Reviews tagging Animal cruelty

The Gilded Ones, by Namina Forna

10 reviews

ananko's review

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adventurous dark emotional 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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thevietvegan's review

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adventurous challenging dark emotional 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? No

3.0

It’s extremely violent and graphic. But an interesting world 🤷🏻‍♀️ The pacing is jarring at times, things feel very skipped over, or fast forwarded. The author is a screen writer though, so this makes a lot of sense. Dialogue game strong, plot twist game strong. Ixa is everything haha. 

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betweentheshelves's review

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

4.0

There is so much to love about this book! The world felt fresh to me, even if some of the tropes are repeats from other YA fantasies. Deka's voice was strong and really helped to carry the story. Even if the ending was slightly predictable for me, I didn't mind. The plot and the characters really helped to balance that out.

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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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megloveswords12's review

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

3.0


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caidyn's review

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dark 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? Yes

4.0

I've been excited about this book since I first started hearing about it. Owlcrate picking it as its February book made me so excited. At times, it felt a bit rough around the edges. Like the pacing and some of the worldbuilding. It felt that it was a debut at times. But, I still really enjoyed it because the story was fascinating. I loved the world and I'm super excited to read the next book. The ending wrapped up a bit too neatly, in a way, but I hope that it doesn't make book two awkward.

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jem_andtonic's review against another edition

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adventurous dark inspiring 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

4.0


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nerdybirdy101's review

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challenging emotional medium-paced
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes

4.5

*Thanks to NetGalley for the e-ARC.*
This book was fabulous! The writing and the symbolism were done wonderfully! The author is clearly talented and understands how to write a compelling story. If you like fantasy and strong women leads, then you will enjoy this book. My only complaint and why this book received 4.5 out of 5 stars from me is that it seemed like the author rushed some of the dramatic scenes at the end. The ending of this book could have been the final ending of the story and while I did not want a cliffhanger ending, the book had more happily ever after ending than we have problems we need to deal with in the rest of the series. I think I would have rather the action that happened at the end of the book be extended and have the ending be more mysterious where the readers are dying to pick up the next book. I definitely want to continue on with this series, but I am not obsessing over the next book as much as I would have been if the ending would have been a little more open-ended. 
So, you should read this book if you like fantasy and feminism! The author is a master at writing and weaving together the plot. There are many content warnings and I suggest you research all your triggers to ensure that you are able to read this. Content warnings include child abuse, sexual abuse, misogyny, and more. 


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becandbooks's review

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adventurous challenging dark emotional inspiring reflective 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

Find more at becandbooks.com!

The Gilded Ones was an absolutely fantastic, gripping and gut-wrenching fantasy story, as well as an astounding YA debut. I recommend this book to every fantasy reader out there - in particular, for readers looking for a book that is both fierce and powerful.

This book is stunning from the very beginning, as the reader is thrust into a gorgeous world of cultures and rituals. Deka is presented to her village as 'impure', by bleeding gold at the blood ceremony, which very quickly throws her life into a world of chaos and pain.

Forna does not hold back on the graphic nature of what her characters go through, throughout the book. Please heed the trigger warnings on this one. But rather than gore and violence for the sake of a dark and wartorn story, every moment is used to illustrate the influence of power, rituals, class and misogyny. This overarching narrative is what leads The Gilded Ones to be an incredibly striking story.

The characters themselves, are masterfully developed. Whether you are looking at the main character, Deka, or the side characters readers will develop a strong sense of understanding of the complexities and personalities of each person. The trauma of the characters is strongly and respectfully explored throughout the book, accurately playing a role in the choices and path for each character.

Despite all the incredible things that Forna pulls together, perhaps the highlight for me was the worldbuilding. It has been a long time since I picked up a YA fantasy that felt so truly unique and wholly engaging. From the lore of Gods and Demons that plays a dynamic role in the rituals of villages and underlies the treatment of those deemed impure, to the gorgeous creatures that are as unique and reverent as the regions they originate from.

This is a truly astounding book and one that I highly recommend. I can't wait to see where Forna takes the rest of the series.

Thank you to HarperCollins Publishing Australia for providing me with a copy of this book! This does not impact my opinions, whatsoever. 

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emerynmader's review against another edition

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adventurous mysterious tense fast-paced
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? N/A
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

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