Gild by Raven Kennedy

Gild by Raven Kennedy next to a cup of tea on a white linen sheet





Gold floors, gold walls, gold furniture, gold clothes. In Highbell, in the castle built into the frozen mountains, everything is made of gold.

Even me.

King Midas rescued me. Dug me out of the slums and placed me on a pedestal. I’m called his precious. His favored. I’m the woman he Gold-Touched to show everyone that I belong to him. To show how powerful he is. He gave me protection, and I gave him my heart. And even though I don’t leave the confines of the palace, I’m safe.

Until war comes to the kingdom and a deal is struck.

Suddenly, my trust is broken. My love is challenged. And I realize that everything I thought I knew about Midas might be wrong.

Because these bars I’m kept in, no matter how gilded, are still just a cage. But the monsters on the other side might make me wish I’d never left.

Please Note: This book contains explicit content and darker elements, including mature language, violence, and non-consensual sex.


When I started Gild, I admittedly had no idea what it was about. It was trending on both BookTok and Bookstagram so beyond some aesthetic reels and people raving about how great it was, I went in blind. Gild is a King Midas retelling with hints of fae, a chapter of smut and some very triggering scenes. It comes off as sexist but also discusses what it’s like to be a woman living in a mans world.

Was this as fantastic of a book as people say it is? No. Did I enjoy it? Kinda. The plot was nonexistent from the start. Beyond it being a King Midas retelling, we follow Auden who appears to be happily caged by the king and living her days in a golden prison. We see some political plays that involve her and then a journey to a different kingdom that doesn’t go well. No clue why any of this matters though or why we’re following the “king’s favored” until about the 90% mark.

The world building was there, but not done well. We get a lot of info dumping and bits feed to us at weird moments. It never flowed well with the rest of the story, but I did have a somewhat clear understanding of the world and how it worked.

Poor Auden is suffering from the worst case of Stockholm syndrome. She’s stuck in a gilded prison living her days watching the king who she loves and thinks loves her screw all his palace whores, aka Saddles (witty but like cringe). I felt horrible for her. The abuse and gaslighting was astounding. While she had this horrible life before Midas, she now lives in luxury as a prisoner to a man who she thinks loves her and treats her like crap.

Auden seemed like a kind soul but incredibly lonely since she is kept away from everyone. She kinda starts to get this feeling of unrest, to fight back a little but the fact that she thinks the King loves her definitely has a hold of her. It made me angry and heartbroken to see her so complacent in her place of “honor” isolated from everyone and trying to find happiness within the little things.

While I loved Auden I couldn’t see why she mattered. Yes she’s obviously important to the King, but why does she get a whole book series? It took way too long for answers but I actually did enjoy the story. It all seemed kinda pointless but at the same time I couldn’t stop reading it, trying to get answers. I think it could have been condensed down because the last 10% of the book was where we finally get to see why anything matters, why Auden matters.

I don’t think I’ll be raving about this one and recommending it but I do plan on picking up the next book. Glint better have some answers for me though and a more distinguished plot. We can only be so entertained by Auden living her caged bird life for so long.

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