It is believed that God scattered pieces of the destroyed Tower of Babel across the world. In 1889, a number of aristocratic Houses (together known as the Order of Babel) are sworn to safeguard the locations of their Babel Fragments, the sources of "Forging" power: the "power of creation" that allows people with innate magical ability to reform and remake mind and matter. The French section of the Order of Babel once had four houses that protected their Fragment. Then, "one House fell. And another House's line died without an heir. Now all that is left is a secret."
Such is the world of Roshani Chokshi's (The Star-Touched Queen) The Gilded Wolves. Half-French, half-Algerian Séverin should be the Patriarch of the third house, House Vanth, but it is an open secret that Séverin was denied his inheritance due to his race. Now, Séverin and a band of other teens on the fringes of society work together to pull off Mission Impossible-level stunts to regain pieces of his inheritance--and hopefully, someday, the House itself. On this team are Tristan, with the ability to Forge fantastic landscape art; Laila, a cabaret star from India with the ability to read objects' histories; Enrique, a half-Filipino, half-Spanish historian without the ability to Forge; and Zofia, a Polish-Jewish Forging engineer. The Gilded Wolves goes on to set up a fantastical great heist with a series of clues and problems the group of teens must decipher.
Chokshi's third-person narrative slips easily between the teens' perspectives, granting the reader inside views of their loving, tangled lives. Her world is lush and her characters distinct and engaging--this first in a new series is as sharp and lustrous as the title suggests. --Siân Gaetano, children's and YA editor, Shelf Awareness