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The fae abandoned this world to us. And the ones with power rule.


Gold floors, gold walls, gold furniture, gold clothes. In Highbell, in the castle built into the frozen mountains, everything is made of gold.

Even me.

King Midas rescued me. Dug me out of the slums and placed me on a pedestal. I’m called his precious. His favored. I’m the woman he Gold-Touched to show everyone that I belong to him. To show how powerful he is. He gave me protection, and I gave him my heart. And even though I don’t leave the confines of the palace, I’m safe.

Until war comes to the kingdom and a deal is struck.

Suddenly, my trust is broken. My love is challenged. And I realize that everything I thought I knew about Midas might be wrong.

Because these bars I’m kept in, no matter how gilded, are still just a cage. But the monsters on the other side might make me wish I’d never left.

The myth of King Midas reimagined. This compelling adult fantasy series is as addictive as it is unexpected. With romance, intrigue, and danger, the gilded world of Orea will grip you from the very first page.

Please Note: This book contains explicit content and darker elements, including mature language, violence, and rape. It is not intended for anyone under 18 years of age. This is book one in a series.

An alternative cover edition for this ASIN can be found here.

393 pages, Kindle Edition

First published October 16, 2020

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About the author

Raven Kennedy

36 books9,923 followers
Raven Kennedy is a tea and dark chocolate kind of girl and can often be found binge-watching The Office or The Great British Baking Show.

She enjoys writing all kinds of books, because each one brings a different experience. Whatever the genre, she hopes she creates characters you can root for.

When she’s not reading or writing, she’s with her family, probably messing up a recipe or going on a hike that she thinks she can do, but in reality she can't because she remembers that all she does is sit at a computer all day and write her heart out.

You can connect with her on Facebook in Raven Kennedy's Reader Group, as well as @ravenkennedybooks on Instagram.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 10,326 reviews
Profile Image for Kat.
265 reviews79.5k followers
November 8, 2022
400 pages of "world building" yet I still don't know if Auren shits gold bricks or not. hm.
Profile Image for Lia Carstairs.
409 reviews2,192 followers
June 15, 2021
All these disgusting sexist pig-headed men can go to hell :)

Literally so many times I had to put the book down and stop reading because of the disturbing scenes like wow does this have all the trigger warnings out there. I knew this was going to be dark, but ahaha I wasn't expecting this💀 This is definitely adult. Anyone who plans to read this—make sure to look at the trigger warnings and prepare yourself.

I was debating over my rating for awhile but then I realized that while I was angry understatement over a lot of things that happened in here, I didn't completely hate this. I mean I was supposed to be angry, anyone would with the terrible events and characters in Gild. It is hard to rate this though because of all the abuse that happens in here, and so obviously I didn't enjoy those parts. Unfortunately for majority of the book, things like that happen which I hated and because of that I just really can't give this a higher rating. But I can see that the author is setting up everything and Auren's character is definitely going to develop from here on out.

"Down here, life is dark and lonely."

In the land of Orea, there lies six kingdoms. King Midas, a disgusting pig aka the Golden King, rules the Sixth Kingdom known for it's riches, while King Fulke, another disgusting pig who is allies with Midas, rules the Fifth Kingdom, and King Ravinger idk yet if he's also a pig or not—known for having the strongest & largest army force of all—rules the Fourth Kingdom.

There are of course the other three kingdoms but I have no idea what they're famous for because I either forgot or it wasn't mentioned.

"A cage is a cage, no matter how gilded."

For most of her childhood, Auren was subjected to child trafficking and all kinds of abuse until at the age of 15, King Midas comes into her life and saves her. Now it's been 10 years since then and Auren lives in the palace. Safe in her golden cage, protected from all who could cause her harm. Known to all as Midas's favored, Auren is golden-touched—she literally is covered in gold (except she's not actually made of gold of course).

Auren is not to leave her cage nor be touched by anyone except that disgusting pig King Midas. She lives alone and locked up, but she's grateful to him because Midas saved her and kept her safe for years. Even more, Auren loves Midas. She'll do anything for him. yes, i died watching this

But what happens when she truly opens her eyes to the world out there and leaves behind her cage? Well... a lot happens.

"I keep waiting for rescue to come, for a dawn to bloom, for a star to hatch, for a hope to surface."

I'm not joking when I say I was dying from page 1. It was like that until the end honestly, although mostly in the first half of the book. The very... descriptive scenes—my poor eyes😭

The way Auren would be worshipping Midas- it was horrible and absolutely revolting but I can't hate her for it because she's a victim of Stockholm Syndrome, so it's not really Auren's fault she feels this way. To say she's had a traumatizing life is an understatement itself. But even knowing this, I still hated it. I'm waiting for Auren to see the truth and how much Midas deserves a gruesome death :)

That brings me to all the repulsive men in this book. Literally only two of them were good, but the rest omg no no I don't think I've ever felt a stronger urge to murder some characters. Here's a sneak peak of the things said-

"Now sit pretty on your stool and play your silly music. Leave the men to speak, Auren."

"You'd do well to learn from her on how to please a man."

THIS ESPECIALLY. THE AUDACITY OF THIS GUY. "please a man" please go die🥺
"Behave tonight. Sit pretty. Be a good girl."

*rage* i can practically hear the condescending tone in this ohmygod go to hell
"You are worth more than all the gold in this castle. But I still own you, and I will spend you any way I see fit."

"She's mine.
And I'll destroy everyone in my path to get her back."

a "savior" all i see is a possessive freak.

That's just a brief glimpse ahahaha *muffled sobbing* I think my copy of this book was in danger of being torn and ripped to shreds. I'm praying they get the death they deserve and Auren is the one who gives the death blow <3

With all that out of the way, the ending has me excited for the next book and I've heard that it's much better than the first. So far I don't see how this is for fans of JLA/SJM but I can see where this is going in the next few books for it to be targeted towards fans of those two authors.👀

Despite my complaints, this really isn't a bad book. I just hated all the abuse and very disturbing scenes. I don't recommend reading this if you might not be able to handle all that.

Trigger warnings: explicit/mature language, graphic violence, and non-consensual sex (rape).

─── ・ 。゚☆: *.☽ .* :☆゚. ───

Gild: ★★
Glint: ★★★★.5
Gleam: ★★★★★

─── ・ 。゚☆: *.☽ .* :☆゚. ───

Pre-read Review:
the cover is gorgeous and i see that its dark fantasy, so hopefully its good🥺🤞

also, it's "perfect for fans of Sarah J Maas and Jennifer L Armentrout" sooo👀👀
Profile Image for Samantha Rose.
65 reviews29 followers
September 6, 2021
Well. I didn’t think it would ever be possible to hate a male lead more than Tamlin..... but here we are.
Profile Image for chan ☆.
1,051 reviews49.1k followers
December 26, 2021
love the idea of this world but waaaaay too much on page sexual violence. this is only the first book so one would hope the rest of the books aren’t the same but i’m not sure i want to find out.
Profile Image for jessica.
2,534 reviews32.5k followers
April 27, 2021
this is an interesting take on the tale of king midas. it did remind me a bit of ‘a touch of gold’ in that there is a living girl made of gold, but everything else about this is unique.

its very much a starter book in the series. this is meant to introduce you to characters and develop a connection with them, as well as familiarise the reader with the world, the different kingdoms, and give a hint of fae magic. however, there isnt really a plot, nor is there any sort of resolution. if anything, it ends when things actually start getting interesting. and im sure this is intentional to get the reader to pick up the next book.

well, it worked for me. cant wait to see how the series will progress!

