The Gilded King: Sovereign Book I by Josie Jaffrey – Review

Title: The Gilded King

Author: Josie Jaffrey

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Publisher: Self-Published


Summary: from Amazon

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, who believes in fairytales that her 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 going to come down. The only question is what side you’ll be on when they do.


I came into this book not having read the author’s previous Solis Invicti series so it took me a few chapters to get used to the world these characters inhabit. You do not have to have read the previous series first as this book stands on it’s own very well. It is a fascinating and complex world that the main characters, Julia and Cameron, live in with a multitude of stories of the past and rules to abide by. I really enjoyed learning about the society that exists in the Blue (the worlds last city) and the humans/non-humans that make it up.

I liked Julia and Cameron pretty much immediately. They felt real and their emotions seemed genuine and understandable. There was a good mix of drama and romance whilst also including bits of humour along the way. Cameron’s horse companion, the appropriately named Hades, provided some very amusing comic relief which was nice as it gives the story some lighter moments despite the high stakes and darkness encroaching on the characters.

I enjoyed the way in which well known mythical creatures like vampires and zombies were part of The Gilded King. They were portrayed in a way that felt original amidst many other books and movies involving these creatures. The mythology and folklore behind the vampires especially was fascinating to learn about as the story progressed. The plot also moved at a good pace throughout with plenty of action which kept things feeling intense and will keep the reader hooked to these character’s troubles. There are two separate strands to The Gilded King which merged perfectly nearing the end in a shocking and exciting way. I had to contain a little gasp at a few of the more surprising revelations.

Overall The Gilded King is a very promising start to the Sovereign Series. I am definitely eager to read the next instalment and find out what’s going to happen next as the first book has left things in such an intriguing state. The world building is very well done and I found the characters easy to root for. I would absolutely recommend The Gilded King to readers who enjoy fantasy and paranormal books!


I received a copy of the book from the author. My review is honest and my own opinion.

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