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The Gilded Ones

(Deathless #1)

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  680 ratings  ·  333 reviews
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 s
Kindle Edition, 432 pages
Expected publication: February 9th 2021 by Delacorte
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Average rating 4.29  · 
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Mar 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Are we girls or are we demons?"

Reading is a struggle when you pick up a highly anticipated book, your expectations have reached Mt Everest levels, and you have to hold your breath until the very last page, hoping it won't disappoint. But the feeling when it actually smashes the ceiling? Priceless.

As most love stories, this one started with a cover reveal. And I knew I NEEDED this book in my life. Usborne was kind enough to send me a review copy and I swear, my eyes have seldom beheld something
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
June FairyLoot! We got two books and this one has beautiful sprayed edges to go with the beautiful over! Click link under the pic for the goodies!


4.5 Stars!

Damn! I found a gem!

When I first started the book I was like oh no, not another same ole thing book. THEN! I was like what in the hell is this girl. Wait... what the hell are these bastards doing to this girl!! We have a touch of grimdark in the ya book. What?!

The magic is awesome, the creatures are
Jul 04, 2020 marked it as to-read
That Cover? Stunning! (Yeah, maybe not that font but other than that? Gorgeous.)

February 9th 2021!!

sad puppy
Elle (ellexamines)
May 06, 2018 marked it as 2021
West-African fantasy with a blurb that seems to suggest subversion of eugenics and girl badasses. aka my BRAND.
Ashley Nuckles
This was sooooooo good! Love love loved!!
Nov 04, 2019 marked it as to-read
That's A Cover
Jun 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley, 2021
Wow, this was incredible. If the pub date hadn’t been pushed back a year, it would have easily been my top YA fantasy of 2020. But maybe it’ll end up being a good thing, having The Gilded Ones debut in 2021. There will be time to build excitement and get the word out on this brilliant start to a series. That’s going to be the biggest drawback to this book, waiting for it to officially come out next February. Maybe Namina Forna will have the next book in the Deathless series ready by then? Possib ...more
Vee_Bookish // YA Book Blogger
This was such a bloody, violent, harrowing, brilliant book. It was a really anticipated release in 2020, the year that all my anticipated releases disappointed me, and it felt so, so good to finally break the cycle with the beautifully written feminist fantasy.

While this is a fantasy story with some romance, this manages to not feel like any YA fantasy I have ever read, and does not focus on the romance while still being a great romance. The bigger focus is on Deka bonding with her sister warrio
Mar 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dannii Elle
Dec 29, 2019 marked it as to-read
This cover is doing things for me!

2020 seems like it is going to be the year for all the best YA fantasy stories and this one is topping my list for most anticipated.
Alexandra Scarpello
Mar 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
If The Gilded Ones caught your eye because it had a beautiful cover, rest assured that the outside is just as good as the inside. Get ready to read your new favorite YA dystopian horror fantasy series.

YA fantasy these days is a dime a dozen, and after awhile, you start to see certain trends that can feel like clone stamps- even when the story is inspired from non western cultures or tries something different. The Gilded Ones is a case study on how a story can use tropes effectively without down
yes, yes, yeeeeees give me more oh my god.
Jun 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Just coming here to add: look at this amazing cover!!!!

Listen, this is honestly one of the best fantasies I have read! From the brilliant world building of a society that kills women who they deem as "demons," and protects the virtue of those who they consider "pure," to the brilliant cast of female characters who are all wonderfully diverse and deeply relatable. None more so than Deka, a protagonist who it's almost impossible to not love and want to protect. 2020 cannot come fast enough and
The Artisan Geek
Sep 30, 2019 marked it as to-read
Shelves: bookcase
Look at that cover though! Hot damn!!

You had me at Ancient West-African inspired!

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✩ Yaz ✩
Aug 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
4 - ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

”The way I see it, we all have a choice right now. Are we girls, or are we demons? Are we going to die, or are we going to survive?”

The Gilded Ones is an impressive debut of a YA fantasy book that sends an empowering message not only to girls and women but basically to everyone who loves to experience empowerment.

