Parents' Guide to

The Gilded Ones, Book 1

By Barbara Saunders, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Teen girl quests for true identity in captivating fantasy.

Book Namina Forna Fantasy 2021
The Gilded Ones Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 1 parent review

age 13+

This novel is excellent! It explores important topics, such as isolation, patriarchy, identity. There are some violent scenes, but certainly appropriate for this age level. My 12-year-old enjoyed it and we had excellent discussions around important themes.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (16 ):

Readers will recognize Deka's struggles and triumphs in this exciting fantasy about a brave teen girl fighting the patriarchy. The Gilded Ones, by first-time author Namina Forna, doesn't try to hide its feminist commentary about the fear of women's power, and the lengths a patriarchal society will go to quell it, from absurd rules to outright violence. Despite the righteous anger it contains, this book comforts more often than it shocks or riles. Deka is an innocent, filled with wonder as she puzzles together her history and finds her place in the world. She finds a mentor, friends, a sweetheart, a mind-blowing secret, and finally herself. Strengths of the text include gorgeous language and meticulous worldbuilding.

Book Details

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate