Thank you so much to TBR and Beyond Book Tours for the opportunity to be on this blog tour!
Title: The Gilded Ones
Author: Namina Forna
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Release Date: February 9, 2020
Genres: YA Fantasy
I received an eARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Sixteen-year-old Deka lives in fear and anticipation of the blood ceremony that will determine whether she will become a member of her village. Already different from everyone else because of her unnatural intuition, Deka prays for red blood so she can finally feel like she belongs.
But on the day of the ceremony, her blood runs gold, the color of impurity–and Deka knows she will face a consequence worse than death.
Then a mysterious woman comes to her with a choice: stay in the village and submit to her fate, or leave to fight for the emperor in an army of girls just like her. They are called alaki–near-immortals with rare gifts. And they are the only ones who can stop the empire’s greatest threat.
Knowing the dangers that lie ahead yet yearning for acceptance, Deka decides to leave the only life she’s ever known. But as she journeys to the capital to train for the biggest battle of her life, she will discover that the great walled city holds many surprises. Nothing and no one are quite what they seem to be–not even Deka herself.
- The world building in this book is so rich and beautiful. The landscapes, the lore, the stories… everything. It’s a solid, high fantasy world unlike one I’ve seen before.
- I loved the focus on sisterhood and female friendships in this book. It’s always so refreshing when a friendship is as acknowledged, and is as important, as a romantic relationship.
- There is a lot of descriptions of violence in this book. The women in this book heal easily when hurt, and unfortunately, that is used against them.
A young, naive, woman discovering her worth in a cruel patriarchal society has been done before. But not like this. This book is brutal, yet tender. Deka’s pain is illustrated so beautifully throughout the narrative, and her growth is lovely to behold. I loved watching as she discovered her strengths, as well as her weaknesses, and she overcame it all.
There are some seriously great twists in this book! I was surprised so many times! And that ending is fantastic, setting it up perfectly for another book.
This debut is an excellent entrance into a new fantasy trilogy, and I can’t wait for the sequel!
Namina Forna is a young adult novelist based in Los Angeles, and the author of the upcoming epic fantasy YA novel The Gilded Ones. Originally from Sierra Leone, West Africa, she moved to the US when she was nine and has been traveling back and forth ever since. Namina has an MFA in film and TV production from USC School of Cinematic Arts and a BA from Spelman College. She works as a screenwriter in LA and loves telling stories with fierce female leads.