Fans of The Gilded Ones and Children of Blood and Bone will love the second book in an 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 description of sexual assault
If that isn’t enough to send you running to grab your copy…
15 Reactions While Reading The Merciless Ones:
Keeping this to a non-spoilery 15 was HARD. This book is epic and could fill many more pages of reactions.
- Here we go! Corpses? Time for a Noble Quest? Let’s goooo!
- Oh, oh, there are bad symbols? This feels like a trap.
- The character descriptions are so vivid and complex that I wish I was anywhere close to good at Procreate.
- My heart: “You have to start believing in yourself, Deka, in your own mind. Your own soundness. If not, others will take advantage of you, turn your uncertainty into a weapon. Learn to trust in yourself. That is one of the primary marks of a great leader. A general.”
- You’re really going to wreck my emotions ALREADY at under 20% in?!
- I love the “I’m going to just overcome but you won’t help me/tell me how” felt so raw and real – the weight and the guilt
- The female friendships in this book make my heart happy. Also, Keita ❤️
- Yes! That’s personal growth right there!
- W H A T I’ve lost my marbles and am CONCERNED
- The layers! They are unpeeling!
- I am here for found family & non-trope-y girl power.
- AAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH (no spoilers)
- This is a Britta fan blog now. I will be redecorating accordingly.
- AAAAAAAAA but with battle rage vs tears
- You’re going to leave me like that!? I want Namina to live her best life but also can you please just hide and write the third book immediately? Thank you.
⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ My The Merciless ones Review:
This is classic, glorious high fantasy at its best. After finishing The Gilded Ones, I leaped at the opportunity to read Forna’s second installment and was not disappointed. Deflecting second book syndrome with pages of plot and characterization, we start to unravel the world Deka has arrived in. Balancing a journey of self-discovery (my favorite) along with the battles at hand, Forna carries us deeper into Oterea.
This ultra-marathon of a book is the perfect bridge between The Gilded Ones and the (now eagerly anticipated) final book in this trilogy. I feel like this book should come with sunscreen because you will certainly forget to reapply if you bring this in your summer beach tote. This is a book I wish I could have read ad a young fantasy fan.
This is the high watermark of epic fantasy and comes with beautiful prose and impeccable representation.
Thanks to TBR and Beyond Tours & Random House for the digital ARC in exchange for my honest review.
Order Your Copy of the Merciless Ones:
Meet Author Namina Forna:
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 a BA from Spelman College. She works as a screenwriter in LA and loves telling stories with fierce female leads.