I’m so excited to be a part of The Gilded Ones Blog Tour! Please remember to click the tour banner above or the schedule below to access the tour schedule. There are a lot of other amazing bloggers and bookstagrammers who are also a part of the tour.
Title: The Gilded Ones
Author: Namina Forna
Publication Date: February 9, 2021
Publisher: Random House Children’s
Goodreads rating: 4.28
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.
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. (Bio taken from Namina Forna’s website.)
Many thanks to Delacorte Press and Terminal Tours for an e-arc in exchange for an honest review! All opinions are my own.
The Gilded Ones is set in a fantasy world where purity matters. Pure girls have red blood whereas impure girls have gold blood. At the beginning of the novel, Deka has just turned 16 and will be attending her purity ceremony to determine whether she is pure or not. Unfortunately, her blood runs gold. She ends up joining a group of people called alaki, who are an army of impure girls.
Namina Forna’s novel has an interesting premise and overall, I did enjoy reading it. At the same time, however, the book just wasn’t for me. This is not a fault of Forna’s writing or the story in general. I just couldn’t relate to Deka, most likely because I’m almost a decade older than she is in the story. I have slowly started to realize that I’m reaching the point where I’m beginning to age out of the young adult genre. Most young adult novels do not seem to interest me unless the world-building is intricate and the content is thought-provoking.
That being said, I do recommend this book to young adult readers who are interested in mythology (i.e. Greek, Roman, Egyptian, etc.). Forna creates her own Goddess system, which I thought was very interesting. I always love when authors go a step further and create something that is unique to their world. Someone who enjoys reading about fantastical worlds in young adult novels would definitely find The Gilded Ones to be an enjoyable read. Please note that The Gilded Ones does have some heavy material in the novel (death, abuse, and torture to name a few), so it would be better suited to older YA readers.
Where can I buy The Gilded Ones?
Be sure to check out the rest of the Terminal Tours blog tour for The Gilded Ones! You can either click here or on the blog tour banner found above to see the other blogs that are participating in the tour.
Have you read The Gilded Ones? What are your thoughts on the book? Let me know in the comments below!