TW: Torture, extremely misogynistic society, rape, abuse, graphic violence
- SMASH THE PATRIARCHY! – A book full of fierce, near-immortal female warriors with special gifts trying to penetrate through the thick walls of the fortress called patriarchy, all while fighting fearlessly to save the kingdom from a mysterious threat? SIGN ME UP!
- SOLID WORLD-BUILDING – Namina seamlessly constructs the world of Otera and explains to the reader about the dynamics of the society without making it info-dumpy or boring at any point. This sets the perfect stage for the upcoming books in the trilogy and I can’t wait to see where Namina takes the story!
- AHH, THAT ONE PLOT TWIST THAT MAKES YOU QUESTION EVERYTHING – I, for one, am I sucker for plot twists! The plot twist in this book is a MAJOR curveball and it made my jaw hit the floor! It made me GASP. NO KIDDING. If you’re someone who loves plot twists, trust me, you’re in for one hell of a ride!
- ADDRESSES A MYRIAD OF SERIOUS ISSUES – Along with a gripping plot line and close-to-perfect world building, this book addresses a wide range of serious issues: misogyny, racism, oppression, PTSD, to name a few. And believe me when I say this, NAMINA DOES NOT SUGARCOAT. This book is brutal, cruel, gory and doesn’t shy away from presenting the problematic elements of society in its raw, naked sense.
- FIERCE FEMALE FRIENDSHIPS – The protagonist, Deka, while enduring all the hardships society throws at her, makes some long-lasting, heart-warming friendships along the way. The friendship between Britta and Deka added a hint of warmth to an otherwise dense story. An oasis in a desert, if you ask me.
- #OWNVOICES – The author, who hails from Sierra Leone, a nation in West Africa, draws on her own experiences of surviving in a misogynistic society and enduring oppression and incorporates the same in the society portrayed in the book. Misogyny is undoubtedly rampant in today’s world and if a BIPOC author pens an #ownvoices story about bad-ass women warriors trying to change the society for the greater good, I BOW DOWN TO HER IN RESPECT AND I WILL READ EVERY BOOK SHE WRITES.
- GORGEOUS cover with a bad-ass melanin goddess!
- Gripping storyline!
- Queer side characters!
- Almost an all-black, all-women cast!
- A pet who doubles as a super-powerful mythical creature and is fiercely loyal!
THE INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTELLER! The must-read new bold and immersive West African-inspired fantasy series, as featured on Cosmo, Bustle, Book Riot and Refinery 29.
In this world, girls are outcasts by blood and warriors by choice, perfect for fans of Children of Blood and Bone and Black Panther.
Sixteen-year-old Deka lives in Otera, a deeply patriarchal ancient kingdom, where a woman’s worth is tied to her purity, and she must bleed to prove it. But when Deka bleeds gold – the colour of impurity, of a demon – she faces a consequence worse than death.
She is saved by a mysterious woman who tells Deka of her true nature: she is an Alaki, a near-immortal with exceptional gifts. The stranger offers her a choice: fight for the Emperor, with others just like her, or be destroyed…