Skip to main content

The Gilded Ones (Deathless #1) by Namina Forna

The Gilded Ones, Namina Forma

There was a time where I loved nothing more than a good YA fantasy. I guess that time is passed... either that or the quality of YA books coming out has fallen. This wasn't a bad book, it just was underwhelming. It has a very good concept, a good start, a good climax point, but everything else felt flat.

Deka leaves in fear of the Blood Ceremony Day- the day she finds out if her blood runs pure (red) or if she has gold blood, which is met with a death sentence. Needless to say, her blood runs gold. She is killed again and again just to wake, limbs reattaching themselves... It is a gory and interesting start. I was intrigued as to what she was and where this was going. 

Someone from the capital comes an offers her a deal: fight for the emperor with other girls like her or stay at the village being killed until someone figures out how to give her her true death. Let's face it, it is an easy choice. 

The book celebrates female friendships, sisterhood! Families from circumstance and choice rather than blood. Being different, being original, being unique! And that, I loved. It was done well and a joy to read.

On the other hand, the book also dealt with women being treated as less, race, African mythology... and those themes were not done well at all. Most of the time I was rolling my eyes and bored to death. I am women and a women of color at that, but there is nothing that annoys me more than a book being popular because it has or celebrates POC characters and than is not done well. I rather only read white characters/authors than average books?! #sorrynotsorry

The mythological aspects weren't explored or explained enough. The audio book (at the speed I was listening too) was 7 hours long and for at least 5 of those nothing much happened- Deka trains to be a soldier and finds she is stronger than the others with a special ability- there is the summary for you, fun hey? I still don't know much about the demon/woman creatures, their goddesses, etc. What am I talking about when I say women/demon creatures? good question, and my point exactly. I'm afraid I can't really answer that as it is not explained all that well. The plot was slow an fell flat.  

Women are treated terribly in this book, and yet, half way through the book Deka is said to be forgetting all that she experienced. Including her many deaths. Say what? If you are going to write heavy social issues like that write well or not at all. There were other instances were things were just forgotten or put aside. It was weird and left the book with a lot of plot holes. 

This book is the reason I prefer to stay way from titles that get promoted solely for being written by POC authors, dealing with social issues, and/or having POC characters. I want GOOD stories, regardless of who wrote them. I am of the opinion that one does more damage to the community they want to support than good when average books get hyped up because of outside issues. 

All that being said, my main issue with the book truly was that the plot and characters felt flat. I could have ignored all the social issues mishandling if the plot and character built had been done well. The book felt really long and for the most of it nothing important happened. I didn't connect with any character because we did not get to know any well. I didn't submerge myself in a wonderful new world because we didn't get to know enough about it... A book so long could have done better.

The saving grace was the sisterhood and the friendships. The way the bond between women was celebrated! But that is not enough to make me want to read the next book or recommend this one. But hey, each to their own. 

If you want to give it a try, find the book at: Libro.fm - Inklings Bookshop - GoodReads

In support to indie stores who are struggling right now no link will be added to that giant online store that shall not be named. The indie store above is offering free shipping at this time! Give an indie a helping hand! Thanks :)

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Quickies, April 2021

I read a good amount of older releases this past two months. I will not write long individual reviews for every single one of them but here are is a little bit about each one of them:  - Visions of Heat by Nalini Singh It's unlikely I will ever dislike something Nalini writes. She is a master of her craft. This is the second book in the Psy-Changeling series and it is just as good as the first. Shy and isolated Faith is plagued by visions of blood and murder. She has questions and needs help but can't ask those around her. She turns to the changelings and the only Psy she knows that has defied her race (first book in the series). Vaughn is more cat than human but has to control his instincts not to scare Faith away. This was a fabulous paranormal romance read but you really must read the first book first! 4 stars from me :)  - Desperate Measures by Katee Robert Desperate Measures is the story of Jafar and Jasmine. But if you read Katee before you know it is not that simple at

The Cursed King (Inferno Rising #4) by Abigail Owen

This series has been an absolutely delight and I am so glad I've read it. The Rogue King , the first book in the series is still very much my favorite. I discovered Abigail Owen through that book and have read a few of her other books since, this series -obviously-, and others. I highly recommend you all give this wonderful author a try. Blurb: He will burn. She will rise. Airk Azdajah, the rightful King of the White Clan, spent half a millennium being tortured by the false High King Pytheios. The only reason he’s alive is a curse— the man to kill Airk will be consumed in his own fire. Which is why Pytheios kept Airk alive, barely, unable to shift in his prison cage, driving the creature half of him into madness. Airk escaped, but he’ll never be truly free. What good is a king who can never let his feral dragon loose, never fly, and never lead his people? He’s better off dead. Angelika Amon is the last unmated phoenix. The problem? She has no powers. Zip. Zilch. Angelika hates bein

Fortune Favors the Duke (The Cambridge Brothers #1) by Kristin Vayden [arc review]

@glimpses_of_my_books Oh the beauty that is discovering new authors! Kristin Vayden is someone I had not heard of before Fortune Favors the Duke  was announced and Sourcebooks told me she is local to Washington State. I am planning a signing event with her and Lucy Gilmore this December at  Inkling Bookshop  and of-course I had to read the book ahead of time.  Fortune Favors the Duke  was utterly adorable! I managed to read this beauty in two sittings and I will be reading the other books in the series. Blurb: Quinton Errington is perfectly happy teaching at Cambridge, with his elder brother carrying the duties of being the Duke of Wesley. But when a trip to celebrate Wesley's last week of bachelorhood ends in tragedy, Quinton, who becomes the Duke of Wesley, would give anything to have his brother back. Now, under the most heartbreaking circumstances, Wesley's would-be bride, Catherine Greatheart, is left wanting. Her only protection left, her grandmother, has fallen ill, an