Radio 2 Book Club: Gilded Cage

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Gilded Cage by Vic James will be featured on the Radio 2 Book Club on Tuesday 21 March.

We have the chance for you to win 10 copies of this fantastic YA novel for your reading group! Please enter by Friday 24 March.

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We also have an exclusive extract available for you to read as well as a discussion guide for your reading group

Gilded Cage

A thrilling Orwellian vision of Britain, with a rebellious Hunger Games heart.
Gilded Cage is the astonishing debut novel from Vic James, and the first title in her electrifying The Dark Gifts Trilogy.

Britain’s magically-skilled aristocracy compels all commoners to serve them for ten years – and now it’s the Hadley’s 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 defence, all three must take sides. And the consequences of their choices will change everything, forever.

Selection panel review

The book was selected with the help of a panel made up of Reading Agency and library staff from across the UK.

The panel loved Gilded Cage – here are some of their comments:

“This is storytelling at its best. It has a feel of the more exciting and magical bits of Harry Potter with a much darker and political slant to it. It carried me forward with the right amount of teasing of what was to come and a few shocks along the way and I just wanted to keep reading.”

“A fascinating take on an alternative version of Britain, where slavery is still a reality, but instead of race it is magical skill that separates. Clever, engaging, and although written with a YA audience in mind, will be enjoyed by all ages.”

About the author

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Vic James is a current affairs TV director who loves stories in all their forms, and Gilded Cage is her debut novel. She as twice judged the Guardian’s Not the Booker Prize, has made films for BBC1, BBC2, and Channel 4 News, and is a huge Wattpadd.com success story. Under its previous title, Slavedays, her book was read online over a third of a million times in first draft. And it went on to win Wattpad’s ‘Talk of the Town’ award in 2015 – on a site showcasing 200 million stories. Vic James lives and works in London.

A word from Vic

“As a child, you’d think I ate library books as I got through so many, so fast. My mother signed the family up to three public libraries to get a large enough book allowance to keep me going! A library gave me my first writing prize, age 8, for a story about a statue of King Alfred that came to life and took a stroll around Winchester. And here I am, a few decades later, still writing about the intersection of Britain’s history and its present – with a touch of magic! Being chosen for the Radio 2 Book Club, though, is something I could never have imagined.

At school I volunteered in my local library; as a student, I worked in my college library to help pay my way. When I lived abroad for years, in Tokyo, I ran a book group. So it goes without saying that I am thrilled to have written a novel – a series, in fact – that will now have a home on library shelves, and hopefully provoke discussion in book groups! I have always read for escapism, but also to be made to think about the world. I love books with big ideas, but also with lashings of drama and action. In Gilded Cage, and the Dark Gifts series, I’ve written the books I always wanted to read. I hope you enjoy enjoy reading them too – and thank you for picking Gilded Cage for your library or reading group.”

Get involved

Tune in to Simon Mayo’s Drivetime show on Tuesday 21 March to hear a live interview with Vic.

Have you read Gilded Cage? You can share your thoughts with us on Twitter using #GildedCage.

You can also see what other readers thought or add the book to your group’s reading list.

Want to find out more? Take a look at the Radio 2 Book Club Twitter feed or find out more on the Radio 2 Book Club website.

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