The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna (Review)

Format: Paperback

Source: Gift from a friend

Publisher: Usborne Publishing

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Fiction

Publication Date: 9th February 2021

Synopsis/Blurb (Taken from Goodreads):

“Sixteen-year-old Deka lives in Otera, a deeply patriarchal ancient kingdom, where a woman’s worth is tied to her purity, and she must bleed to prove it. But when Deka bleeds gold – the colour of impurity, of a demon – she faces a consequence worse than death. She is saved by a mysterious woman who tells Deka of her true nature: she is an Alaki, a near-immortal with exceptional gifts. The stranger offers her a choice: fight for the Emperor, with others just like her, or be destroyed…”

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My Thoughts & Review

The Gilded Ones is a book I’ve had my eye on since first hearing about within the book community!! A few months ago, I was gifted a copy from a friend but I couldn’t work up the courage to read it straight away even though I really wanted to as I was worried that I would be very disappointed. But I finally picked it up and am glad to report it didn’t disappoint!!

This is a well written book that I found very easy read and follow. Forna does a great job in describing the world building which was definitely my favourite part of the book. She provides just enough details to describe  to keep readers engaged while at the same time allowing the reader to understand exactly what is going on.

Although I loved the uniqueness of the plot I did find it to be a little predictable. I managed to guess a few of the twists. At times I also struggled with pacing. One minute the book was moving at full speed and then all of a sudden everything slows down. I felt this was more of a problem at the beginning of the book and as it progressed the pace picked up and stayed steady till  the end. Another slight issue I came across was the inconsistency in the narrative. There were some time jumps between chapters which meant the story jumped forward in days and weeks. Although I didn’t mind the jumps to much I do think they could have been done a little more smoothly, as sometimes it made the chapters feel a little disjointed.

Regardless of the minor issues, overall I really enjoyed The Gilded Ones and can’t wait for the second book.  If you haven’t read this one yet and are looking for an action packed YA fantasy then this is a book I highly recommend you give it a go!! But before you do please do check out the trigger warnings as this book does cover some topics that people may find difficult to read.

Trigger Warnings: Beheading, dismemberment, blood, graphic violence/descriptions, mentions/indications to sexual assault, misogyny, racism, torture and death to name a few.

My Rating


Have you read this book? What did you think? Leave a comment below and let’s have a chat.

Happy Reading!!!

You can also find me on: Twitter || Instagram ||Goodreads

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