3.5 stars
Profile Image for Phuong ✯.
617 reviews5,104 followers
August 1, 2021
– 2.25 stars 🔑

The third book better be a huge serve and worth the hype, because I better not wasted my time reading this book just to end up disappointed. 🔪

You know a book is not to a great start when it starts with an orgy between King Midas and several women and a man, while Auren (h) is forced to watch them. I didn't need all the details of the orgy and how the King fucked which women how.. thank you, now those details are branded into my brain.
The third newbie is on her knees in front of the male, sucking his length like poison from a snake bite. And... wow, she's really good at that. Now I know why she was choosen. I tilt my head, taking mental notes. You never know when something like this can come in handy.
Excuse meeee what?? JAIL!!

Gild was very boring and pretty slow paced. The first 1/3 most of it was Auren (h) having one monologue after monologue about the castle a.k.a her big cage and how everything, including herself, is gold. How her skin is literal gold, not golden, but straight out GOLD. Her hair is gold. Hair clothes is gold. Her bed is gold. GOLD EVERYWHERE. Another very important fact is that she is the king's favored. His prized saddle. The gilded pet he keeps in a cage. The darling of king Midas, ruler of Highbell and the Sixth Kingdom of Orea. Yada yada. She is the gold-plated prisoner. That fact was shoved down my throat so many times, I couldn't forget it, even if I wanted to.

Auren had her good moments, but for the most part I found her to be pretty annoying with the stockholm syndrome. She's been improsed for over 10 years and still adores king Midas, because he saved her out of poverty when she was 15 years old and kept her with him all this time. Auren puts King Midas on this pedestral and it made me ✨ uncomfortable ✨. He did nothing to deserve her love and adoration. Can someone come and reverse the brain wash on Auren please???
I'm ridiculously fun. You kind of have to be when the only person you hang out with is you. I wouldn't want to bore myself.

King Midas was another annoying character. I feel like this dude has some superiority complex, cause everything he touches will turn into gold. The way how he surrounds himself with so much gold, gives me the feeling that he needs to compensate for something... maybe his dick? Idk really, maybe that's still my trauma talking, cause I can't get that orgy scene out of my head, but that guy is shady.

Enter Commander Rip army of the fourth Kingdom and my love interest radar went crazy. How do I know it? Well, after his face was described in detail lengthily over several pages about his black as midnight irises, black spikes on his back and arms, his strong and straight nose, his bright as fuck white teeth, his cutting cheekbones, his thick black hair and scales like lizard... I think that's the man to look out for. Let's not forget this sentence
He's terrifying. He's ethereal. he's so very, very fae.

Italy just won the Euro championship and I'm in a good mood, so I want to end this review on a good note as well:

The writing is good and it's easy to follow the worldbuilding and storyline. The chapters are very short (hallelujah thank the god!), which makes it easier for me to finish a book. The first half was not that great, but the second half of Gild was better once Auren finally got out of the castle and it was more action-packed.


#1 Gild - 2.25 stars
#2 Glint - 2.5 stars
#3 Gleam - 2.5 stars
#4 Glow - maybeee
Profile Image for Laura Thalassa.
Author 37 books16.7k followers
September 9, 2021
WHY did I wait so long to start this series?! WHY?!

My God does Raven Kennedy know how to write fantasy! There's so much intrigue, plot twists, and stunning reveals throughout this entire series. Also, the slow and very realistic coming-into-power of the main character is just *chef's kiss*.

Seriously, if you haven't read this one and you like fantasy, this is a must read.
November 17, 2021

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I haven't been reading as much lately ever since those new Animal Crossing updates came out, but I wanted to make time to finish this because GILD has been haunting my Bookstagram feed for a hot minute and I wanted to see what all the fuss is about. The best way to describe GILD is like if Game of Thrones had just a *little* less rape and graphic violence (but basically the same amount of smut), or if FROM BLOOD AND ASH were less ridiculous, or if ACOTAR was solely set in the under-the-mountain scene and was even heavier on the douchebag males and mixed messages.

I think you get the point.

But just in case you don't, the book literally opens with an orgy, so you know what you're getting into straight away. Which is an ADULT book. Despite the YA-looking cover, and its striking similarity in title and design to the Marissa Meyer book GILDED (which I keep mixing it up with), this is not a book for the kiddies.

BASICALLY Auren is the king's favored, and her thing is that she's solid gold (cue Austin Powers memes). In fact, I'm just going to refer to King Midas as Goldmember because I'm pretty sure only oversight kept him from making his dick a twenty-four karat dildo. Goldmember's thing, apart from the gold, is power. He wants it. Lots of it. And he's going to fuck and hack and treason his way into getting it, because that's how he rolls. He's the ultimate Rebel with a Cause. The cause being that he causes a lot of unseemly shenanigans within his kingdom.

Auren is half-convinced that she's in love with this leather pants-wearing orophile, but she's brain-washed as fuck. And when she's not being a gold-plated sex toy for the man who casually uses her love for him like a bartering chip, she's Mithridates-ing her liver with continuous doses of wine. All that changes when Goldmember sends them away-- I forget why. Safety? Scouting? Anyway, they're ambushed by bad people (Snow Pirates, actually, which sounds like a character you'd see on Neopets, only, you know, cuddlier and without the sexual sadism and rape). I don't want to say too much more, but let's just leave it as sometimes help comes from the unlikeliest of places, and also if you like Rhysand from ACOTAR but thought to yourself, "You know what would be even hotter? If he lost the wings and looked more like a scaled orc with Bowser spikes," then you're going to love this book. And Commander Bowser, which is what I'm going to call Spiky Rhysand, because that's better than Rip.

Rip is what you do when you fart. Or put on your gravestone when you die. It is not what you scream while having (I imagine) orgiastic spiky faerie sex. Sorry, but I'm just calling it like I see it.

Personally, I thought it was okay. It wasn't as good as the first ACOTAR but was leagues better than the second ACOTAR and FBAA. The writing was good and it actually felt like a fantasy book, even though the dialogue was modern-ish, and the story was just compulsively readable for me to want to find out what happened. Actually, this book ticks a lot of the boxes of what I DON'T like in a book, so the fact that I didn't hate it is nothing short of a miracle. I had similar thoughts while reading Royals of Forsyth, which was a series that rang all of my NOPE alarm bells and somehow became a guilty pleasure read. I will say that Auren is a hard character to like because she's so damaged but inconsistently so, because she'll back-chat and front-- even when it's stupid to do so-- and the ribbon thing was so WEIRD. I applaud the author for creating an unreliable narrator who is so convincingly brain-washed that some readers actually seem to take her lust for Goldmember at idiotic face value, but there wasn't really a lot else going for her or that made her relatable, and that's hard as a reader. You need SOMETHING.

Will I read the next book? Yes, because I'm trash. But I'm not going to rush for it. I'm going to walk-- very slowly-- in its general direction while pretending I don't actually give a damn (but I do).

3 stars
Profile Image for Shieldmaiden Darcy.
70 reviews19 followers
December 8, 2020
76% DNF

I got 76% through this to realize it is just torture porn. There is zero romance. The mc is a crying weakling. All the men are rapey. This is not a good time at all.

If you want a book about how all men call all women whores, this is your book. I hate books that use rape as the only plot device. Like, I get that it is symbolic of the evil that sweeps the land and yadda yadda, but I find its trite and overused. “Poor weeping women can’t do anything to defend themselves but still find the good in life blah blah...” as the whole point of the book.

