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The Gilded Ones

(Deathless #1)

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  3,525 ratings  ·  1,253 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
Published February 9th 2021 by Delacorte
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Average rating 4.20  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,525 ratings  ·  1,253 reviews

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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
Miranda Reads
Feb 26, 2021 rated it it was amazing

Just finished my Feburary OwlCrate Unboxing & Review Video ! SUCH an incredible book!!

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Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
Git the Feb Owlcrate today. Not real impressed. I know I was getting this book in hardback but I like my paperback with sprayed edges I got from FairyLoot June 2020! You can see that under the FairyLoot link. To see the goodies from Owlcrate, click on the spoiler link under the pic. I’m kissed my Owlcrate Winterbox is sitting around the post office and this one came right away. I’m still thinking about canceling them all as they’ve went up and some charging tax etc. I have to decide it I would p ...more
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
Jan 17, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2021, fantasy, ya
The Gilded Ones is a very promising YA. It was one of my most anticipated books in this genre this year. While I loved some of the topics it dealt with, I found it lacking in many aspects.

I should mention however that this has violent and gory content in a surprising amount for YA. There’s also rape off-screen and child abuse.

I won’t be rewriting the plot for this book because you can just read it by clicking on the title. Goodreads’ summary is better than mine and this will be a short review.

This book…where does one begin with such a powerful book? This was a successful YA debut that truly captures the power of all women. CW: sexual violence (off page), extreme physical violence, misogyny, abuse, xenophobia, possible PTSD. 4.5 Stars

The Gilded Ones was one my most anticipated release of 2020. I was heartbroken when I discovered that it was going to be pushed back to this year. HOWEVER, it was definitely worth the wait. This book isn’t for the faint of heart. Forna has said time and t
Jun 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, 2021
Wow, this was incredible. If the pub date hadn’t been pushed back a year, it would have easily been one of my top YA fantasies in 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 the ...more
Nenia ✨️ I yeet my books back and forth ✨️ Campbell

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High key obsessed with the cover. Low key disappointed with what was inside it. The first 100 or so pages had me thinking that this was going to be a four or five star book and then it loses steam. I think that part of that is because the opening made it seem like this was going to be sort of a YA Handmaid's Tale sort of tale, about subversion within the patriarchy, and while this is partially that, it becomes more of a journey/military-
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 ...more
Dannii Elle
Dec 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is the first instalment in the Deathless series.

Deka has spent the first sixteen years of her life attempting to master the docility and obedience expected from a pure girl and can only hope it will be enough - enough to allow her to pass the purity ceremony, enough to allow her blood to run the expected red instead of the cursed gold of impure girls, and enough to save her father from his certain death if she were to be found wanting in any way. The ceremony arrives but Deka never makes it
Dec 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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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 bondin
Mar 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 18, 2021 rated it really liked it
February 24:

February 13th: (Final Review)

Now, I set myself up for slight disappointment. I have been waiting for this book for the entire time I've known about booktube (aka a LONG TIME) which set me up for a lot of expectations. I did enjoy this book but I do have some commentary on some aspects of the book that I've noticed and wasn't satisfied by. * THERE WON'T BE SPOILERS BECAUSE THIS IS A NEW RELEASE *

Mar 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
UPDATE FROM THIS YEAR: this book is still good. Amazing. It comes out in a few days. BUY IT

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 differ
Angus (Just Angus)
JUST WOW. This book was written to be adapted I can already see it on the big screen. I usually can't stand YA fantasy but this... was something else.Such an epic interesting set up to what promises to be a groundbreaking new YA series. I can't wait to see where this goes. ...more
Feb 27, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Such a good fantasy debut!!! This was brutal, blood was shed at every turn! I don't think I've read a character with as much power as Deka. Very creative history, cannot wait for more! ...more

This was a gritty, vivid, West African-inspired high fantasy debut that lives up to its absolutely GORGEOUS cover.

'The Gilded Ones' has a lot of refreshing elements that were fun to see - I've read quite a lot of YA high fantasy over the years and this didn't feel like anything I'd come across before. By far my favourite thing about 'The Gilded Ones' is the sisterhood and found family themes that ground it. I absolutely adored that the friendship is treasured just as much if not more than the r

Jan 12, 2021 rated it really liked it
Actual rating: 4.5 stars

The Gilded Ones is an ambitious YA debut that verges on dark fantasy as it takes on war, violence, trauma and xenophobia from within a deeply patriarchal, oppressively religious society. This is a book I've been anticipating for a very long time and while it wasn't perfect, it was very, very good.

Deka is awaiting a ritual ceremony that will determine whether her blood is pure. If it runs red, she will become a full-fledged woman and begin covering her face. If it runs gol
Athena (OneReadingNurse)
Thank you so much to the publisher for my ARC of The Gilded Ones in exchange for an honest review! All opinions are my own

So... This is a nicely brutal tale about girls with demon heritage being tortured and bled for their Golden blood, then eventually murdered via the religious Death Mandate for their kind.  I was really excited to see religious purity in a book until I quickly realized it was an oppressive, not pious set of laws.

The women are relegated to male servants  until Deka is brought t
laurel [the suspected bibliophile]
Trigger Warning: Graphic murder (on page), sexual assault (off page), racism, xenophobia

Deka is a young woman coming of age in Otera, a kingdom that values the purity of its women. Pure women bleed red, and young women are forbidden to bleed from fifteen until they are proven by the Ritual of Purity. When Deka bleeds gold—the color of demons—she is given a choice: die over and over at the hands of greedy, frightened men who want the cursed gold of her blood, or join the Emperor's new army of wom
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
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
The Artisan Geek
Sep 30, 2019 marked it as to-read
Look at that cover though! Hot damn!!

You had me at Ancient West-African inspired!

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"They might need us now because we’re valuable, might pretend to accept us, to reward us—but never forget what they did to us first. If they did it once, Deka, they’ll surely do it again, no matter the flowery promises they give."

This was such a beautiful book, inside and out. Namina Forna has created an intriguing world with a detailed magic system, an intricate history, and amazing characters that are simply mind blowing and unforgettable.

Deka of Irfut has my heart forever and it's hers to do
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
Lauren Stoolfire
Feb 06, 2021 rated it really liked it
I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Gilded Ones (Deathless #1) by Namina Forna was one of my highest anticipated reads of this month and I was thrilled when I was approved for this ARC. Now that I've finished it I can officially say that it mostly lived up to the sky high hype surrounding it. It's an outstanding debut novel. Forna's world-building is pretty fantastic and so are her characters. Everything is just so vibrant and everything and everyone really stan
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Namina Forna is a young adult novelist based in Los Angeles, and the author of the 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 loves building fantastical worlds and telling stories with fierce female leads.

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“No matter my origins, there is worth in what I am.” 8 likes
“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?” 4 likes
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