|Gilded ones (Gilded ones series)|
Author: Forna, Namina
Inspired by the culture of West Africa, a feminist fantasy debut traces the experiences of an intuitive girl who is invited to leave her discriminatory village to join the emperor's army of near-immortal women warriors.
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 12/01/2020 *Starred Review* Deka lives in a society where women are intended to be pure and serve those around them. So when she bleeds impure gold during the coming-of-age ritual for girls at age 16, her life’s presumed purpose—the care and keeping of a husband and family—is destroyed. Left to decide between death or dedicating herself to the protection of Otera from the ghastly deathshrieks, Deka joins the ranks of girls deemed impure, known as the alaki. Soon she realizes that even among them she’s different, leading Deka to question who and what she is, and what she’s fighting for. The world building here takes some time to get used to, but Deka’s entrancing character development is so wrapped up in these systems that they are quickly understood. The action and intensity are relentless as Forna builds not only Deka’s character but also those of a kick-butt posse of fellow alaki, whose histories speak to various ways Otera’s patriarchy has weighed women down. While elements of action and social justice are strong, there is also mystery, as readers journey to understand just what is at stake in the heat of the war. At the close of the first of what is rumored to be a trilogy, readers will find themselves awestruck with satisfying revelation, leaving both a clean ending and desire for more. - Copyright 2020 Booklist.