Allgemein, P - T, Reviews, T

Review: The Gilded Ones (Namina Forna)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten

Trigger warnings: xenophobia, misogyny, abuse and sexual abuse, rape (off page), graphic murder, torture, body mutilation

”The truth is, girls have to wear smiling masks, contort themselves into all kinds of knots to please others, and then, when the deathshrieks come, girls die. They die.” I glance from one bloodsister to the other. “The way I see it, we all have a choice right now. Are we girls, or are we demons? Are we going to die, or are we going to survive?”

So this is one of those rare books that caused me to have really mixed feelings about it. I guess everyone who followed my updates knows that I wasn’t all too happy about how the first half of “The Gilded Ones” played out. Maybe it’s just one of those “it’s me not the book” cases because I read way too many YA books and notice the similarities between them.  A lot of YA books have the same tropes and start out the same way so I wasn’t really surprised about the initial plot line of the book.

”Every girl knows it by heart. We recite it whenever we enter a temple – a constant reminder that women were created to be helpmeets to men, subservient to their desires and commands.”

I mean we have a patriarchal system and girls aren’t even allowed to walk on the streets if they don’t have a man with them. The women wear masks in order to hide their faces and it’s seen as an honour to wear them after they went through the blood rite and became full members of society. Their only goal in life is to get through the blood rite and to serve their men and they are devoutly religious. So yeah, this was nothing new for me and I’ve seen this particular kind of trope in a lot of books. Truth be told after everything Deka went through at the beginning of the book I had a hard time to comprehend how she could still hold on to the beliefs  of her people.

”Even some of the little girls here wear half masks, visible representations of their family’s wealth moulded in gold and silver. A pang of sadness passes over me whenever I see them. I’ll never wear a mask now, never be able to adorn myself in the sacred coverings of purity.”

Then again, change comes slowly and I think this was portrayed really well in here. Because the longer Deka stays with her fellow alaki, the more she finds out about their world and why they are shunned from society. And the more she knows the easier it becomes to let go of the cultural beliefs that have been indoctrinated into her ever since she was a little girl. This said I really liked the friendships in this book and the fact that those girls became true warriors and didn’t take any bullshit anymore. XD I absolutely loved Deka’s friendship with Britta and those two were amazing together!

”I’ve learned many things these past months, and if there’s one thing I know, it’s this: Britta is my dearest friend, and my kinship with her is the foundation I stand on.”

As for the love interest:  I saw this one coming from miles away and I was not surprised that they became a couple in the end. Still, even though I knew they would end up together I really liked that this was a fairly slow burn and that they started out as enemies that became friends and then developed into something stronger and more. I know some people said that it was insta-lovey for them but I guess that’s just because the time line and the world building weren’t all too elaborate. I knew there must have passed quite some time between their training and missions but some pointers as to how much exactly would have been very welcome. XD

His eyes seem to glow as he glances sideways at me. “Am I your friend, Deka?”
“Do you want to be?” I say this part so softly, I don’t think he hears it.
But then he whispers in my ear, his breath stirring the short mop of curly hair above it. “I think I’m something much better. I’m your uruni, now until the day of our deaths.”

Another thing I liked was that the trauma of the girls and how they were coping with it was addressed. A lot of them were abused, raped and hurt in the worst way possible and this just because their blood ran gold and they were considered to be impure. It was good to see that they grew into their strength, that they didn’t succumb to their horrible experiences and fought their way back into life instead. They remembered and they got out of it even stronger than before.

”The physical body – it heals. The scars fade. But the memories are for ever. Even when you forget, they remain inside, taunting you, resurfacing when you least expect.”

White Hands made for a very intriguing character and I kinda liked that we were left in the dark for so long. (Even though I’ve to admit that I still could anticipate a lot of the plot twists. XD) And last but not least I’ve to mention the addition of Ixa to the team! I loved Ixa so much and I hope he’ll be an even bigger part in the next book. As for the ending:  I have no idea where the second book is going to head. I mean yes, I know the general direction but there are so many different ways in which it could play out. There’s – quite literally – a world of possibilities.

