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Rebellion in an Alternate, Magic-drenched Britain: The Dark Gifts Trilogy by Vic James

Tuesday, December 25th, 2018 | Posted by John ONeill

Gilded Cage Vic James-small Tarnished City Vic James-small Bright Ruin Vic James-small

Newcomer Vic James scored some enviable attention with the first two novels in her Dark Gifts trilogy, Gilded Cage (which we covered here), and Tarnished City (covered here), set in a modern England where magically gifted aristocrats rule and commoners are forced to serve. Andrew Liptak at The Verge included the first in his list of the top SF and fantasy novels of February 2017, saying,

Gilded Cage is the start to a new series by debut author Vic James. The world belongs to a class of gifted magical aristocrats, and commoners must serve them for a decade. A woman named Abi is a servant to a powerful family and discovers a secret that can upend the power in society, all while her brother toils away in a factory town, building a revolution.

Kirkus Reviews said Gilded Cage “Conjures up the specters of Les Misérables and Downton Abbey… an intriguing new fantasy series,” and Aliette de Bodard called it “A dark and intriguing vision of an alternate, magic-drenched Britain… kept me up long into the night.”

The third and final volume Bright Ruin, in which the people of Britain rise up against their magically gifted masters, was published in October, and was a Pick of the Month from Library Journal. Bookreporter calls it “A triumphant conclusion to this outstanding fantasy series,” and Publishers Weekly said “Rebellion comes to a deadly boil in the final chapter… [An] intricate tale of ruthless scheming and bloody betrayals.” All three volumes are now available from Del Rey. I bought the first, and I’m well tempted to complete the set.


  1. Thanks for that overview, John.
    I’ve just ordered all three. (I love the winter. It’s the only time I get some serious reading in, and this series will fit the bill nicely :) )

    Comment by Andrew P Weston - December 26, 2018 10:47 am

  2. I know, right? Winter holidays are tailor-made for snuggling down with a lap blanket, a warm beverage, and a tall stack of books.

    Enjoy, and let us know what you think!

    Comment by John ONeill - December 26, 2018 1:30 pm

  3. The whole series sounds delicious. Let us know how you like it!

    Comment by Sarah Avery - December 27, 2018 11:29 pm

  4. What are you reading over the holidays, Sarah?

    Comment by John ONeill - December 28, 2018 12:38 pm

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