Gilded Cage by Vic James is darkly fantastical debut set in a modern England where magically gifted aristocrats rule, and commoners are doomed to serve – for ten years of their lives, at the mercy of cruel master who view them as nothing more than chattels of the state.
“I know you like history, Abigail. Remember: those who don’t learn from it are doomed to repeat it. Or should it be: those who do learn from it are able to repeat it?” – Silyen (Vic James, Gilded Cage, p. 279)
Our world belongs to the Equals—aristocrats with magical gifts—and 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. Abi is a servant to England’s most powerful family, but her spirit is free. So when she falls for one of their noble-born sons, Abi faces a terrible choice. Uncovering the family’s secrets might win her liberty—but will her heart pay the price? Abi’s brother, Luke, is enslaved in a brutal factory town. Far from his family and cruelly oppressed, he makes friends whose ideals could cost him everything. Now Luke has discovered there may be a power even greater than magic: revolution. He is a shadow in the glittering world of the Equals, with mysterious powers no one else understands. But will he liberate—or destroy? (Chapters.Indigo.ca)