If women have magic powers too, they’d kill some men and assert their rights as equals, no? Or is the author’s whole point that women are naturally not as brutal as men? F that.

Would have given zero stars.
Profile Image for ✩ Yaz ✩.
494 reviews1,299 followers
May 22, 2021
4 - ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I’m the darling of King Midas, ruler of Highbell and the Sixth Kingdom of Orea. People flock to see me just as much as they come to look upon his gleaming castle worth more than all the riches in the entire realm.
I’m the gold-plated prisoner.
But what a pretty prison it is.

Gild is the first installment in The Plated Prisonsr trilogy and it's an adult fantasy romance and a reimagination of the myth of King Midas. The King who turns anything into gold with a mere touch.

I had mixed feelings while reading this book but I made up my mind and decided to give a 4-star rating.

Why? I'll elaborate on that.

This book was unputdownable for me. I literally devoured every page and the author did a very good job at keeping me hooked. This is the first book I read by Raven Kennedy so I did not know what to expect. I am happy to say that I am impressed so far.

I must point out that this book heavily focuses on building up the story, the world and the characters. Plot-wise, not much is going on "until the last 30% of the story" but if the build up points out to anything, it is that the best is yet to come.

There is potential for this trilogy to turn out to be epic and I hope that is where the next two books lead up to.

To give you a taste of the story, I'll try my best to summarize it in a way that is not very spoiler-y.

In a realm called Orea, there are six kingdoms ruled by six kings. The story primarily takes place in the sixth kingdom ruled by King Midas, the golden ruler of Highbell.

The heroine of the story is Auren.
The King's favorite.
His precious one.
His gold-touched.
His gilded pet.

Unlike any other heroine, Auren exists within her golden flesh. Everything about her is coated in gold except for her white teeth and pink tongue. At the age of 15, Auren was a homeless girl and a victim of child trafficking until Midas saved her. For ten years she shows her gratitude to her savior even if he keeps her in a gilded prison, even if he marries another woman for power, and even if he uses her as a bargaining tool. She is the one he gold-touched, she is his forever.

She loves him. Her Tyndall.

Auren at a point becomes a prize to be claimed by greedy kings. She is thrust into political schemes and feels like a prey to be hunted by warring kingdoms. The sixth and fifth kingdoms scheme and plot to provoke the ruthless fourth kingdom and its vicious yet mysterious ruler, King Ravinger, who is said to decimate any enemy stepping into his territory.

Hundreds of years ago, Orea coexisted with the realm of the Fae, Annwyn. Orean magic was founded because of the Oreans and the Fae mixed together. But years later magic slowly died out and Fae do no longer cross Orea nor do Oreans cross into Annwyn. No more Fae set a foot in Orea because the Fae betrayed the Oreans 300 years ago.

Once upon a time, along with the six kingdoms there was a seventh kingdom but it is long gone along with the Fae. Now, only six warring kingdoms remain and ruthless kings are led by their own greed.

As we know, the Fae do not leave a place without leaving a touch of their magic in it.

Auren is not but a victim in this political scheme and she yearns to be forever left alone and locked away in her gilded cage where it is safe.

But... little does Auren know that stepping out of her cage means she will see the world for what it truly is. Will it let her question the reality of her situation? Will it challenge the fierce love she feels for Midas? Can she face the truth about all she had endured?

So if I make it through this, if I live, I vow to myself that I won’t let it happen again. I won’t sit idly by and keep letting men crush me in their fists.

I want to praise the author because she excels at her craft when it comes to the world-building. The lush world she builds up with every page is very intriguing and it kept me invested. The author seamlessly blends political intrigue and fantasy into the story which gives it a distinctive streak.

The flow of the story was perfect! I did not even check how many pages I have left and I was surprised when I found that I am more than halfway through the story, I was THAT engrossed.

The characters were all interesting and while some felt like background characters while others were more fleshed out.

The heroine, Auren, may come off as a bland character. That's what I thought for the first half of the book. But since we experience the story through her POV, I start to understand the person she is. She is basically a victim of Stockholm Syndrome. She reminds me of Feyre in the sense that despite being spoiled in riches and hailed as the King's favorite, you can point out the red flags. Regardless, she is a prisoner who is kept isolated and she plays the part well. You can't expect her to act in a certain way no matter how outraged you feel because she is basically groomed to be the way she is, she is constantly manipulated. I'm glad to see that there were moments where she questioned the world around her and I got to see her a few times in action. Overall, I have to say the character development was there but I think the next book will push Auren's growth significantly.

You're probably wondering what the romance is about.. I don't think I can spill much about the romance in this book because well.. "spoilers". Let me just say in that aspect, it isn't exactly nurtured but there definitely is a great potential for it in the next book if the story leads up to where I think it will and I'm very excited. There's a reason why this is recommended for fans of Sarah J Maas and Jennifer L. Armentrout.

The slow development of the plot did not bother me much because it kept feeding my anticipation and oh boy did it take a 180 turn towards the end. My excitement just skyrocketed and I have a really good feeling that the next book will be 100 times better because of that cliffhanger. I can kind of see where this is going and I'm absolutely here for it!

It was kind of hard to predict how the events would unfold and that is not necessarily a bad thing because it kept me excited and I really enjoyed that.

Remember.. this is an adult book so there will probably be scenes that some readers may find to be uncomfortable or even triggering so I'll mention the triggers.

Trigger warning: explicit language, graphic sexual scenes, attempted rape/rape, violence, abuse, Stockholm syndrome.
Profile Image for toointofiction.
193 reviews151 followers
December 29, 2022
A cage is a cage, no matter how gilded.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Spice Meter: 🌶️🌶️🌶️

⚠️Trigger Warning: Stockholm Syndrome, Gaslighting, Verbal/Physical Abuse, Alcohol Abuse, Coarse Language, Rape

This review contains some spoilers

You know how you're reading the first 20-something pages of a book and it's all an orgy and then the other 300-something pages are a giant punch in the gut of your emotions?? Yeah, that's Gild. This book should be called Auren's Life Fucking Sucks Until It Can't Possibly Suck Anymore...Yet It Does. I mean, have you seen those trigger warnings?!?!?! Auren's whole situation is totally fucked up. She's like a bird trapped in a cage that thinks she should be grateful she's in it...and she's in love with her captor. He sucks. I hate him. Oh and as if it's not bad enough she's been trapped in a cage for TEN YEARS, and it only gets worse. I seriously just want to wrap this poor girl in a blanket and give her warm milk and cookies until all her problems fade away. Also, all the men in here suck except like three of them and one of them is dead while another is missing. Fortunately, some of those who deserve to die actually died. At least the ending was somewhat hopeful. Hint: it's because I know who the love interest is and can appreciate the subtle scenes between him and Auren. Nothing happened yet, though, and it's killing me!!!

Oh, Auren. My sweet sweet Auren. You deserve the world and I love you. Admittedly, her story was really heavy and it had a deep effect on my emotional state. But since I'm a masochist who loves learning about human mentality, I appreciated the POV of a young woman who has never experienced a healthy relationship in her life and is unable to see the erroneousness of her situation. Raven Kennedy addresses a lot of difficult topics in this series, and while they can be too challenging to read, I think their impact is necessary. What might seem like romanticising toxic behaviour, is actually a pretty accurate representation of what a woman like Auren is going through. It's much easier to accept your situation as is, seeing captivity as protection and mistreatment as love, blaming your misery on anything or anyone other than the one who's to blame rather than actually standing up and fighting it.

