Book Review: The Merciless Ones (The Gilded ones #2) by Namina Forna

When I was approved for The Merciless Ones book tour I let out a screech of joy!! I loved The Gilded Ones so much, I didn’t know how I was going to wait for book two. A special thanks for TBR and Beyond for hosting the The Merciless Ones book tour. You can view the full schedule here.


Fans of The Gilded Ones and Children of Blood and Bone will love the second book in am 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 descriptions of sexual assault.

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My Thoughts:

I loved every minute of The Merciless Ones. The Merciless Ones is book two in The Gilded Ones series.

What did I love most? Deka deals with various consequences. She is now called a monster, and some within her own community are hesitant to be around her. In the short year and a half since Deka has discovered that she has golden blood, now she looks like a human-sized deathshriek. I think it is rare to find a character who faces as many consequences (good and bad) for their actions as Deka has in The Merciless Ones. There are few YA that are as violent as this growing series. I l-o-v-e it. The gore and violence do not distract from the story; instead, these events make the emotions felt and actions taken by the characters realistic. I can see how these details might bother some readers, but this is no shock in book two if you read book one.

The Merciless Ones has a few slow parts, but overall I found it an exciting read, an easy 4 star read! The internal struggles Deka faces add depth to her character and her developing powers. Deka is not the only one in her crew developing new abilities; other characters are also growing and changing. As Deka works to free the goddesses, she begins to uncover secrets that shake her foundation. Who can she trust? She must decide what is truly the best way to save Otera. There are twists and turns; some are predictable, while others caught me by surprise. These yummy betrayals lead up to the cliffhanger ending. 

If you are looking for conflict, secrets, and characters who must make tough decisions, look no further than The Merciless Ones. I cannot wait to see how this series continues to develop; I will be impatiently awaiting the next edition in this series. The Merciless Ones is a new favorite as far as book twos go.

Favorite Quotes:

This is what it means to be the Nuru, the only full-blooded daughter of the goddesses: i can be whoever I choose.

A word of warning, our beloved Child. The angoro lies, and its user will show you things- memories that seem like the truth.”

When gods dance, Humanity trembles. And a lot of dancing is happening these days. Thankfully, as the Nuru, you have a say in the direction of the dance.

Only the Gods can wound the gods.

As I look up at the silver moon, White Hands’s words from not so long ago echo through my mind: Names are what gvies things powers- you become what you call yourself.

ABout The Author:

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 BA from Spelman College. She works as a screenwriter in LA and loves telling stories with fierce female leads.

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Have you read The Merciless Ones? Have you read book one, The Gilded Ones? What are your thoughts?


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