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This said I really liked “The Gilded Ones”! Yes, at first I was very sceptical when I started to read this book but in the end the book surprised me and I started to enjoy it more and more. Despite the rocky start Namina Forna eventually persuaded me to pick up the second book as well and I’m already very curious if I’ll enjoy it even more than the first one. I guess I’ll just have to find out. 😉

Allgemein, Sassy Antics

SASSY Saturday

SASSY Saturday

Hey there my lovelies!

Welcome back to another round of my montly blog meme „SASSY Saturday“!

How does it work? Well, that’s easy! 😉

All you have to do is to follow those three golden rules:

1. Credit the creator of this tag (The Sassy Library Fox) and link back. (so I can see all your amazing answers!)
2. Answer the 5 questions below!
3. AND enjoy doing the blog meme! 😛

„SASSY Saturday“ is planned to be a monthly meme but if you want to do it more often feel free to go for it! This meme was created to get to know other bloggers, their new obsessions and to reflect on your own last month! Above all it was created to have fun though! 😉 If you want you can also use the banner I created! This said let’s head to the good part:

S – Series you loved this month

Hotel Del Luna: I was so curious about IU’s „resting bitch face“ in this series and of course about IU herself! I mean she’s a legend! 😉 Boy, I had no idea what we’d get ourselves into. Because yes, I buddy watched this series with, my Yoongi once again and it was amazing! XD So for everyone of you who has never heard of it before: It’s a series about a hotel for ghosts that were violently torn from their lives. Hotel Del Luna gives them a place to recover before they continue to go into the afterlife. And IU is the cold hearted owner of said hotel. She always needs a human manager to do mange the human affiars though and so it comes that a young man named Chan-sung enters her hotel. And the rest. Well, you’ll have to find out for yourself but I can promise you this series will give you all the feels!!! ❤ I loved it so much! Also IU and Yeo Jin-goo are both gorgeous. XD

8 Times "Hotel Del Luna" Episodes 3 And 4 Were Everything ...

A – Author you discovered

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Namina Forna – The Gilded Ones

I only read 4 books last months and Namina Forna was the only author I didn’t know yet. The first half of „The Gilded Ones“ was pretty tropey and felt like I already read similar books but I’m glad I continued to read because the rest of the book was great and it developed into its own story. =) I’ll definitely pick up the sequel as well! I’m curious where the story is heading. XD

S – Song you couldn’t get enough of

Jung Kook – Stay Alive (produced by SUGA)

I just can’t help it but as long as BTS and their members release amazing music like that I’ll have to rave about it! XD I mean this is a a masterpiece and Jung Kook’s voice is heavenly!!! The fact SUGA produced the song and gave it his own voice as well is the icing on the cake and ahh! I just love what my two boys did here! ❤ I’ve been listening to this song all February long and I’m still not tired of it.

S – Surprise – Something that totally caught you off guard

That I actually celebrated my 1 year anniversary on BookTube. Like how?! I vaguely remember coming up with the idea after my birthday last year and my sister and brother-in-law encouraged me to go for it, but quite honestly I never would have thought that I’d actually go through with it and that it would be so much fun. *lol* I really hope that I’ll celebrate even more BookTube anniversaries. Also I can’t help but be surprised by the number of subscribers. I mean it’s only been a year and 243 people are actually watching my videos. I’m mind-blown! And very, very grateful for all this support! ❤ T_T

Y – Your fave blog post of another blogger

#TTT 8/2/22- Queer Books Coming Out in 2022 I’d LOVE To Read by Hundreds & Thousands of Books

I really enjoyed this blog post by Hundreds & Thousands of Books and of course I was super happy to get LGBTQ+ book recs for 2022. 😉 I’m always here for LGBTQAI+ content so to discover this blog post was perfect. Can’t wait for the books to come out! So if you’re looking for your next queer read just check out her blog post and when you’re already at it give my friend some love! ❤

Rankenzeile

What do you think about „SASSY Saturday“? Would you like to join the fun? Are you reading „Chakho“ too and if yes, do you like it’s theme song as well? Which kind of series did you watch in February and did you discover a new author you can recommend?