Aside from Auren, there were a few other characters I really really care(d) about. Rissa, Auren's only sort-of friend from King Golden Asshole's Harlem is the only one I kinda like. The other saddles (yeah, that's what they call them) are mean bitches. Not that I can blame them too much for it. Their situation isn't any better than Auren's. In some ways, it might be worse. I really hope I don't regret sort of liking Rissa, although I have a bad feeling about her. I don't trust her. There's also Digby, Auren's guard that's missing and needs to be found whole and hale or I'm going to seriously lose my shit. He is pure of heart, he actually cares about Auren, not just because it's his duty, he is easily a father figure for her, and I love him unconditionally. Poor poor Sail, Auren's guard-friend, or more specifically Auren's tragically murdered guard-friend, did not deserve what he got. He was such a pure boy, protecting and befriending Auren instead of lusting after her like most of the other men. I really wish there could have been more of him but alas, his death served as one of the mutilple wake-up calls for Auren, making her realise that she needs to stop compliant. Let's not forget the sexy, broody fae Commander Rip that looks hot as fuck and is definitely Auren's love interest. He's literally barely appeared in 20 or so pages but I love him. He is my new fictional husband. I can't wait to see what happens between him and Auren.

Have you read The Plated Prisoner series, yet? Did you like it?
Profile Image for Valkyrie ✨.
541 reviews562 followers
July 31, 2022
Gild needs a lot of trigger warnings I definitely didn’t find anywhere before picking up this book. I’m talking tw for rape, pedophilia, grooming, Stockholm Syndrome, abuse, violence... and those are only the ones I can remember off the top of my head.

This is a dark romance fantasy. Although the first book has no romance at all. Only Auren, the main protagonist, being saved from human trafficking when she was only 15 by her later on abuser Midas, who groomed her until her life revolved around him.

Auren spent 10 years inside a golden cage. And the first time she stepped outside, two different men tried to rape her. And one of them managed to rape another girl in front of her. It’s a very graphic and violent scene that left me feeling nauseous.

On top of that, Auren feels lonely and struggles with mental health issues from her captivity and isolation. She has no friends or support from anyone. And even those who help her, well, let’s just say even that part was sad.

The saving grace of this book is the obvious writing skills behind the story. Raven Kennedy is a phenomenal writer, I absolutely loved her prose, lyrical voice and depth. The way she described Auren’s mental health struggles is impecable.

Only a very skilled writer can write a book about a victim of Stockholm Syndrome and her abuser in a way that, even though you know it’s wrong, you understand the mechanism behind it all and how she ended up the way she does, even though it makes you sick.

The plot twist at the end made this book ten times better and suddenly everything made sense. I can see where this story is trying to go. But we could’ve skipped all the rape and abuse, and just mash up the first two book into one with better results.

Nonetheless, I’m intrigued enough to keep reading.
Profile Image for booksnpenguins (wingspan matters).
760 reviews2,332 followers
January 8, 2023
Not rating this because I have no idea what I just read.
I mean...I'm speechless, but not in a positive way. And the funny thing is that I don't even have bad things to say about it, either.
I just...read it? Mechanically, with no expectations, but I finished it and I found myself as clueless about it as the moment I started it.
Trust me when I say its heavy content has nothing to do about this. I'm not exactly picky when it comes to trigger warnings, but this book really doesn't have anything that interests me and at the same time I don't think it's fair of me to judge or rate it considering I don't feel anything -either good or bad- for it.

*𝚝𝚑𝚒𝚜 𝚋𝚘𝚘𝚔 𝚌𝚘𝚗𝚝𝚊𝚒𝚗𝚜 𝚎𝚕𝚎𝚖𝚎𝚗𝚝𝚜, 𝚜𝚒𝚝𝚞𝚊𝚝𝚒𝚘𝚗𝚜, 𝚌𝚑𝚊𝚛𝚊𝚌𝚝𝚎𝚛𝚜 𝚊𝚗𝚍/𝚘𝚛 𝚛𝚎𝚕𝚊𝚝𝚒𝚘𝚗𝚜𝚑𝚒𝚙𝚜 𝚜𝚘𝚖𝚎 𝚖𝚒𝚐𝚑𝚝 𝚌𝚘𝚗𝚜𝚒𝚍𝚎𝚛 𝚙𝚛𝚘𝚋𝚕𝚎𝚖𝚊𝚝𝚒𝚌/𝚝𝚘𝚡𝚒𝚌/𝚍𝚊𝚛𝚔 𝚘𝚛 𝚘𝚟𝚎𝚛𝚊𝚕𝚕 𝚖𝚘𝚛𝚊𝚕𝚕𝚢 𝚚𝚞𝚎𝚜𝚝𝚒𝚘𝚗𝚊𝚋𝚕𝚎.
𝙸, 𝚊𝚜 𝚊 𝚛𝚎𝚊𝚍𝚎𝚛 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚌𝚛𝚎𝚊𝚝𝚘𝚛 𝚘𝚏 𝚝𝚑𝚒𝚜 𝚛𝚎𝚟𝚒𝚎𝚠, 𝚊𝚌𝚔𝚗𝚘𝚠𝚕𝚎𝚍𝚐𝚎 𝚝𝚑𝚒𝚜 𝚔𝚒𝚗𝚍 𝚘𝚏 𝚌𝚘𝚗𝚝𝚎𝚗𝚝 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚒𝚝𝚜 𝚗𝚎𝚐𝚊𝚝𝚒𝚟𝚎 𝚌𝚘𝚗𝚗𝚘𝚝𝚊𝚝𝚒𝚘𝚗𝚜, 𝚊𝚗𝚍, 𝚠𝚒𝚝𝚑𝚒𝚗 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚕𝚒𝚖𝚒𝚝𝚜 𝚘𝚏 𝚖𝚢 𝚌𝚘𝚖𝚏𝚘𝚛𝚝 𝚣𝚘𝚗𝚎, 𝚌𝚑𝚘𝚘𝚜𝚎 𝚗𝚘𝚝 𝚝𝚘 𝚕𝚎𝚝 𝚒𝚝 𝚊𝚏𝚏𝚎𝚌𝚝 𝚖𝚢 𝚎𝚗𝚓𝚘𝚢𝚎𝚖𝚎𝚗𝚝 𝚘𝚛 𝚘𝚙𝚒𝚗𝚒𝚘𝚗, 𝚋𝚎𝚌𝚊𝚞𝚜𝚎:
-𝙸 𝚔𝚗𝚘𝚠 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚍𝚒𝚏𝚏𝚎𝚛𝚎𝚗𝚌𝚎 𝚋𝚎𝚝𝚠𝚎𝚎𝚗 𝚏𝚒𝚌𝚝𝚒𝚘𝚗 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚛𝚎𝚊𝚕𝚒𝚝𝚢;
-𝙸 𝚍𝚘𝚗'𝚝 𝚌𝚘𝚗𝚍𝚘𝚗𝚎 𝚌𝚎𝚛𝚝𝚊𝚒𝚗 𝚋𝚎𝚑𝚊𝚟𝚒𝚘𝚛𝚜 𝚒𝚗 𝚛𝚎𝚊𝚕 𝚕𝚒𝚏𝚎;
-𝚊𝚗𝚢 𝚎𝚟𝚎𝚗𝚝𝚞𝚊𝚕 𝚕𝚒𝚔𝚎 𝚘𝚛 𝚍𝚒𝚜𝚕𝚒𝚔𝚎 𝚝𝚘𝚠𝚊𝚛𝚍𝚜 𝚌𝚎𝚛𝚝𝚊𝚒𝚗 "𝚙𝚛𝚘𝚋𝚕𝚎𝚖𝚊𝚝𝚒𝚌" 𝚋𝚘𝚘𝚔𝚜/𝚛𝚎𝚕𝚊𝚝𝚒𝚘𝚗𝚜𝚑𝚒𝚙𝚜/𝚌𝚑𝚊𝚛𝚊𝚌𝚝𝚎𝚛𝚜, 𝚍𝚘𝚗'𝚝 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚜𝚑𝚘𝚞𝚕𝚍𝚗'𝚝 𝚍𝚎𝚏𝚒𝚗𝚎 𝚖𝚎 𝚊𝚜 𝚊 𝚙𝚎𝚛𝚜𝚘𝚗;
-𝚜𝚘𝚖𝚎𝚝𝚒𝚖𝚎𝚜 𝚢𝚘𝚞 𝚓𝚞𝚜𝚝 𝚐𝚘𝚝𝚝𝚊 𝚛𝚎𝚊𝚍 𝙾𝙽𝙴 𝙾𝙵 𝚃𝙷𝙾𝚂𝙴 𝙱𝙾𝙾𝙺𝚂, 𝚢'𝚔𝚗𝚘𝚠?
Profile Image for Charlotte Murphy.
Author 7 books52 followers
July 15, 2021
This book is testament to what a really cool cover and word of mouth can do for you.
However, for all my indie authors out there, don't have an amazing cover with nothing substantial to back it up because Gild is terrible. It's worse than terrible, it's boring.

