Reviews tagging Body horror

The Gilded Ones, by Namina Forna

48 reviews

ellebanna_books's review

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  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes

4.0

So this book is really good and has a good potential. The world building and the mythology are incredible and it would be a 5⭐️ to me just for that but there are few bad points to me. First the romance is not realistic, we don’t see them fall in love she just tell us that they’re close but it’s all (I knew it would not be an incredible romance because it’s not a romance book but I’m still disappointed by how the author wrote it). Next the temporality is a bit awkward to me, I dunno how to explain it but to me it was one of the bad things of the novel. It’s a sexist world and I find all Deka’s reflections very interesting and I think the author take inspiration on our society and how women were called witches and were burnt by men because they were not like they wanted. The friendship between the girls was amazing and a big part of the story (love that). To conclude like I said the mythology is incredible, really really wonderful one of the best thing of the story, it was so interesting and original argh love it.

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ebelzinha's review

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adventurous hopeful 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? It's complicated

4.5

Honestly it took me a while to get into this book but I’m glad I didn’t quit it. 
It’s a really empowering story, deka’s whole journey of understanding who she is and where she belongs. A true roller coaster. I did predict a couple of plot twists but there were some unthinkable ones. 
I love deka, belcalis, britta, keita, adwapa and especially IXA!!!!

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morganphoenix's review

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adventurous dark inspiring tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

3.25


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a_modernstoryteller's review against another edition

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adventurous reflective slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0


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empusa's review

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

3.5


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moniquareadsandwrites's review

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adventurous dark emotional hopeful 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

This book is black girl magic through and through. Deka really learns a lot about herself and her past. She’s open-minded which you don’t see from a lot of young characters. White Hands, aka Fatu, isn’t who she seems at all and I’m glad for that. This book started off so dark, like really dark, but when I lightened, boy did it ever. I was all smiles until the last page. 

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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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monilib's review

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adventurous challenging hopeful inspiring 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? No

4.25


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miricles's review

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adventurous challenging emotional inspiring 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

This was wonderful! I enjoyed how the patriarchy and misogyny were explored because there were aspects of misogyny that I hadn't previously seen depicted.

The way women are pit against each other for social capital,
Spoilerthe erasure of their contributions to society, and eventual demonization as time passes...
These were all portrayed with great care, and I am still in awe of how Namina Forna was able to cover so many facets of misogyny without it feeling overwhelming or disjointed for me, the reader.

In particular, Forna's portrayal of how Deka, the protagonist, initially felt guilt for being divinely strong and physically/athletically gifted was so touching for me since a large part of why she felt that way was due to how her village elders weaponized religion against her, instilling an instinctive sort of guilt that would follow her even if she was fighting for her life. When she learned to let go of this guilt, I felt just as free as her, and I understood exactly how she felt because there was no point in hiding what made her stand out, what made her be ostracized from the rest of her peers when her life was on the line. I think plenty of women and minority groups in general understand how it feels to hold yourself back for the sake of someone else's comfort or because you feel guilt for being so unabashed in what you were once punished for. Even when it's viewed as an advantage, it's hard to unlearn all the shame you're meant to feel, and the moment Deka pushes past the shame and puts herself first, I can feel her exhilaration.

This book steers away from making "both sides" (men and women) seem equally terrible.
SpoilerWhile women are fighting back with physical force, it isn't as if men are being killed for being men, and I appreciate that Forna doesn't fall into the trap of trying to make it seem like there is a lesson in showing that women fighting against their oppressors is morally wrong because they've made it clear that they would not listen to reason. Women had their status and peace violently ripped from them, so they're now trying to gain their humanity back, and sometimes the main conflict being left described as that is fine.


In summary, this was a stellar critique of misogyny and the patriarchy. The world building is marvelous, and the way the plot unravels so elegantly to reveal things that I had suspected leading up to those moments is simply gorgeous. This is the feminist fairytale we all deserve.

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kayo32's review

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adventurous challenging dark emotional inspiring 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

3.5


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