The Gilded Ones: Book summary and reviews of The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna

The Gilded Ones

Deathless #1

by Namina Forna

The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna X
The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna
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Book Summary

The most anticipated fantasy of 2021. In this world, girls are outcasts by blood and warriors by choice. Get ready for battle.

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 start of a bold and immersive fantasy series for fans of Children of Blood and Bone and Black Panther.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Formidable heroines and a thoughtful feminist mythology distinguish debut author Forna's West Africa–inspired fantasy trilogy launch. Abundant action drives the pace, while a nuanced plot advocates social change by illustrating the myriad ways in which society cages and commodifies women." - Publishers Weekly

"Forna's debut novel is masterful in its world-building and character development. The setting is vast and full of wonders, while the protagonist is well-rounded, bold, and as real as any other 16-year-old who wants to be accepted and loved. Brutal, and occasionally graphic in its depiction of violence, this is nevertheless a must." - School Library Journal

"With measured focus, debut author Forna creates a provocative world filled with fantastical creatures, centuries-old divine conflict, and overt feminist messaging around gender inequity and 'purity'...The plot-twist climax is hinted at throughout the book...Unfortunately, the energy then peters out for the falling action and epilogue. An adventurous and relevant fantasy that strives for gold but settles, in the end, for silver." - Kirkus Reviews

"Namina Forna could be the Toni Morrison of YA fantasy." - Refinery 29

"Fans of Children of Blood and Bone, Mulan, and the Dora Milaje from Black Panther are going to adore this one." - BuzzFeed

"An enthralling debut. The Gilded Ones redefines sisterhood and is sure to leave readers both inspired and ultimately hopeful." - Stephanie Garber, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Caraval

"Haunting, brutal, and oh-so-relevant. This book will suck you into a world where girls bleed gold, magic fills the air, and the real monsters hide behind words instead of claws." - Roseanne A. Brown, New York Times bestselling author of A Song of Wraiths and Ruin

"The Gilded Ones is a fierce, unflinching fantasy that marks Forna as a debut to watch." - Kiersten White, New York Times bestselling author of And I Darken

This information about The Gilded Ones shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Namina Forna

Namina Forna has an MFA in film and TV production from USC School of Cinematic Arts and a BA from Spelman College. She now works as a screenwriter in LA and loves telling stories with fierce female leads. The Gilded Ones is her debut novel.

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