"A dark feminist tale spun with blood and gold. Must read!" –Dhonielle Clayton, New York Times bestselling author of The Belles
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.
The start of a bold and immersive fantasy series for fans of Children of Blood and Bone and Black Panther.
“Fans of Children of Blood and Bone, Mulan, and the Dora Milaje from Black Panther are going to adore [The Gilded Ones].”—BuzzFeed
It's been six months since Deka freed the goddesses in the ancient kingdom of Otera and discovered who she really is... but war is waging across the kingdom, and the real battle has only just begun. For there is a dark force growing in Otera—a merciless power that Deka and her army must stop.
Yet hidden secrets threaten to destroy everything Deka has known. And with her own gifts changing, Deka must discover if she holds the key to saving Otera... or if she might be its greatest threat.
The Merciless Ones is the second thrilling installment of the epic fantasy series in which a young heroine fights against a world that would dare tame her.
★ "This book shimmers like gold."—School Library Journal, starred review
Mere weeks after confronting the Gilded Ones—the false beings she once believed to be her family—Deka is on the hunt. In order to kill the gods, whose ravenous competition for power is bleeding Otera dry, she must uncover the source of her divinity. But with her mortal body on the verge of ruin, Deka is running out of time—to save herself and an empire that’s tearing itself apart at its seams.
When Deka’s search leads her and her friends to the edge of the world as they know it, they discover an astonishing new realm, one which holds the key to Deka’s past. Yet it also illuminates a devastating decision she must soon make…
Choose to be reborn as a god, losing everyone she loves in the process. Or bring about the end of the world.