By Namina Forna
Based in West Africa, The Gilded Ones follows Deka, a young girl who is more than what she seems. After a coming-of-age blood ceremony, it’s discovered that the blood in Deka’s veins is gold instead of red, revealing she does not belong with the villagers. Deka’s existence is threatened, but just before she is given a punishment worse than death, a mysterious woman invites her to join the “Alaki,” a band of warrior women like her with special abilities. She must now train to defend her life in an epic battle to take place in the capital city. Reminiscent of Hunger Games and Black Panther, Deka and the Alaki fight for the right to exist as they are. Author Namina Forna is a young Black woman originally from Sierra Leone whose life heavily inspires this debut novel.