A review by mrpitmansgranddaughter
The Gilded Ones, by Namina Forna

4.0

I wish teenage me had this book. This is a beautiful and clever book, a story told to inspire and remind us that we can be our own heroes.

Initially sold on the cover and then the premise of this book I had high hopes, and it absolutely lived up to it. The time flew by with this book and included me emerging from the bath the most wrinkled I have ever been. On the surface this is a great Young Adult Fantasy book but underneath that is a book exploring a patriarchal land and is packed full of female fist pumps. Putting that aside this book represents girls, different girls. Refreshingly so.

So what is there to say about this book, is inclusive and its feminist and its a great story and lovable and complicated characters. It gets the imagination flying with new creatures and landscapes, breath holding moments, page turning action. It packs a big punch. It’s a big cast of characters but that doesn’t dampen the impact, we know each of them and I hope in the upcoming sequels we get to know them more.

My only teeny tiny criticism is that I could have lived without the romance sub plot, but hey I know teenage me would have absolutely loved it and maybe I am just cynical these days. Even though it wasn’t my favourite element of the story it was still well done and I ended up rooting for them although the sisterhood represented in this book for me felt like the real love story.

I can’t wait for the following books and recommend this read to those of us who love to escape to new worlds and to teenage girls and boys who will find themselves as part of this book.

To close of using the words of Namina Forna in her letter that closes this book ‘To every person reading this book, know that you are the hero of your own story. You can make things happen, and you can change the world. Choose to change the world for good.
To all my teen readers, know that this is a world I’ve created for you. If you can’t find yourself anywhere, find yourself here.’