Blog Tour: Top 5 Reasons to Read ‘The Gilded Ones’ by Namina Forna + Moodboard

Thank you so much to TBR & Beyond Tours, as well as the author and publisher for giving me a copy of ‘The Gilded Ones’ in exchange for an unbiased, and honest review!! This is my stop for the tour, and you can click the banner below to view the full schedule, and explore other posts!!

Title: The Gilded Ones
Author: Namina Forna
Publisher: Delacorte Press, Penguin Random House
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Series: Deathless (Book #1 in series)
Publication Date: February 9, 2021
Trigger Warnings: Blood, Torture, Violence, Gore, Graphic Murder (on page), Sexual Assault (off page), Racism, Xenophobia
Final Rating: 4.5 stars

Synopsis (via Goodreads):

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. 

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Top 5 Reasons to Read The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna

5. The character growth and development. The journeys of self exploration and discovery, not only for the main characters, but for all of the side characters as well was so evident, and it was just great to see their individual growth and changes in opinions.

4. The interesting worldbuilding and magic systems. Something I love in fantasy novels is when the magic systems, and worldbuilding are on point. I feel like, in The Gilded Ones, although there was great worldbuilding, and some stimulating themes of society, as well as intricate magic system, it never got too heavy, or felt like an info-dump at any point of time. However, I still managed to understand everything within the first few chapters, which was perfect.

3. Current, real-world issues being incorporated into the fictional world. Although this was a SFF novel, issues like Xenophobia, and Racism were taken into light. Just the basic divide of people because of where they were from, or what they looked like felt so much like our world today, and was addressed even though this was a story based on fantasy. I don’t know if I’m reading too much into the text at this point, but the fact that the author decided to make the color of impurity gold – and that gold signifies superiority, and warmth, just made me think about real life, and the how the people society brands as insufficient, or simply not enough, are also beautiful. There were so many subtle undertones, and reflections onto our world today, which is something I absolutely loved.

2. The pacing. I know it’s something very basic, but I loved the pacing in The Gilded Ones. I feel like the pacing can determine whether or not you like the story, and whether or not it leaves an impact on you, which is why I feel it’s so important that the pacing’s done well. The pacing in this book was a delight. It started off perfectly, and never felt too slow, or even rushed at any point of time. Whether it was a scene of battle, or an introduction scene, the pacing was always ~immaculate~.

1. All the developing friendships. I know earlier I said I loved the individual development, but my favourite part would definitely be all the friendships. Just to see the way the girls all stick together, and trust each other so deeply, and the way they grow from being “stuck with each other” to being close confidants is so amazing to look at. Not just with the girls, I loved the way all the relationships progressed, and how everyone dealt with secrets, lies, and love in completely different ways. Seeing all these strong female friendships, and even the little quirky things between the friendships, and relationships of the side characters felt so relatable, and was something I adored.

My Moodboard ~

About the Author

Namina Forna is a young adult novelist based in Los Angeles, and the author of the upcoming epic fantasy YA novel The Gilded Ones. Originally from Sierra Leone, West Africa, she moved to the US when she was nine and has been traveling back and forth ever since. Namina has an MFA in film and TV production from USC School of Cinematic Arts and a BA from Spelman College. She works as a screenwriter in LA and loves telling stories with fierce female leads.

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads


Have you read The Gilded Ones yet? What are some of your most anticipated fantasy releases? Is The Gilded Ones on your TBR – have I convinced you to read it?


44 thoughts on “Blog Tour: Top 5 Reasons to Read ‘The Gilded Ones’ by Namina Forna + Moodboard”

  1. Ahaana! I’m thrilled to hear that you enjoyed The Gilded Ones too… I definitely agree though the individual character growth and mindset development were well-written, what made the book stand out so much were all the friendships ahhh I need more of that sisterly love! Truly the real-world themes of racism etc were integrated really well and totally struck me, I like your point about the gold blood! Incredible review as always! 🥰 also, do you mind telling me which blocks you used to make the background of the synopsis a different colour? for now, i can only do so but with gaps between paragraphs. thank you!! 💕

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ahh cherelle!! i’m so happy that you enjoyed the glided ones as much as i did!! all the development was SO amazing to read about, and all the friendships omg 🥺🥺 all the current issues were integrated into the novel so well, and i loved seeing our society today reflect into a fictional one, though it was a bit terrifying at times!! thank you so much 💖 so i used the basic paragraph block, but something i’ve noticed is that when you press the enter key, it starts a new block, and when you copy-paste the synopsis from another site, they also just press enter. what you need to do is press the keys shift + enter on your keyboard so that even though there is a line break, they’re still together in the same block!! i hope this made sense – feel free to contact me if it didn’t!! thank you so much 💖💖

      Liked by 1 person

  2. ooooo, gold blood? exciting! I have never read a post like yours, and it really was interesting and appealing to me. I think I wouldn’t actually have added this book my list if you hadn’t stated the 5 reasons why I should read it. The one that stood out to me most was how there are real-world issues incorporated. Love love love this review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. the gilded ones was such an interesting book!! thank you so much!! there are way more than 5 reasons you should read it but then the post would have gotten too long haha!! it’s honestly scary how much our society today is reflected in this book, and i loved how real-world issues are also handled even though it’s an SFF novel!! thank you so much 🥺💙


    1. ahhh it is such a great book!! even though there was a battle, it was so great to see them uplifting each other instead of fighting, so you should definitely check it out!! remember to keep in mind the trigger warnings because a lot of people didn’t expect the gore!! i hope you enjoy the gilded ones if you end up reading it!! ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Omg yay you loved it too! Now that you mention it, it really is interesting to portray gold as something that is “impure”, it just shows you how easily prejudices and misconceptions can turn something that is literally valuable into something worthless.

    I love moodboard too. Lovely post Ahaana 😍✨

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ahhh i did!! i really found the way this book reflected on society today so interesting, and all the little things, such as gold being portrayed as impure, were so meaningful, and though they didn’t mean much in the beginning, after reading the book, the more i thought about it, the more intriguing it got!! thank you so much, jawahir!! 💞

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This is a book that has caught my attention recently and it sounds so interesting! I’m so glad to hear that you liked it, all the reviews that I’ve seen so far have been glowing and it seems like such a special book. I absolutely adore friendships in books so this is definitely one I don’t want to miss. Lovely post!! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  5. um okay, I LOVE THIS POST AND YOU HAVE ME CONVINCED!!! Also a stunning mood board Ahaana ❤ totally loving all of your content lately! I've been… on the fence about this one. Because on the one hand it sounds great but on the other, I'm always wary of these new YA high fantasies because I haven't had the best of luck. Anyways, def need to give it a go because I loved your review. Lots of love xoxoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. RUBY THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR ALL YOUR LOVELY COMMENTS 💖 you’re the absolute sweetest 🥺🥺 i think the gilded ones was ~superior~ because of the girls supporting girls, and i loved that!! i hope you enjoy it if you end up giving it a try!! ahh thank youuuuu 🥺❤

      Liked by 1 person

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