Talk to me and let me know! 😉

And as always, stay healthy and safe!

*hugs’n’kisses*

signature

The Sassy Library Fox

Allgemein, Bookish Fox Knowledge

February Wrap-Up

Wrap Up

February was probably the fastest month in all history of fast months. *lol* I swear it was over before it even began. XD Maybe it was because I was way too busy with everything going on. Work, my family, my besties birthday, my own birthday and everything else kept me from reading and in the end I realized that I only managed to read 4 books?! I kinda miss the times I was able to read 6 – 8 books a month but as it seems 4 – 5 books a month is my new reality. >_<

So after two months in 2022 the quintessence is: Still too much stress, still too many things keeping me occupied and still not enough time to deal with everything. *lol* If anyone could sent me a time turner I’d really appreciate it. ;-P Also my allergies have been acting up again and even though my asthma got way better than it was before (thank you therapy 😀 ) the constant onslaught of pollen and everything that blooms in spring is still taking its toll on my body. So yeah, I’m kinda suffering from constant exhaustion and the fact that I’m typing this with a massive headache isn’t helping.

Let’s hope once all the pollen are gone I will be able to enjoy spring! Because quite honestly I can’t wait for warm weather and to be outside again. Winter has been way too long again. And this even though the months passed by quickly. I guess I’m just tired of the cold. *lol* Anyway enough talk about the weather let’s talk about books! ❤

Books read: 4 (4 books & 1 webcomic, I won’t talk about „Chakho“ though because I already spoke about it last month)

Pages read: 1.593 (It was so bad I didn’t even manage to read 1.000 pages. *lol*)

Average rating: 3,88 (I guess „The Cousins“ is responsible for that. XD)

Books that were on my reading list: 0 ( 0 from 2019, 0 from 2020 and 1 from 2022. I can’t help being a mood reader, but I’m getting better! )

February Reads:

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The House of Hades: 4 Pfoten,5

This was probably the darkest of Uncle Rick’s books so far! But I really enjoyed it and if possible the characters grew even more on me! I love my three golden boys and Percy, Leo and Nico will always be my faves! As for the girls: Hazel and Annabeth for the win! Those two rock! <333 I’m very curious how book 5 will end because right now the situation looks really dire! If our heroes survive this they definitely deserve a vacation. XD

The Ocean at the End of the Lane: 4 Pfoten

This was such a strange book but also a good one?! The more I think about it the more I come to the conclusion that it was actually pretty good. For me The Ocean at the End of the Lane  felt like an old fairy tale and I’m pretty sure this was part of what Neil Gaiman aimed for. The perspective of a young boy who sees the adult world through children’s eyes only added to that impression and even though the book was creepy and gross at times I still enjoyed it.

The Cousins: 3 Pfoten

So this was a three paws read because it wasn’t bad but it wasn’t really good either. There were a couple of plot twists I saw from miles away and the characters felt way too similar to those of in „One of Us is Lying“. I mean the book was nice to read but it wasn’t something I will remember for long and I know for fact that Mc Manus wrote better books than this one. So yeah. Fingers crossed her next book will be better again. =)

The Gilded Ones: 4 Pfoten

I only finished this recently and I already know „The Gilded Ones“ will be difficult to review. The first about 40 – 50% of the book reminded me of a lot of other YA books I read over the years and then I got over the 50% mark and suddenly the book picked up pace and got its own voice so umm yeah. I dunno where that leaves me but I’ll make sure to write a proper review to dive a little bit deeper into my reasoning for 3,5 paws which I ultimately rounded up to 4.

Rankenzeile

How was your February? Was it too short too? Did you read more books than I did and if yes, which books did you read? Did you read any of the books I spoke about in my wrap up? =) Am I the only one who suffers from allergies?! (I can’t be the only one, right?! *lol*) How come all the books I read last month started with „The“?! And are you looking forward to summer too?

Talk to me and let me know! 😉

And as always take care and stay healthy and safe!

*hugs’n’kisses*

Sig.V.Ronan

The Sassy Library Fox