Reviews tagging Suicidal thoughts

The Gilded Ones, by Namina Forna

5 reviews

rinisvibing's review against another edition

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adventurous dark emotional inspiring mysterious tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

5.0

i adored this book and can't get enough it!! 

the world that Namina Forna has made is so engrossing that im still thinking about it and its magnificent array of characters. it's blown my mind out of the water. 

the world building and cast of characters were *chefs kiss* 

im really excited to see what more Namina Forna has up her sleeves for the sequel. this is a book that i highly recommend!! loved it!

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plumpaperbacks's review

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adventurous challenging emotional mysterious tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

5.0

I went into The Gilded Ones expecting a fun fantasy story, and was surprised not only by its heavier themes but also by just how good it was from the very beginning.

This is one of the most unique, immersive stories I’ve read in some time. Forna created a brilliantly intricate world that, despite a few basic similarities to other fictional worlds, is overall unlike any I’ve read about before. The mythology is so vivid it nearly seems real, the creatures and setting so impressively creative, yet none of it is confusing or difficult to understand.

Forna outdid herself writing a complex, diverse and lovable cast of characters. Deka is a protagonist I rooted for as soon as I met her, and it took very little time for me to be equally charmed by her friends, Britta, Belcalis, and Adwapa. These girls have endured so many hardships and gotten stronger because of them, without losing their vulnerability or the best parts of their personalities. Not only were they all great on their own, but their friendship was phenomenal and so heartwarming. One of the best girl squads I’ve ever read about, undeniably.

I would say the romance was one of the best parts, but honestly, every part of this book could be described the same way. The romance is subtle until the final third of the book, when it becomes clear that Deka and Keita have feelings for each other that go beyond friendship. Their slow-burn romance is memorable because it’s written differently than those in so many other books. It’s focused not on passion and lust but a deep connection between two people, a tender, unwavering affection. I love them so much, more than I can express.

Although the ending was emotional in numerous ways, it wasn’t a cliffhanger, and I appreciate that very much. Even without one, I’m extremely eager for the second book. I’ll be eagerly awaiting any scrap of news I can find.

All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It’s spectacular in every aspect, and the fact that it’s Forna’s debut novel is mind-blowing. I can definitely see the Deathless trilogy becoming an all-time favorite, since the first book is already there. Highly, highly recommended for those who can handle the content.

Representation
  • Black protagonist
  • side characters of color (includes Black rep)
  • sapphic side characters
  • minor sapphic side romance (f/f)

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theliteraryobsession's review

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adventurous challenging dark emotional funny hopeful inspiring mysterious reflective sad tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0


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yunathealien's review against another edition

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adventurous dark emotional inspiring slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

4.5

I'm in love with this book.
The main character goes through such a big change, from a scared little girl to a brave warrior. I loved and rooted for her so much.  And not just her but also her sisters! They were all different but still all amazing, I can't even say, who's my favorite character.  The relationship between them was greatly written and developed and so heartwarming.  
The world is super amazing and totally new. I have to say I'm not sure if the author created all of the creatures herself or if they are heavily inspired by folklore but whatever it is, I loved it. 
And the plot? Chef's kiss!

But unfortunately I still have issues :(
Firstly the love interest Keita was pretty bland and had nearly no character. He does have a backstory but even that one is pretty standard and didn't feel originally. 
And because of his blandness the whole love story wasn't great. It felt pretty insta lovey and i have no idea what's exactly it that Deka likes about him. It's not explained or explored. And the scenes where they interact and tell us that they get closer to each other could have easily been scratch out and it wouldn't make a big difference. This whole relationship between them did nothing for the plot or any motivation to the main character.

But other then that, I absolutely loved it and I can't wait for the next book! 

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roguebelle's review

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dark fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

3.75

I could heartily recommend this book to someone looking to get into YA fantasy, particularly if that reader is from a marginalized community and wanted to see herself as the protagonist in such a story. I would have to do so with the suggestion that she look carefully at the story's content warnings, however, as there is a lot of graphic gore and less-graphic sexual violence embedded in the narrative.

For frequent readers of YA fantasy, the general patterns and tropes will be apparent from "go". A sixteen year old girl faces a Ritual (yes, capitalized) dictated by her patriarchal and puritanical society. Things go Terribly Wrong because she is Different, and in the rest of the story, she must Embrace Her Destiny (capitalizations mine, here). Standard fare, but it's certainly nice to see more diversity applied to those tropes.

The religious themes are heavy-handed with little room for nuance, but in a way that's fairly typical for the genre. The story's "big twist" is easy to see coming a mile away for any genre-savvy reader, and getting to that point is a bit of a bumpy ride. The narrative sort of careens between training montages and infodumps, without giving us a lot of time to appreciate the characters. We're often informed about personalities, but we get less opportunity to see them on display.

The predictable YA romance is predictable and rather boring. There was absolutely a more interesting choice, and if I continue with this series, it would mostly be to see if the author pulls a bait-and-switch on the expected direction and makes the bolder choice later on.
SpoilerI mean, seriously, pair Deka up with Britta and suddenly this whole story is a lot more interesting.

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