Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Merciless Ones by Namina Forna. This tour is being hosted by TBR and Beyond Tours.
The Merciless Ones (The Gilded Ones #2) by Namina Forna
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Publishing Date: May 31, 2022
Fans of The Gilded Ones and Children of Blood and Bone will love the second book in an epic fantasy series about a girl who is the key to saving the empire–or its greatest threat.
It’s been six months since Deka has freed the goddesses and discovered who she really is. There are now wars waging across the kingdom. Otereans now think jatu are traitors to the nation. Deka is called a monster.
But the real battle has only just begun and Deka must lead the charge. Deka is tasked with freeing the rest of the goddesses. Only as she begins to free them, she begins to see a strange symbol everywhere in places of worship and worn on armor. There’s something unnatural about that symbol; just looking at it makes Deka lose her senses. Even worse, it seems to repel her powers. She can’t command or communicate with the new deathshrieks. In fact, she can’t even understand them when they speak.
Deka knows freeing the goddesses is just the beginning. She can tell whatever dark force out is powerful and there is something sinister out there threatening the kingdom connected to that symbol–something merciless–that her army will need to stop before humanity crumbles. But Deka’s powers are only getting stronger…and her strongest weapon could be herself.
Content Warning: scenes of violence, including some graphic violence and description of sexual assault
This is a book two, so there are spoilers for book one below.
This is a tough one to review without giving anything away. Deka can understand all the descendants of the Gilded Ones now that she’s the Nuru. She can even make them obey commands. But a symbol shows up and it makes her feel weird. And she can’t control them now. There are rumors of another God, but Deka knows that the mothers are the only Gods. But the name Idugu keeps coming up. The mothers send Deka and her friends to get information and then kill Elder Kadrili. He’s been the one speaking for Idugu. The mothers also task them with getting the angoro. They said it’s basically a weapon that Idugu has. Deka starts feeling Idugu and believes he’s real. But if there is another god, why did the mothers day he isn’t real? There are memories that are also being erased and no one knows why. They start to remember and then lose their train of thoughts. Something is really wrong and Deka starts to question the mothers more. But if she questions or doubts them, they will reject her. She’s torn on what to do, but she knows her powers are growing and no one seems to be honest with her.
The second half of the book was very fast paced. The friendships are just incredible in this book. I also enjoyed the bits of romance throughout the book, but I was also glad it wasn’t the main focus. There are some parts that are violent and hard to read, but this is a great second book. I’m really looking forward to book three.
I gave this 4 1/2 stars rounded up to 5 on Goodreads.
Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for my earc.
Namina Forna is a young adult novelist based in Los Angeles, and the author of the upcoming epic fantasy YA novel The Gilded Ones. Originally from Sierra Leone, West Africa, she moved to the US when she was nine and has been traveling back and forth ever since. Namina has an MFA in film and TV production from USC School of Cinematic Arts and a BA from Spelman College. She works as a screenwriter in LA and loves telling stories with fierce female leads.
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