Hello Gemmies! I have a fantastic new book review to share with you today. Please note: I received a digital ARC of this book (via NetGalley) from its publisher in exchange for an honest and fair review.
Wow, wow, wow, wow, wow! This book absolutely blew me away! It far exceeded all of my expectations. It's beautiful female warriors destroying the patriarchy, what more do you need?!?! The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna is everything I needed and even more! Let's start with the cover...GORGEOUS! This has to be one of the single most beautiful book covers I have ever seen. The imagery immediately pulls you in and lets you know that you are going to get something special. The colors are bright and appealing and I love all of the jewelry and hair adornments. In short, solid gold magic!
The Gilded Ones is the first book in the Deathless series. We follow a group a girls who are considered outcasts in a patriarchal society because of their golden blood. This society is extremely cruel and abusive to women so trigger warning for future readers. Namina Forna takes on hard core issues like inequality, rape, violence, sexism, racism, past trauma, and xenophobia all in an epic fantasy setting. Although some of the scenarios can be hard to take at times, make no mistake this is a super empowering feminist novel.
At its heart, The Gilded Ones is a coming of age story. We follow Deka and a diverse group of female characters on their journey to find their voices and power in a world set against them. Once discovered as "unclean" Deka and the others are given the choice to die or become a soldier in the emperors army; trained to fight a monstrous enemy. But all is not as it seems. There is treachery all around and the creatures are not the only danger Deka and the other girls will face.
This world Namina Frona has created is absolutely brilliant. There are unique regions, a complex religious system, mythical creatures, and more! The kingdom of Otera feels real and totally unique. If you are a fan of Children of Blood and Bone, love epic fantasies, root for the underdog, and believe in kick ass heroines, then this book is for you! To put it shortly GO READ THIS BOOK!
Published by Delacorte Press, this gem set to release on May 26th, and is available for pre-order from all major booksellers. I give The Gilded Ones 5 out of 5 gems. I cannot wait to read more stories set in this universe. Happy Reading!