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The Merciless Ones

"This exhilarating West African-inspired fantasy sequel is a bedazzlement of magic, sisterhood, secrets, and high-stakes battles"

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LoveReading Says

LoveReading Says

With an opening that couldn’t be more arresting – “Corpses. Each one female and young…They’re mounted on stakes at the mouth of the jungle” – Namina Forna's The Merciless Ones, sequel to her powerful patriarchy-confronting debut, The Gilded Ones, presents a thrilling return to the richly-evoked kingdom of Otera. 


Some six months after she freed the Gilded Ones goddesses from imprisonment in the mountains and promised to “fight for all the women of Otera”, Deka is alerted to the rise of a dark power that she and her army must quell, alongside adapting to changes in her own gifts.


Driven by Deka’s fiercely indomitable quest to save the kingdom, gender identity and sexuality are explored alongside themes of feminist empowerment - “Male and female…The mere thought unsettles us. Humans like to sever themselves according to these lines, although they are not so simply sorted…They force them to choose – male, female One or the other."


With a whole lot of snaking twists, betrayals and impossible decisions, this is YA fantasy at its most fire-cracking, and thought-provoking with it.

Joanne Owen

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