The gilded ones

by Forna, Namina,

Format: Print Book 2020
Availability: Available at 34 Libraries 34 of 41 copies
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Summary
INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY TEEN VOGUE

"A dark feminist tale spun with blood and gold. Must read!" -Dhonielle Clayton, New York Times bestselling author of The Belles

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.

The start of a bold and immersive fantasy series for fans of Children of Blood and Bone and Black Panther .
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "Deka lives in a society where women are intended to be pure and serve those around them. So when she bleeds impure gold during the coming-of-age ritual for girls at age 16, her life's presumed purpose--the care and keeping of a husband and family--is destroyed. Left to decide between death or dedicating herself to the protection of Otera from the ghastly deathshrieks, Deka joins the ranks of girls deemed impure, known as the alaki. Soon she realizes that even among them she's different, leading Deka to question who and what she is, and what she's fighting for. The world building here takes some time to get used to, but Deka's entrancing character development is so wrapped up in these systems that they are quickly understood. The action and intensity are relentless as Forna builds not only Deka's character but also those of a kick-butt posse of fellow alaki, whose histories speak to various ways Otera's patriarchy has weighed women down. While elements of action and social justice are strong, there is also mystery, as readers journey to understand just what is at stake in the heat of the war. At the close of the first of what is rumored to be a trilogy, readers will find themselves awestruck with satisfying revelation, leaving both a clean ending and desire for more."
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "All 16-year-old girls in Otera must endure the Ritual of Purity. Those who bleed red when cut are judged fit for marriage and motherhood; those who bleed gold are deemed impure and banished. Sturdy brown-skinned Deka is an outcast in Irfut, where villagers skew thin and blond, and she craves the rite's validation. When the ceremony is interrupted by deathshrieks--vicious monsters with agonizing screams--Deka miraculously repels the creatures, only to be dubbed a demon. Multiple attempted executions reveal that Deka is both gold-blooded and seemingly unkillable. After two months of torture, a mysterious woman, White Hands, extends an invitation: come to the capital, where the emperor is assembling an army of quasi-immortal "alaki" like Deka to combat deathshrieks. Deka enlists, relieved to find a place where she might finally belong, but the more she learns about deathshrieks and alaki, the more she questions Otera's patriarchal tenets and the emperor's true intentions. Formidable heroines and a thoughtful feminist myth-ology distinguish debut author Forna's West Africa--inspired fantasy trilogy launch. Abundant action drives the pace, while a nuanced plot advocates social change by illustrating the myriad ways in which society cages and commodifies women. Ages 12--up. Agent: Alice Sutherland-Hawes, Madeleine Milburn. (May)"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Teenage girls -- Fiction.
Rites and ceremonies -- Fiction.
Women soldiers -- Fiction.
Fantasy fiction.
Publisher New York :Delacorte Press,2020
Edition First edition.
Language English
Description 418 pages : map ; 22 cm
ISBN 9781984848697
1984848690
Other Classic View