The Gilded Ones: Book  Review

Art&Books Digest reviews The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna

Our main character, Deka is on the cusp of womanhood and at the age of 16, she and all the other girls of age have to undergo a blood ceremony conducted by the priest of her village to ensure she is pure.

If she bleeds red, she belongs but if she bleeds gold, she is impure and seen as a demon. On the day of the ceremony their town is attacked by Deathshrieks – monsters that terrorise the entire kingdom – and it is revealed that Deka in fact bleeds gold.

Following on from this reveal, she is ostracised by her father, friends and the rest of the village and brought to the City to join an army of girls who similarly bleed gold, known as the Alakai. Together these girls are trained to defeat the Deathshrieks once and for all in a final crusade.

In this new setting Deka, finds her chosen family, learns of her mother and of her own origins. However, it becomes increasingly apparent, that all is not as it seems…

I mentioned in a previous post that I attend the @bg_bookclub talk on this book and it was great to hear how Namina came up with the idea for this book while at Spelman College and how the books patriarchal society was based on her experiences both in Sierra Leone and America.

The world that Namina is building has real promise and I hope we’ll be able to see more of it in the upcoming instalments of the book.


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