Review of The Silvered Serpents by Roshani Chokshi

Read: 21st September 2020 – 28th September 2020

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Spoilers in review: Yes for The Gilded Wolves, very minor for this one

Rep: french-algerian main character, bisexual spanish-fillipino main character, south indian main character, autistic jewish main character, achillean french-haitian main character

CW: grief, terminal illness, murder, antisemitism, self harm (for magical purposes), sexual assualt by deception, mention of suicide, mention of cruelty to animals, mention of miscarriage

Goodreads desc:

They are each other’s fiercest love, greatest danger, and only hope.

Séverin and his team members might have successfully thwarted the Fallen House, but victory came at a terrible cost — one that still haunts all of them. Desperate to make amends, Séverin pursues a dangerous lead to find a long lost artifact rumored to grant its possessor the power of God.

Their hunt lures them far from Paris, and into the icy heart of Russia where crystalline ice animals stalk forgotten mansions, broken goddesses carry deadly secrets, and a string of unsolved murders makes the crew question whether an ancient myth is a myth after all.

As hidden secrets come to the light and the ghosts of the past catch up to them, the crew will discover new dimensions of themselves. But what they find out may lead them down paths they never imagined.

A tale of love and betrayal as the crew risks their lives for one last job.

I read The Gilded Wolves not too long ago and I enjoyed it. I knew before I started reading The Silvered Serpents that I would probably enjoy it too, and that this series had the potential to become a favourite of mine depending on how this one went. Chokshi then proceeded to hurt me from the very first chapter, and it took me ages to read this whole book because I knew that every time I picked it up I’d get hurt again, so obviously I loved it and this series is definitely a favourite of mine. Which makes talking about it in a review rather difficult, but I’m trying my best. Please bear with me lmao.

Séverin’s goals and motivation has changed massively following the end of The Gilded Wolves. He’s very much not coping well, and if you were to try and place him somewhere on the five stages of grief he’s stuck at stage one. His new goal is born from this, and oh boy. It’s a type of goal that’s usually reserved for villains. Which is something that Séverin seems to almost be aware of, but he’s so sure of himself and so clouded by his own grief that despite everything that it will take to get there he’s choosing to do it anyway. I know I’m not the only one who spent a lot of their time reading this wanting to reach into the book and shake some sense into him. It was fascinating to read, it was a highly unusual direction for a protagonist’s arc to be going in, and it caused me much pain. 

There were a couple of things concerning Laila that I really liked. The first is something that was also the case in the first book. Laila is shown to have casual sex sometimes, and she isn’t demonised or glorified for it. It’s just a thing that she does because she enjoys it, and that’s okay! It doesn’t make her worse than anyone else and it doesn’t make her better than anyone else. It’s a really small part of the series and of her character but it’s something that I appreciated and I’m glad that Chokshi included and wrote it the way she did.

Another thing that I like about Laila is that she refuses to fall prey to certain misogynistic tropes, especially when other characters seem to expect her to conform to them. A new character is introduced in this book who develops a crush on Séverin, and she takes an instant dislike to Laila because of her not-relationship with him. Laila, however, is unwilling to participate in a rivalry and holds no ill-will against this character because of this. Laila saw the girl-hate trope and said no. This book takes place in a period of time very close to Laila’s birthday, less than a month away from it, meaning that she’s due to die soon. When it’s suggested to her that maybe if she tells Séverin about it he’ll start to act more like his old self again, she shuts that suggestion down immediately. She has enough respect for herself not to let her death just be motivation for the boy in her life. Her death is her own. Laila saw the fridging trope and said no.

I want to give Zofia a hug and reassure her that her friends do love her and don’t think she’s a burden at all. It’s very obvious from all of her friends’ POVs that they adore her, but she doesn’t believe it and thinks they’re just putting up with her. This is probably relatable to a lot of people, including myself at times, but it doesn’t make it any easier to read ;_;

I didn’t expect the Hypnos/Enrique/Zofia triangle to develop in quite the way that it did, but I liked the way that it’s going! I’m going to avoid going into too many details about it here, but this storyline highlights that mutual attraction alone doesn’t necessarily mean that a perfect relationship will follow, even if everyone involved in said relationship are ultimately good people who care about each other. I’m still holding out hope for a happy ending for all three of them!

I told my partner about the book as I was reading it, and I ever so slightly spammed them while I was in the final stretch. Highlights from that conversation include: 

discord message from blog owner's user saying the following:
'severin: is constantly mean to his friends
his friends: start disliking him and not trusting him anymore
severin: [the surprised pikachu face meme]'
discord message from blog owner's partner saying the following:
'You, @the book: I love you but also go to hell'

I think it’s safe to say that I’m in pretty deep with this series. I just checked what content there is for it on ao3, and I am horrified at the lack of fic there. This is a disgrace. Somebody needs to rectify this immediately. (Please don’t make that person be me, I have enough to do already.)

In case it wasn’t clear already, I highly recommend this series. My heart has been stabbed multiple times and I need more people to suffer with me.

I received an e-arc through Netgalley in return for an honest review.

Goodreads | Amazon UK | Waterstones | Hive

About The Author

Picture by Aman Sharma

Roshani Chokshi is the author of commercial and critically acclaimed books for middle grade and young adult readers that draw on world mythology and folklore. Her work has been nominated for the Locus and Nebula awards, and has frequently appeared on Best of The Year lists from Barnes and Noble, Forbes, Buzzfeed and more. Her New York Times bestselling series include The Star-Touched Queen duology, The Gilded Wolves, and Aru Shah and The End of Time, which has been optioned for film by Paramount Pictures.

3 thoughts on “Review of The Silvered Serpents by Roshani Chokshi

  1. […] This book came into my home, smiled innocently, and stabbed me in the heart, right from the very first chapter. This series has entered into the rotation of things that I have a tendency to infodump about to my partner, and they’ve been so incredibly patient with me as I yell about how much these characters mean to me. This is yet another case where the wait for the next book in the series is going to be a struggle. You can find my full review here. […]

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