The Gilded Ones

 The Gilded Ones

You can listen to the podcast review as well. Scroll down for the link.



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All the variation of As goes to Namina Forna and her novel The Gilded Ones. I was not sure what to expect when I picked up this book. I was intrigued by the concept of the outcast turning into her community’s salvation. It is an archetypal story after all. My curiosity was rewarded with an interesting, well-crafted story that kept me turning the pages with ravenous intensity. 


Forna tells the tale of Deka who lives in a place and time where women and girls are essentially oppressed in every way possible. Yet everyone not only abides by this but they believe it so fervently that they dare not go against it for fear of being shunned and ostracized. Deka finds herself on the wrong side of what is acceptable and what happens to her is beyond imaginable. 


Forna had me completely hooked and I finished the book in record time. Deka’s struggle and growth was tackled in such a way that caused me to empathized with her throughout each phase of her growth. The comradery between her and the people she met along the way was welcomed and helped develop her character while developing the story as well. 


There are definite women empowerment and equality themes throughout The Gilded one. What I found more interesting was the way Forna handled trauma in the novel. Deka and other girls like her had to deal with the repercussions of their trauma. It made them very distrustful of people; however, somewhere hidden inside of Deka was a little bit of hope. She allowed herself to be cautiously hopeful. There were times that the position she was in was so dire that she had no choice but to be vulnerable despite her reservations and trust issues. Without that vulnerability, she would not have been able to progress and move ahead. 


Deka is so conditioned that she cannot see her abilities as a gift, and that takes a toll on her throughout the story. This story is a look into the journey of healing oneself after multiple traumas. Ultimately, the success is when Deka realizes and accepts her power.


I am already looking forward to the next book, The Merciless Ones, in the Deathless Series Trilogy by Namina Forna. In the meantime, I highly recommend reading the first installment. 


Listen to the Podcast review


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