Hello bookworms!! Today is my stop for the book blog tour of The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna, first part in the series “Deathless”. This tour is organized by Hear Our Voices Book Tours and I’ll be sharing my views on the same. I hope you will enjoy this book as much as I did!
Title: The Gilded Ones
Author: Namina Forna
Publisher: Delacorte Press, Penguin Random House
Publication Date: February 9, 2021
Genres: YA Fiction
Personal Rating: 4/5
Book Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Bookshop.org
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 Gilded Ones is the first book in Deathless, a high fantasy series that was pretty fast-paced. It was exciting and it was unputdownable. Firstly, let us talk about the various characters and the protagonist Deka. All the characters are nice and all the girls are very supportive. We are introduced to Keita, Deka’s partner, who is very cute, humble, with warrior-like qualities, and of course charming.
Britta and Belcais, both were thoroughly supportive of Deka. Their characters were interesting to read and I hope they will be further developed in the upcoming next installment in the series. The final few chapters felt like they were rushed, rest assured it would be an enthralling and exciting read.
The intricate world-building is worth appreciating and the transformation from the Otera to the Kingdom was delicate.
This book contains everything you want, LGBTQ+ representation, women fighting against oppression, found family, and also romance which wasn’t overpowering other themes, so yeah! That was nice. Also, the book explores various themes that were important to talk about like – anti-racism, anti-colorism, diversity, and women’s empowerment.
Final verdict – highly recommended to the fans of fantasy, ya with some feminist and no-nonsense taker characters, and if you are looking for the latest favorite fantasy series, this could be the one.
Namina Forna is a young adult novelist based in Los Angeles, and the author of the 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.
Last but not the least, I would like to take this opportunity to Thank the team of Hear Our Voices Book Tours for making me a part of this amazing book blog tour! Also, you can find the full schedule here.