Praise for GILDED CAGE

“A dazzling addition to the growing genre of alternative historical fiction, James’s first novel has the added bonus of compelling page-turnability.” – Daily Mail

“the historical parallels are too delicious to ignore. … one can’t help but anticipate the next novel in the series.” – The Washington Post best science fiction and fantasy books to read in February

“Beautifully characterised and compellingly plotted, Gilded Cage is an impressive debut” – The Guardian

“gripping and original” – Top 5 SFF pick for February

“James’s clever debut … will keep readers on the edges of their seats, eager for the next book in a very promising series.”  Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Gilded Cage Delivers on the Most Intriguing Political Fantasy Premise Since The Hunger Games” – Barnes&Noble SciFi

“Deserves to become enormous … we were rabidly excited for book 2 before we’d even reached halfway.” – iBooks UK

“SFF Debut of the Month …. James does an excellent job of creating a dark contemporary world in which magic is used to prop up a corrupt aristocracy at the expense of ordinary people” – Library Journal (starred review)

“The scope of Vic James’s debut novel is staggering … It’s smart, engrossing and incredibly snappily written, with so many compelling characters and pulse-quickening situations that the whole book just fl ies by. We apologise for the cliché, but it is that good.” – SciFiNow

A LibraryReads Top Ten pick for February, chosen by US public librarians nationwide across all new releases

“The twists and turns make this book hard to set down; a second read may reveal many details that readers might breeze past the first time. Readers will eagerly await the rest of the trilogy started here.” – Booklist

“Enticing drama and social unrest mix with aristocratic scandal and glamorous magic. … An absorbing first installment that presages an intriguing new fantasy series.” – Kirkus

Our world belongs to the Equals – aristocrats with magical gifts.

All commoners must serve them for ten years.

But behind the gates of England’s grandest estate lies a power that could break the world.

Welcome to the alternate contemporary Britain of  THE DARK GIFTS … 


Book 1 – GILDED CAGE  (out now!)


A girl thirsts for love and knowledge…

ABI is a servant to England’s most powerful family, but her spirit is free. So when she falls for one of the noble-born sons, she faces a terrible choice. Uncovering the family’s secrets might win her liberty–but will her heart pay the price?

A boy dreams of revolution…

Abi’s brother LUKE is enslaved in a brutal factory town. Far from his family and cruelly oppressed, Luke makes friends whose ideals could cost him everything. Now Luke has discovered there may be a power even greater than magic: revolution.

And an aristocrat will remake the world with his dark gifts…

He is a shadow in the glittering world of the Equals, with mysterious powers no one else understands. But will he liberate–or destroy?

Order the US hardback

Order the UK paperback and ebook


TARNISHED CITY is published early September 2017

BRIGHT RUIN concludes the trilogy in June 2018

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