranking system is as follows:
- 5 Stars equals I am buying a physical copy of this book. I will read this book at least 10 more times, it is the best ever.
- 4 stars equals a great book. I might buy an ebook version when it’s on sale so that I can re-read it at least one more time.
- 3 stars equals a good book. I likely won’t read again but I appreciate the story.
- 2 stars equals “Meh.” I will not read this book again, it had a lot of problems and I did not care for it.
- 1 star equals a bad book. I barely finished this book and I will never recommend anyone waste valuable book reading time on this book.
- 0 stars is a did not finish book. I will never finish that book and it is banished.
Gild gets 5 stars. It’s an interesting story, with action, and goes down a path we don’t often get to see in adult fantasy. The writing style is interesting, the world building is fantastic, and I like the character development so far. Raven Kennedy is fantastic about writing a character and having you understand their feelings so intensely.
- Interesting and deeply flawed characters.
- The world building was fantastic.
- Unique storytelling.
- I did not like the way this story started. It shoves you right in which can be good but in this case it was entirely unexpected.
Final Thoughts on Gild
Gild is a great book and I’m loving the series so far. It’s unique and intriguing, moves at a steady pace, sucks you in and doesn’t let go. If you can get past that first shock in the beginning the story becomes something fantastic.
My favorite is seeing Auren without Midas. We see her kindness hidden behind snark and sarcasm. You figure out pretty quickly she is not what you expect her to be, but you see the darkness from whatever she faced in her past just over her shoulder.
Reviews for the Plated Prisoner series:
Have you read Gild? What were your thoughts? Let me know in the comments below. Follow me on Pinterest for more like this and pin this to your favorite book boards.