I skimmed through most of it because nothing much was happening and the main character committed the worst book crime imaginable and was completely uninteresting. I felt no connection to her and spent the majority of the book hating every stupid thing that came out of her mouth. There's naivety and then theres just plain stupidity and Auren is definitely the latter.

Auren is the 'favoured' of King Midas. He turned her gold - for reasons unknown - and keeps her caged up in his golden palace to apparently just watch him indulge himself in carnal exploits. There's some reference to them having a relationship prior to her being gold which i guess is meant to explain why she doesnt realise and/or care that this is an abusive relationship. No, she simply wants to be one of his coveted 'saddles - the word for whores apparently - and join in the rest of the sordid fun because she loooves him! She also randomly has ribbons coming out of her back. Like 24 long apparently silk like sentient like ribbons that just grow out of her back. For what purpose I have no idea because they do nothing when it matters other than elude to the fact that she's clearly something 'special'. Booo!

For reasons i wont bother sharing, Auren gets to leave the palace and what follows is a pointlessly drawn out journey of her making stupid decisions, getting her acquaintances killed and raped and revealing powers that i couldnt work out why she hadnt used up til now to protect herself or her companions. Not that she would need protecting since NOTHING EVER HAPPENS TO HER. She has Main Character Protection in that everyone else gets hurt because of her actions but she is miraculously saved from torture, rape, abuse etc. even though she is literally walking treasure. Why has noone cut off her finger yet?

What i also disliked about this book was the fact that the triggering elements felt forced. Dont add orgies/rape/abuse etc for click baits sake. It doesnt make it edgy, it makes it sordid and i really hated that about this.

Anyway, throw in some random pirate, drop in a long thought dead Fae race, elude to the fact that she is something that its clear she is already by this point and youve got yourself a train wreck of a book that i literally rolled my eyes at at every swipe of the kindle page.

As ever friends, you know i always want people to try books regardless of reviews to form their own opinions but this just isnt worth it. Great marketing, great cover but this is one hundred per cent disappointment in all other aspects. When she referred to one of the pirate's hat as 'a pirate hat' instead of a 'tricorn' I knew this needed to be in the bin.
March 5, 2023
—4.5 stars—

“A cage is a cage, no matter how gilded.”

————about the book————

Age: NA/A
Genres: Dark fantasy, retellings,
Cliffhanger: yuppppp
Writing: 9/10
Quotes: 9/10
World building: 8/10
Characters: 7/10
Romance: 6/10
My rating: 9.5/10

⚠️Trigger warnings⚠️: non consensual sex, gaslighting, emotional manipulation, violence, etc
‼️spoilers below‼️

———my feelings———

This was a buddy read with beautiful Vio! I had so much fun, getting to read it with you <3333 (and the FULLY CAPITALISED dms!)

But anyway, onto the review!
Auren is the gilded “pet” of King Midas, the only one he favoured enough to turn partly gold.
So people think.
In fact, in a jaw-dropping moment more than halfway through the book, it is revealed that it is not Midas who has the gold touch, but Auren.
Auren, who he rescued off of the streets, Auren who is fully, foolishly, in love with him. So of course she’d do what he says.
So, Auren. My poor baby. She fell prey to the dangerous lures of Midas, and is a victim of Stockholm Syndrome—which was so hard to read about. Me and Vio were practically screaming at her to get away from him.
The world this book’s set in is brutal. the fact that the appearance of a male character that actually respects women was so EXCITING gives you an idea of what it’s like. But it gets worse. Midas’ harem (known as “saddles”) are continually shown no respect, and treated like objects, to the point that Midas actually treats them well in comparison.
But, on a lighter note, I adored the writing! So lyrical and beautiful🥺.
And oh my god the wait for the mmc? FUCKING TORTUREEEEEE. (Also I’m just going to ignore his beard rn because I don’t normally like beards)
Another thing, I like that she was getting closer to the other women, especially Rissa. And WE CANT FORGET SWEET SAIL! My poor boy. I’m going to start crying again.
All in all, I really enjoyed this and I’ll definitely be reading the next one at some point (with Vio!!!!!!)

———Characters ———

Auren: her character is very hard to explain, she’s shy and bold and sweet and scared all at the same time! But even though it was hard to read about her “love” for Midas, I’m very excited to see how she grows and develops later.

Sail: this was just too cruel. Ripping alway Auren’s only friend? killing him? Their friendship was so sweet😭😭😭

Midas: FUCKING BASTARD. He’s so manipulative and horribly possessive.


“Gold is all I wear or touch or see.”

“I’m the gold plated prisoner.
But what a pretty prison it is.”

“I’m ridiculously fun. You kind of have to be when the only person you hang out with is yourself.”

“He’s terrifying. He’s ethereal. He’s so very, very fae.”


Stockholm Sydrome -Arcana
A woman’s game -Karliene

———Random extra thoughts———

The next book’s meant to have Malina’s pov and fuck am I excited for that. SHES GOINV TO BE AMAZINGGGG!!!

Also like wtf are her ribbons????

Thanks for reading!❤️
I’ve been wanting to read this for a while, and I’m so glad I’m getting to read with my Bby Vio!!!! I’m not sure what’s going to happen, but we’re going to experience it together!🥰❤️❤️❤️
Profile Image for Iqra.
366 reviews1,453 followers
January 31, 2023
Wow. Wow. Wow. I loved it! I knew I was in need of a fantasy book to freshen everything up and omg this was so good. Forget good it was amazing! Aaahhh everything was amazingly done.

Even though the writing style kinda threw me off at the start I still enjoyed ALL of it. I loved it! And I know for a fact that even though it started off slow I can’t in good conscience give this less than 5 stars.

