Book Review – The Gilded Ones

Title:The Gilded Ones
Author: Namina Forna
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Genre: Fantasy | YA
Length: 414 pages
Published:  Feb 9th 2020
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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. 

Welcome to my stop on the TBR and Beyond tour! I am so excited to finally talk about this book. First of all you can find more info about the tour here. There are a lot of awesome bloggers writting so many creative posts so be sure to check it out.


Have you ever read a book that you knew from the start would be a five stars? This was that book for me, I had some pretty bad reads recently and this was the needed medicine.

The worldbuilding is stunning, the author didn´t take the short route and went all in. The whole world is original and magical, the fauna of this place, completely unknown to the reader, is organically introduced. I did also loved the different cultures shown, and how intricate and well build the religion and mythology were. I am beyond excited for what is to come.

While the story is set in a heavily patriarchal world, it´s full of strong female characters that manage to shine through. The characters grow with the story, Deka more than any, discovering their powers and how to stand their ground. I finished the book feeling empowered and ready to smash the patriarchy, 100% would recommend.

The story does an amazing job at leaving you guessing, and I´ve changed so many theories throughout the pages, trying to put all the pieces together I felt like one of those conspiracy theorists with a cog board full of pictures. No worries, this story has a full round and satisfactory ending, and it´s so refreshing to see, I have the feeling that so many books end in a cliffhanger these days. That doesn’t mean I am not holding my breath until the next book is out because as I said, I am still thinking about this world and I am ready to jump right in any moment now.

5/5 stars

And now for the fun part, I present to you my top 5 reasons to read The Gilded Ones

  1. World-building
    The setting of this story is absolutely fabulous and full of magic! I found myself carving more after finishing the book.
  2. Fast Paced
    This story is crazy! So much happened that I feel I could have been stretched into a trilogy. I love that it didn´t, there are no filler scenes, no boring bits. Just heart-racing action.
  3. Character growth
    This book had more character development in 5 pages than other stories in three books
  4. Girls kicking ass
    if these reasons were in any particular order this would be no. 1 because oh my gods the girls in this story are amazing! love to see.
  5. Cover
    I know this is a little bit dumb if you are not as crazy for a pretty cover as I am, but the reasonf I got first excited for this book was the cover. So shinny so awesome!!

About the Author:
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.


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