The Gilded Ones (Deathless #1) (Hardcover)
Deka strives to be the same as everyone else, in part because she is visibly and intuitively different from all of her peers. She lives by the doctrines set for women by her society, she is humble, meek, and subservient to the men around her. As a blood ceremony to prove purity looms, she prays for the red blood that will mark her as a worthy and eligible woman.
Forna develops her characters beautifully. We see Deka and her compatriots grow emotionally and intellectually into fully realized people through the course of the book. It mirrors the growth so many folks have needed to go through to accept and love themselves in a society that labels them monsters. This is a great adventure, perfect for folks who enjoyed The Hunger Games, Children of Blood and Bone, or The Divergent series.
“Namina Forna Could Be The Toni Morrison Of YA Fantasy.”–Refinery 29
“An enthralling debut. The Gilded Ones redefines sisterhood and is sure to leave readers both inspired and ultimately hopeful." —Stephanie Garber, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Caraval
"The Gilded Ones is a fierce, unflinching fantasy that marks Forna as a debut to watch."—Kiersten White, New York Times bestselling author of And I Darken
The start of a bold and immersive West African-inspired, feminist fantasy series for fans of Children of Blood and Bone and Black Panther. In this world, girls are outcasts by blood and warriors by choice.
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.
About the Author
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. Visit her on twitter at @NaminaForna and on Instagram at @namina.forna.
“Fans of Children of Blood and Bone, Mulan, and the Dora Milaje from Black Panther are going to adore this one.” —BuzzFeed