Was the plot predictable? Kinda. But there were some parts even I didn’t guess and I love that! I love that she had all these secrets. I kept thinking about ways that it could end but the way it did left me thirsting for more. I personally felt for Auren from chapter one.

Also it does have a lot of triggers. So be careful before going into the book!

From here there will be spoilers ⚠️
Don’t read anymore if you don’t want to spoil the book if you’ve not read it!!
(This is a third warning!!!)

*blows out a tight breath*
There’s so much to unpack here. The ending!! And what she did. What she can do…
Omg RIP!! My mansssss. I love him even though he’s hardly even been in the book. He’s giving me main character and love interest. I need more of this FAE. I mean we’re getting FAE!! And this book got so much better in the last half. More action and movement which brought it to life and kept me hooked. Lmao I was on the constant hunt for my mans. I kept getting disappointed with every guy until RIP. But I sense it deep in my bones. I know it’s him. He’s the one! And Rip saying that he knows what she is jdgsjsgjshshdkkfkdbs *internally screaming*
Also What are his powers? Does he even have any?
Aaaaaa what if we get mates in this? Will there be mates? If there are imma do laps around my garden screaming.

AGH I want to scratch Midas’s eyes out and claw at his manipulative brain. The hold he has over Auren makes me want to scream. She deserves so much better than this piece of shit. And combined with the fact that he’s using her for profit makes me see red.

Also I wasn’t expecting any of them to be different colours and have stuff attached on their bodies but I ate that up bc Rip having thorns? Gimme more. And her having ribbons that are powerful and shit? Spoon feed me. Omg Will the fact that she has powers make her queen of something?

I am sprinting for the next book. I need answers!

Side note:
I fcking called! I knew she was going to get kidnapped from her kidnappers. And that too by a dark, dangerous and HANDSOME hunk of a man. Bye-

Fav Quotes:

“A cage is a cage, no matter how gilded.”

“I’ll be expected to behave.
But one question burns in my mind for the entire day: What would happen if I didn’t?”

“Don’t fucking touch her!”
~Sail I LOVE YOU!!

“He’s terrifying. He’s ethereal. He’s so very, very fae”

“For she would not grow without sacrifice.”
~ I have so many questions!
Profile Image for Bryneyre The Book Eater.
57 reviews29 followers
October 2, 2022
Bookstagram | Facebook | Booktok

For starters, I'll say I first rated this book 4 stars, but after I started elaborating the review, I absolutely believed this was a 5 star read despite some little flaws. These are my opinions after a restless but wonderful night (I definitely recommend reading this book at night, or during rain/ a storm):

💛 Really addictive, finished the book in a few hours after I got it since I couldn't stop reading even to eat. Kennedy's prose is light but seductive.

💛 Gives a lot of useful details and knowledge about the kingdoms and the characters without infodumping, it rather feels like a captivating dark fairytale being told by a magnificent storyteller. The worldbuilding and politics never bored me, and that's a really good sign.

💛 Perfectly shows how many subtleties an abusive relationship has through the rose-colored lens of the victim. How can he easily use her, and tries to maintain her trust at bay through sweet nothings, how he mantains her hooked in that draining relationship through intermittent affection and their past memories as his lover and savior, how manipulative he can be, and how unbalanced the relationship is in terms of power. A perfect representation of a toxic relationship that never feels romanticized but realistic.
Many people who don't understand abusive relationships tend to criticize the victim for staying in their situation instead of fleeing, and this book perfectly showcases the victim's insecurities, conflicting thoughts and fears when they're shown alternatives to the hell they're suffering.

💛 I felt liberated just like Auren when she tasted a little bit of freedom. Yes, the travel felt a little bit slow at times, but we got to know how Auren's real personality would be if she had a normal life outside her gilded cage. She also gets to form caring friendships that show glimpses to her, without her even realizing, of how a healthy relationship with someone should be, and who her beloved really is.

💛 This book is raw, incredibly violent and dark. In my opinion, it gives it more realistic depth and macabre charm, but I would advise it against audiences who are sensitive or impressionable to the contents in this book.

💛 The magic in this book is mysterious and timid in the number of appearances, but it still give us a rather immense impression in its power and quality. We get some little info about the magical abilities of the inhabitants of Orea, but it is still intriguing enough for me to desperately want to know more about it in the next book, since we're given hints that many things will be explained later.

💛 The characters are round and complex, captivating. You can both hate them and care for them at times, it shows me how human, interesting and well-crafted they are. Sail and Digby were lovable, Midas and Malina are two fierce characters that would make perfect antagonists, and Auren is an incredible protagonist I deeply care for and want to accompany in her journey.
And The Commander... definitely was a pleasant surprise, character and plot-wise. He's intimidating, an enigma, and I long to learn more about him.

💛 To be fair, I must say I wasn't completely comfortable with the bodyshaming that was described regarding King Fulke. He isn't a good man but I found his descriptions in the book somewhat fatphobic.

💛 I thought the end was fitting, specially the beautiful poem we get in the last pages.

The conclusion is this book was one of my most wanted books this year, and it didn't disappoint one bit. 5 ⭐️

Trigger content warnings: mysoginistic situations, mental abuse, physical abuse, some scenes with excessive alcohol consumption, some scenes with sexual abuse and talk about sexual abuse, manipulation, harsh language and some scenes with gore.
Profile Image for Whitney Atkinson.
916 reviews13.9k followers
March 3, 2022
i read this thinking there'd be smut and there wasn't, which should be a summary enough of why i didn't like it. but also i found it really predictably and the writing didn't mesh well with the vibe of the setting so i wasn't into it.

i finished this book like a week ago and genuinely don't remember enough about it to review it so i must have started skim reading at the 75% mark. i could see how this book sets up for the sequels to be better but there is literally 0 romance and the plot in itself wasn't strong enough to make me enjoy the book just for the story, so it left much to be desired.
Profile Image for B .
114 reviews12.1k followers
April 21, 2023
“Does it really matter if your cage is solid gold when you aren’t allowed to leave it? A cage is a cage, no matter how gilded.”

You know, this probably would’ve been even better if I didn’t accidentally read 76% of the second book thinking it was the first book… but damn, coming back to the actual first book was a good idea. this was a good start. Sure the grammar is a little to new age at times and she’s got to learn a new catch phrase that isn’t “bright side” but the subtle cues of a deeper story of her past and the hints of the manipulator she somehow loves? I’m eating this up.
Profile Image for literarylesbian.
226 reviews2,440 followers
October 29, 2021
This book was interesting… I finished it in one sitting though.

Check content warnings or I will personally separate every pair of socks in your house.
Profile Image for Jessica .
2,077 reviews13.3k followers
September 24, 2022
I had really low expectations going into this one because of all of the bad reviews I've heard, but I was pleasantly surprised! While I have no idea who the romance is going to be between, I really enjoyed following Auren. Her story was so intriguing and the plot really picked up for the second half. So much action and I had no idea what was going to happen when the characters found themselves in certain situations. I honestly couldn't stop reading. I was so intrigued by the side characters too and want to know so much more. I'm definitely going to continue the series and see where the story goes!
Profile Image for Lucie V..
973 reviews1,788 followers
July 14, 2022
✅ Fast-paced
✅ Addictive
✅ Dark and angsty
✅ Plot
✅ Characters
✅ Dark King Midas retelling
✅🆗 Politics and scheming
✅🆗 World-building
❗️❗️Trigger warnings: misogynistic society, slavery, human trade, sexual assault, captivity, emotional manipulation, and psychological abuse.