I delved into this with the expectation that it will likely follow the typical YA pattern that most debuts follow these days; but it was a pleasant surprise to find that thi
Apr 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, 2020
The author begins the book with a lovely author's note that states that the purpose of this book was to examine the patriarchy and who does and doesn’t thrive under it, and also how it can hurt so many people. Having now read the book, I can say that she definitely succeeded, and I am impressed at how she answered while still making this an incredibly fun and exciting book. This is definitely a dark and violent story and some of the ways that the deaths were described surprised me for a young ad ...more
Adalyn Grace
Jun 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Official blurb: “Everyone needs to read this book. Brilliantly bold and unapologetically feminist,The Gilded Ones commands your attention from the first page, and holds it tight until the end. I read it in one sitting, and couldn’t put it down.” 

But also this is like a total mashup of YA fantasy meets anime action (it has some elements that reminded me of Attack on Titan), and I'm super into it!
May 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
“She says we’re the descendants of the Gilded Ones.”

“The Gilded Ones” by Namina Forna is the coming of age fantasy that I never knew I needed. I am in awe that this is a debut. The author begins the book with a letter to the reader. In this letter, she speaks of her life in Sierra Leone and how patriarchal it is. How women are seen as less than men. She then goes on to say that she attended Spelman, an all-female, historically black college. She explains that the goal of “The Gilded Ones” was
Pj Switzer
Jul 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I had the opportunity to ready an advanced copy of "Deathless" and it is fantastic. The world building is extraordinary. The characters are engaging and powerful. And the story kept me turning pages compulsively.

I loved this book and I think it's one that will get readers thinking about the most important issues of of our age.
Tabi⁷ (ᕗツ)ᕗ
Rameela (Star)
Aug 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020
Initial Thoughts: Honestly going in without a synopsis was the best decision I ever made because that made this whole experience so much better like I truly had no idea what to expect and it was glorious. This was such an interesting and unique story. I did get a tiny bit lost near the end when the story started to wrap up but I think that might be because I finished this at like 2 AM whoops

Sam Glasbrenner (Sassyowlreads)
It usually takes me a week or two to finished a book because I habitually am always reading a couple at the same time but that was not the case with The Gilded Ones! All of my other current reads were promptly pushed to the side because I just couldn't put this down.

It was very well written, the pacing kept me engaged, and the characters were wonderfully diverse. The world-building was just right and never felt overwhelming or lacking and I'm honestly surprised this is a debut. Fair warning, it
Are we Girls or Are we Demons?

In Namina Forna’s author’s note she said “At the heart, the book is an examination of patriarchy. How it does it form? What supports it? How do women survive under it? And what abut men, or people who don’t fall into the binary? Who thrives and who doesn’t?” After finishing this magical novel, I can say without a doubt the Author did an amazing job of answering all these questions...and more.

In The Gilded Ones we meet Deka, who is from the snowy mountains of
Amy Layton
For fans of Nnedi Okorafor's The Shadow Speakers, look no further for your next read.  Deka's blood runs gold at the blood ceremony, and she is no longer counted as a villager.  Her father turns away and the village leader attempts to kill her many times.  Fire, bloodletting, dismemberment--none of it works.  It only brings her to a gilded sleep which she wakes up from every time.  So when White Hands arrives at her village and offers her the choice to be an alaki, a demon near-immortal warrior ...more
Sarah ➖Goddess of Mischief➖
I have a theory that all these authors making "girls fight monsters" books are specifically targeting my TBR...
Apr 01, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Gilded Ones is one heck of a read. If you are looking for a book that features a group of girls who are trained to respect/fight/take no business from men, then this is the book for you.

The reason I rate this book down a star I found something about the way the book wrapped up in the end too ... clean? Too 'Bilbo Baggins hitting his head on a rock and sleeping through the Battle of the Five armies' clean. Strangely enough, the book would exist well as a stand-alone, but I'm very curious to s
Megan ❀
This synopsis sounds INCREDIBLE!
Jun 04, 2020 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2021
That cover is too beautiful! Can’t wait for this! It sounds amazing!
Amanda Espinoza
May 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2020
I would like to give a big thank you to Random House Children's Delacorte Press for giving me a chance to read an advance reading copy of The Gilded Ones during the 2020 quarantine in exchange for an honest review.

I feel incredibly lucky to read this book during a time when I desperately needed an escape from the real world. Once I got into the story I could not put down this book.

It does take a few pages to grasp what is happening in this new world. The effort to study the map and follow these
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Namina Forna has a 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.

Other books in the series

Deathless (3 books)
  • Untitled (Deathless, #2)
  • Untitled (Deathless #3)

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