Book Review: The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna
Rating: 4.4/5 stars.
photo taken by me
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.
photo taken by me
Have you read a book that after you were done, you tried processing and just didn't know how to write a review that would cover everything you want talk about without giving the book away? This was how I felt about The Glided Ones.
The Glided Ones is a solid debut novel, classified under the YA genre but also ruthed in fantasy, magical, historical and gritty fiction.
With topics/themes on ancient West African culture, Girl power, feminism, patriarchy, sexism, classism, family, sisterhood, religion, colourism, xenophobia, inequality, violence/brutality, truma and self-discovery.
From the onset of reading this book, the first thing I loved about it was the powerful and attention catching beginning. This made it easier to get in.
The plot development was a gradual process, and came out nice. Although I must say at some point I wasn't feeling any spark. Maybe it was because I was really in a rush and interested in how it was going to turn out (end). Of which guys, I loved it.
The diversity in the characters representation (complex females) was so lovely. I loved how they were portrayed in different skin colour, sexualities(I hope to see more LGBTQ+ characters in the next sequel, I live for it.), behaviours, fierceness and most importantly in a positive way.
The Glided Ones is a book about:
Violence against women of colour.
Women of colour discovering themselves and taking up space.
Smashing the patriarchy and more.
I highly do recommend reading this book.
PS: I wasn't a fan of the romance ❌❌❌
Thanks to @usborneya for the gifted Exclusive African Edition copy of this beauty❤.
Songs I curated for The Glided Ones
🎼 Q.U.E.E.N. by Janelle Monáe
🎼 Blk Girl Soldier by Jamila Woods
🎼 Black Girl Magik by Sampa The Great feat. Nicole Gumbe
🎼 Black Woman by Danielle Brooks
🎼 Wonder Woman by LION BABE
🎼 Run the World (Girls) by Beyoncé
Review can also be found on my Instagram