4.5 stars

Does it really matter if your cage is solid gold when you aren't allowed to leave it? A cage is a cage, no matter how gilded.

This is definitely a "love it" or "hate it" kind of book with very mixed reviews, which made me wary. I was told that the first book of the series was not that good, but that I had to continue reading because books 2 and 3 are awesome... Well, I adored this book. It's dark and angsty, but SO addictive. I just couldn't stop reading it. Objectively, I know it's not a masterpiece, but it sucked me in from the first chapter, and I am classifying this one as a guilty pleasure. It's not perfect but I don't care, I enjoyed it well enough to give it 4.5 stars, and the lover of darker books in me was happy with this one.

You can have all the gold in the world and yet lack everything of real worth.

Auren is King Midas’ golden treasure. She’s been living in his castle, in her gilded cage, for the past 10 years. The king turned her entirely to gold, making her his prized and favorite possession, and built her a series of cages in the palace to protect her from the outside world. Happy with this arrangement at first, Auren has spent the last 10 years in her cages, convincing herself that Midas loves her even though he doesn’t always show it and that all he wants is to keep her safe because they belong together.

When I chose to hide away, I was barely more than a girl. Vulnerable. Battered. Scattered. Utterly sick of what the world had to offer.
So I hid in a cage, and I was content to do so. After the things I endured, I wanted it. I accepted the bars, embraced them, even - not to keep me in, but to keep others out.

Auren and Midas have a past together that is slowly revealed as the story progresses. We can see through flashbacks how Midas rescued Auren from a life of slavery and poverty. It is obvious to us that while Midas might have harbored sweet feelings for Auren once upon a time, he now keeps her more because of her worth, what she represents, and because he’s obsessed with her, but surely not because he is in love with her.

Auren does not see it that way, and we can see from the very beginning that she suffers from Stockholm syndrome (I am not a psychiatrist or an expert, but if that’s not Stockholm syndrome, it’s very similar). I’ve read many reviews saying that this book romanticized the idea of the Stockholm syndrome and that it was very toxic. While I agree that Midas and Auren’s relationship is toxic for Auren, and that she is clearly not in a good place mentally because she loves Midas and refuses to see that he is using her and does not really care about her, I don’t think that the manipulation and abuse she’s victim of have been romanticized. I rather think that their dynamic shows how subtle emotional abuse can be, how hard it is to open your eyes to an abusive and toxic relationship, and how even harder it is to try to stop this relationship.

You can pretend a lot of things in life. You can pretend so well that you even start to believe your own deceit. We’re all actors; we’re all on pedestals with a spotlight shining on us, playing whatever part we need to in order to make it through the day—in order to help ourselves sleep at night.

Knowing the past Auren and Midas share makes it even more complex because Auren first knew Midas as a kind and handsome savior who slowly changed into her captor who made her dependent and who abuses his power over her. Still, we can see how her trust in him slowly cracks and how her blinded love and devotion are starting to erode as she realizes how badly Midas can treat her when it suits him. A part of her is telling her that it’s not right, and she knows that she’s in a dark place mentally, but the other part of her tells her to focus on the positive and that she should be grateful for all the luxury she is provided with and all that Midas has done for her. I really think that the big difference between their relationship and a usual “romanticized Stockholm syndrome” is that their relationship started with caring, love, and trust, instead of just being Auren getting kidnapped and falling in love with her mean captor.

It’s the arrogance of men, to think so little of women. And it’ll be their downfall too.

Auren is a great main character so far. She starts off vulnerable, but we can see how she’s slowly starting to get braver and bolder. She is starting to see how Midas cares more about his power than her well-being, but she still has a lot of work to do with all her mixed feelings. Her attachment to Midas is understandable considering their past and the fact that she is in a dependent relationship, but I do think that being out in the real world will help Auren see how she should be treated by someone who cares about her (I just think that it will take a while to get there because she’s not out of trouble yet). Auren desperately wants friends and basic social interactions, and we could see her slowly coming out of her shell, and I can’t wait for her to realize how badly Midas was treating her (there is SO MUCH potential for a great character arc!!). Although considering where she’s at at the end of this book, she might not realize it yet, because things might get even worse for her in the next book.

The world-building is minimal, but there is potential for extending it in the next books. So far, we know that the realm of Oria is divided into 6 kingdoms, each one ruled by a different king. The rulers of a kingdom must have magic, and that magic comes from faes that mingled with humans long ago before the ruler of the fae decided to cut ties with the humans and destroyed the magical bridge that linked both realms. While the world-building is basic, the pace is fast, and this book is a real page-turner. Even though nothing really extraordinary happened for the first half of the book, I just couldn’t stop reading.

Overall, this book is addictive and pulled me into its dark world instantly. It also has potential for great character growth and more world-building as we will (hopefully) get to discover more about the other kingdoms. It’s a fast-paced, quick read that is definitely intriguing and addictive enough to make me want to read the second book right away!

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Profile Image for Pauline.
261 reviews17 followers
February 16, 2021
I'm at 30% and honestly hoping the main character dies. That is not a good thing.

She has no redeeming qualities. She's simultaneously pathetic and annoying. I know the author wants me to have sympathy for her, but maybe it's a character flaw of my own that thinks if she can spend 10 years literally doing nothing to try and improve her life then she doesn't deserve my care.

I thought the premise here sounded interesting - I like a retelling of Midas - but it went weirdly literal, with everything turned to gold, including the bars in the prison cell, to the point that I couldn't suspend my disbelief any further. I also struggled with the constant use of modern language by the MC, in what appears to be a mediaeval setting.

Add to this all the attempted rape scenes, glacial pacing and the constant "telling" instead of showing, and you've got yourself a 1 star book.

Do not recommend. I won't bother looking for the rest of the series. Also note to self - Raven Kennedy is not the far superior Jeffe Kennedy (face palm). Hopefully I won't make that mistake again.
184 reviews112 followers
March 9, 2023

I'm having a mixed feelings but I swear it's not much! I love most of it but there are some things that I dislike and I'm going to reveal it here. I will try my best and write my reviews free from any spoiler. Please do bear with my language and excitement.

This book has been haunting my tbr list for a while since last year and I saw this book haunting my goodreads update page around last year too. Honestly, I know no shit about this book but I knew that this is very recommended and the way I dived into this head-first even without reading the synopsis was just unbelievable. Will I be able to fix this habit?🥲

BUT HONESTLY. THIS IS GOOD. THIS IS A GOOD BOOK WITH EXCITING STORY AND I AM HERE FOR IT. Though I'm not going to eat this series in one go, I'm going to make it last because I have a strong feeling that Rip is going to live in my mind rent-free.

Now to start reviewing the technical.

This is my first Raven Kennedy's book and I can confirm with my humble heart that her writing is not my favorite and I dislike it. It's the way she uses the hyperbolic and excessive poetic description that I dislike the most. I mean I don't mind it once in a while, but she instantly put it whenever Auren having monologs in her mind. But mostly it's the way her description doesn't make sense? It didn't impress me, in fact it kinda annoyed me. But I can put that aside because other than that her writing is good enough for me to enjoy. The flow was okay, though I think it's a bit packed and slow but it didn't bother me that much and I still found myself enjoying this.

