The Gilded Ones

Namina Forna

The start of a bold and immersive West African-inspired, feminist fantasy series for fans of Children of Blood and Bone and Black Panther. In this world, girls are outcasts by blood and warriors by choice.

Sixteen-year-old Deka lives in fear and anticipation of the blood ceremony that will determine whether she will become a member of her village. Already different from everyone else because of her unnatural intuition, Deka prays for red blood so she can finally feel like she belongs.

But on the day of the ceremony, her blood runs gold, the color of impurity–and Deka knows she will face a consequence worse than death.

Then a mysterious woman comes to her with a choice: stay in the village and submit to her fate, or leave to fight for the emperor in an army of girls just like her. They are called alaki–near-immortals with rare gifts. And they are the only ones who can stop the empire’s greatest threat.

Knowing the dangers that lie ahead yet yearning for acceptance, Deka decides to leave the only life she’s ever known. But as she journeys to the capital to train for the biggest battle of her life, she will discover that the great walled city holds many surprises. Nothing and no one are quite what they seem to be–not even Deka herself.


A powerful tale of heroism. Namina Forna could be the Toni Morrison of YA fantasy.


The Gilded Ones redefines sisterhood and is sure to leave readers both inspired and ultimately hopeful.

Stephanie Garber, #1 NYT bestselling author
Stephanie Garber , #1 NYT bestselling author

Haunting, brutal, and oh-so-relevant.

Roseanne A. Brown, NYT bestselling author
Roseanne A. Brown , NYT bestselling author

The Gilded Ones is a fierce, unflinching fantasy that marks Forna as a debut to watch.

Kiersten White, NYT bestselling author
Kiersten White , NYT bestselling author


Young Adult

UK Publication

Usborne, Spring 2020

US Publication

Penguin Random House / Delacorte Press, Spring 2020

Rights Sales

North American: Penguin Random House / Delacorte Press
UK & Commonwealth: Usborne
French: Editions De Saxus
German: Loewe
Italian: Mondadori
Portuguese (SA): Record
Serbian: Vulkan
Spanish: RBA