The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna is the first book in a trilogy, with the second book only being released recently. With that, I thought it was finally time for me to pick up book one.
This book follows young girls who, at 16, have their blood tested to see if it runs pure. Runs red. If it doesn’t? If it runs gold? They are impure in the eyes of their god and must be killed. But the King has a new decree, one that states that those who are impure will instead be taken and trained as soldiers, intended to fight the Deathshreiks that terrorise the land.
I adored this book so much. The character development throughout is absolutely fantastic, how we see our main character alter from initially believing what she was taught to instead questioning this status quo and radically altering her perspective.
The world building is also done amazingly in this book, how the religion of the country is established as well as the history of the attacks. I also liked how the character backgrounds were developed, with the intricacies that were present and added a lot of depth to each individual.
On CAWPILE I rated this: Characters: 9, Atmosphere: 9, Writing: 8, Plot: 9, Intrigue: 9, Logic: 9, and Enjoyment: 10 giving an average of 9 and a 5* rating.
Highlight here for content warnings: The following warning is found in the book: “The Gilded Ones includes scenes of violence, including some graphic violence, which some readers may find distressing. Additional trigger warnings: death, disownment, loss of a parent/loved one, mutilation, paedophilia, rape, starvation, trauma, torture.
This is an absolutely beautiful YA fantasy book and I am incredibly excited to carry on with the series, with book two The Merciless Ones. With where book one ended off I need to know where the story is going next!