A review by thebakerbookworm
The Gilded Ones, by Namina Forna

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


If the cover doesn’t convince you to read this book, then everything I say here probably won’t either lol. This was a good not great fantasy book with a strong premise that went downhill from there for me.

My main issue was with the plot—I thought it was a little messy and there were some plot holes that never got filled.
SpoilerI’m still not sure how Deka’s mom died...if she was an alaki and the alaki’s final death turned them into deathshrieks...wouldn’t she be a deathshriek?
I found the world and world-building interesting and the main conflict compelling, but I was disappointed by the reveals at the end that seemed to not give the conflict any nuance. This is probably my own fault but I thought things were wrapped up too nicely.

The characters were okay, but not compelling enough to make me overlook my issues with the plot. Deka was likable but inconsistent and no one else really gets a character arc (no, I do not consider the love interest’s development as an arc because it was way too unbelievable and fast and convenient for the plot...).

Overall, it was entertaining and a quick read, but I don’t think I’ll read the sequels.

Read if you like: young adult fantasy, female warriors.

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