The Gilded Ones
Momma Leighellen's Book Review

“Our whole lives, we’ve been taught to make ourselves smaller, weaker than men. That’s what they teach – that being a girl is perpetual submission.” – The Gilded Ones, Namina Forna

Friends – this book is INCREDIBLE!!! Definitely one of the most anticipated YA fantasy books of 2021 and well worth the hype!


The Gilded Ones follows a young mixed race girl named Deka, raised on the farm helping her widowed father. The girls in her village must succumb to a blood ceremony at the age of 16 to prove if they are “pure.” Already different because of her looks and unnatural intuition, Deka prays for red blood so she can finally feel like she belongs.

But OF COURSE, on the day of the ceremony, her blood runs gold, the color of impurity–and Deka knows faces a consequence worse than death. Even though she chooses to save the village when monsters come to attack them, she is imprisoned, tortured and killed. MULTIPLE TIMES. In truly horrific ways. And by the very people that should love and protect her.

“The physical scars fade. But the memories are forever. Even when you forget, they remain inside you, taunting you, resurfacing when you least expect it.”

Everything changes when she’s rescued by a mysterious woman named White Hands. She is sent to the palace to work for the emperor where her new life begins. She becomes part of a trained legion of women sent to attack a dreadful enemy force that threatens her kingdom. But as she trains, she begins to have more and more power, and questions exactly who and what she is.

I loved the magic system, the creative creatures, the world building, and action. It is totally BA how these broken young girls grow into their powers and strengths. I also love how they come together to form strong bonds of friendship. Woven throughout the book is a powerful look at patriarchal societies and the ways women are treated.

I’m so excited this will be a series!!! This will definitely appeal to fans of the Poppy Wars and Children of Blood and Bone.


Thank you to @delacortepress for the book to read and review.

You can purchase the book here. Or listen here!

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