Since the timeline didn't fairly stretch, it felt like the book was too short. Because so much is happening at the beginning and the end, and it was packed, I personally think that this is not the usual book's formula where you put drama and climax in the middle. It was... weird but not in a bad way? I can almost say that it is refreshing to try new formula in a book but the only minus point that it got too boring in the middle. But I do understand that it was necessary since so much happening in the beginning of the book. This one didn't really bother me and I can say that this point is good.

Now to the character. God- why did Ms. Kennedy wrote Auren so weak and fragile? I don't like it really. I don't. But please note that this is only my preference, I like my fmc knows how to bite and fight back and stand up for herself. I mean Auren did that but the way she carried herself and the way of her thinking was too weak. Not to mention if it's involving that son of a bitch King Midas. To be honest, I do understand that this one is also necessary for her character development and I'm here for that but it better be amazing and good, because if it's not going really well I might flip another table istg- but to review Auren overall, she's a good and amazingly written character. I love her. Just not how weak she is.

Now Midas. Fucking Midas. He's just insanely perfect. Perfect for us to spit and hate MWAHAHAHAHA. FUCK YOU MIDAS. No, but he's just so perfectly written to the point that I hate him with all of my heart. And with all of me, I bestow him the title "the Lowest of Low" man. Because fuck yes, he is. I swear you will feel the same.

The side characters were fantastic. I just have no rants or complain for that, especially Sail and Digby, they were flawless. Though Rip is basically the mmc in this series, but considering how late he came in this book, I don't appreciate that 😡 I mean in my country we have this saying that says "pahlawan kesiangan" which literally translates to "hero that came late" and I couldn't unsee him as that 😭 but honestly I couldn't review him since nothing really happened yet with him and I couldn't get to read his character deeply. so he's just Pahlawan Kesiangan for now LMAO 💀💀

Moving on to the story, I have no words other than say it is amazing. It got me completely hooked for days to read this and I'd be lying if I say I didn't devour this shit in whole. The story was exciting and given how wide and variation this universe is, I see a lot of potential for this series and it could ascend so high if it done properly. Because that was the only thing in my mind when I read the first few chapters from this book, it got me guessing what will be Auren's fate soon, which Kingdom will Rip come from, what identity will he has, is he going to be more vicious than Midas, and etc cetera. I was just purely excited to know more about this book throughout my reading. And I think this is a proof that I really like this book and the story.

I have high hopes and expectations for the next books and I hope the execution is properly done so this won't go to waste. I would be very sad if it does.

So I would give this 4 stars! I recommend this to you all! But please make sure to read the TWs.

TW. Rape, gaslight, manipulation, abuse sex, etc. (Please Google for more trigger warnings for this book)



I swear to God this one went so well and I had so much fun and was so excited to read this book together with her. And honestly I thought buddy reading would be very complex but it went smoothly and almost easy! I'm truly happy, really! You should try it! Imagine that you can talk and hype a book together with a friend? Personally, I don't have people that enjoy reading as much as I do around me irl so to be able to hype and talk and be excited about a book together is just a pure bliss for me.

It was so much fun to the point that we're been talking and hyping about this book in DM with full capslock 🤭😭

Just can't wait to read more books with you, Lyra!🫶🏻 thank you so much for lending your time to be my buddy read🫶🏻 can't wait to spend this whole series with you! aaaaaaaa😆😆😆😆


I don't know what I'll be facing in this book but as long as I'm facing it with cutie Lyra, I'm sure I'll be okay😌🫰🏻

Hope we'll have fun! Right, sis?😉🥰
February 24, 2021
I don't knowwww. Is this a fantasy romance? Who is the real main male interest here? Oh god, please don't let it be that FUCKING BASTARD Midas.

Anyway, this was a solid read for me. Depends on how it'll go on in the second book, I think this book is more like a prequel rather than a first book. So, it might be better to wait for more books to come out from this series before you want to read it.

I love the worldbuilding. The whole golden stuffs. The complex protagonist, Auren and I can't wait to see her grow more into herself and her ribbons thingy. Would really recommend this for people who like a weird fairytale retelling with quiet, resilient protagonist.
Profile Image for myo ✧༺ ༘♡ ༻∞.
742 reviews6,483 followers
December 11, 2022
honestly this book wasn’t even like half as bad as i thought it was going to be. idk i’ve read some pretty messed up books so i was preparing myself for the worst when it wasn’t that. the authors writing is really good, there’s a scene where kind Midas fucked up and after the way he was apologizing it Auren had my ass wanting to accept his apology. he’s so sweet to her i could see why she ends up with stockholm syndrome because he’s so good at pretending to care for her. also this is not a romance, idk why people act as if they fall in love with each other when it’s not that. a big reason why i stayed away from this book is because i don’t care for the stockholm syndrome romance shit but like i said this isn’t a romance. she does have stockholm syndrome and she is groomed yes, i think the author did a good job at showing how it affects her and everything.
Profile Image for Al *the semi serial series skipper*.
1,658 reviews667 followers
November 18, 2020
This book has such a high rating on KU that even though I was in the mood for a RH I decided to read something different.

This book was difficult to enjoy because I kept hoping for a reprieve for the heroine and there was none to be had. She's been kept in a cage for years and no one is allowed to touch her except King Midas and he doesn't touch her that often. She was an orphan whom he saved so she enjoys every scrap of emotion he gives her. She is unhappy in her golden cage but she is happy anytime he pays attention to her, when he leaves the women he has sex in front of her and caresses her hair through the cage she is happy and convinced she means everything to him.

She had classic Stockholm Syndrome and even though I know that's what she had I just couldn't enjoy that she loved Midas. He gives her to another King in exchange for the help of the King's army. Even though the king is old and decrepit, she's convinced that Midas is doing it because he loves her. She is almost raped so many times that it took away any kind of enjoyment from it.

She had no friends despite trying to make some but when you are all gold and the king's favorite everyone is jealous and spiteful. The one friend she made that had her smiling is killed almost immediately.

I kept hoping for the bright side, hoping she would be rescued or grow some back bone and rescue herself. She eventually fights back when yet another person wanted to rape her, you'd think that she's finally free but instead the book ends with her being captured by the enemy of King Midas. It's a misery galore in this book.

I can't wait to read the next book just because I want her to win, I want her to gain her independence and have things work for her.
Profile Image for Marti .
227 reviews104 followers
November 25, 2021
How did I not know about this book?

Wow. I had absolutely no expectations to love this book, more than that, I was expecting to get bored pretty soon. I must say I was pleasantly surprised.
The story is very dark, a mix of emotions between dread, confusion, and just one gasp after another.
I felt like the plot dragged a little bit in the middle, but overall I think it’s a great read.

Again, I must be insane, because I don’t see what all the fuss is about with the graphic content. It bothers me when I see people giving books really low rating because of a graphic scene. I mean, you were warned weren’t you? Do you know you’re affecting the book and the author negatively? If you get triggered, don’t read the book. That’s what trigger warnings are for.
You guys had me thinking it was going to be 200 pages of rape. It was one scene. We know it will happen. It is right there on the back of the book. So why are you guys giving it 2 stars because of that? You were warned about the graphic content, there’s no need to leave a negative review that’s going to affect the book because you were disturbed. I repeat: you. Were. Warned. If rape disturbs you, don’t read the book. It’s very dark, yes, but that’s the point. It’s supposed to disturbe you. If it didn’t, you would be complaining about rape being romanticized.
Objectively, this book is so well written I was amazed by it. I don’t know what I was expecting, but it wasn’t this. The story gripped me from the beginning. I think the main character’s struggle between what she believes to be true and actual reality makes for an appealing plot.
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