Reviews tagging Body shaming

The Gilded Ones, by Namina Forna

5 reviews

theespressoedition's review

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

2.0

Well, I've discovered something about myself while reading this book: I don't care for war/warrior stories, especially when it comes to fantasy.

I realize a lot of my disinterest in this book stems from the audio because I wasn't a huge fan of the narration style. However, I also just didn't love the story itself. It felt like it dragged on, with an excess of description and lack of action. There was such a huge focus on what was so different about the MC that when the "big reveal" happened, it seemed like a letdown because it was nothing unusual.
SpoilerIf it had been a brand new creature of some sort, I would have been fascinated, but finding out that she was just the ruler/killer of the species was a bummer


Usually, at the end of a slower book that I didn't love, I still have an interest in reading the sequel. However, for this book, it didn't keep me interested enough to pick up the next book. I'm just not enthralled with the characters or what happens to them. 

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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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pfadfinderin's review

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adventurous challenging dark emotional tense fast-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? It's complicated

2.0


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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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mfieldshalva's review

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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? Yes

4.75


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