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Publisher's Summary

A modern Britain. An age-old cruelty.

Britain's magically skilled aristocracy compels all commoners to serve them for 10 years - and now it's the Hadleys' turn. Abi Hadley is assigned to England's most ruthless noble family. The secrets she uncovers could win her freedom - or break her heart. Her brother Luke is enslaved in a brutal factory town, where new friends' ideals might cost him everything.

Then, while the elite vie for power, a young aristocrat plots to remake the world with his dark gifts. As Britain moves from anger to defiance, all three must take sides. And the consequences of their choices will change everything forever.

©2017 Vic James (P)2017 Macmillan Digital Audio

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  • Beccameriel
  • 03-14-17

Magical power corrupts

You've read the synopsis so don't need me for that. The magic of the Equals is well thought out and interesting. What if those with power had absolute power and knew they could get away with anything? I totally believe that they would. The characters are well-formed with believable (if currently obscure in some cases) motivation, and I'm looking forward to finding out what they do next. Vic James is good at showing not telling and all the exposition comes naturally from the characters. There's a bit at the very end which I wasn't expecting and which made me happy and expectant. Good job.

So, if you like alternative England with magic then I recommend this book. Much as I love London, it makes a change to have a northern industrial setting for parts of the story. I will definitely be getting the rest when they appear.

One star off for being a trilogy so no resolution at the end. I like books with an overarching story but with a satisfying conclusion at the end of of each book. Or rather this kind of trilogy is fine if you discover them after they've all been written and can binge on the whole lot. What can I say? I'm a greedy reader and terrible at waiting.

Avita Jay does a good job. Some of the accents are a wee bit generic but nothing that jars you out of the story and she is always consistent with characters voices.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Anne L
  • 02-19-17

First in a trilogy

Personally I always feel cheated when a story doesn't have any kind of conclusion and you have to wait a year or two for the next books to get the end of the story. If this frustrates you too you may want to wait till the full trilogy has been written.
The publisher's summary leaves out the important fact that this is just the first book in the series which is rather naughty. Unlike the episodes of TV where the cliffhanger ending has you tuning in the following week, waiting a year or more for another book means I will probably have forgotten the story and consequently why I should read the next one.
Otherwise it's a fun, and undemanding listen, with an interesting premise - probably more for the YA market.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • H. Edwards
  • 09-04-17

Dark. Distopian. Unequal. Skill

Thoroughly enjoyed The Guilded Cage. The storyline interweaves an alternate British history against a background of magic, or 'skill' of some people. As I got close to the end I realised the book wasn't going to give me the conclusion I wanted and I was very pleased to find it is the first part of a trilogy. Very much looking forward to the release of part two.

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  • TeaPartyPrincess
  • 07-20-17

Family, slavery, magic, rebellion, separation.

This book was horrifying in the best of ways.

I'm not sure what I was expecting, perhaps something fun and a little vapid, and totally unbelievable.

What I actually read couldn't have been more different.

Avita Jay does an amazing job with the challenging content in Gilded Cage. It is challenging in content and the way it explores the current definitions of words. Being set in an alternate universe the world is startlingly familiar, yet chillingly different. I loved how the word "equal" was redefined, and its use in this context was perhaps the most striking thing in the book. It made what happened all the more powerful.

This is a world of magic and power, slavery and abuse. Each of the characters seemed to be trapped in their own little cage in so many different ways. And the narrator gave each character their own individual voice.

Be prepared for horror and heartbreak, be prepared for your heart to race and to be broken.

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  • Weez1401
  • 06-12-17

Tremendous!

I very well structured and thought provoking book. The split viewpoints kept things interesting and there was just enough light and shade in the storyline......looking forward to the next story!