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The Merciless Ones

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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 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.


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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 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.

30 review for The Merciless Ones

  1. 4 out of 5

    alaska

    update: we now have a title, a release date, and a cover. may i just say...talented, brilliant, incredible, amazing, show-stopping, spectacular, never the sa— february 20th, 2021 the book: • no title • no cover • no release date me: i need it now.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Elle

    It’s been over two years since I read the Gilded Ones, and I need this to not fall into the sequel slump pls It’s been over two years since I read the Gilded Ones, and I need this to not fall into the sequel slump pls

  3. 4 out of 5

    Vee_Bookish

    I am SO READY FOR THIS IT'S BEEN LIKE TWO YEARS GODS I am SO READY FOR THIS IT'S BEEN LIKE TWO YEARS GODS

  4. 5 out of 5

    Marieke (mariekes_mesmerizing_books)

    This sequel of The Gilded Ones starts with four female corpses around Deka’s age, and that scene alone, that sentence actually, got my eyes glued to the pages right away. What I loved most about the first book was the writing, lush and even lyrical at times. The moment I started reading, I immediately recognized the same writing, and I was so happy about that. Whereas The Gilded Ones was focused on racism and sexism in a world where men dominate, The Merciless Ones concentrates far more on gender This sequel of The Gilded Ones starts with four female corpses around Deka’s age, and that scene alone, that sentence actually, got my eyes glued to the pages right away. What I loved most about the first book was the writing, lush and even lyrical at times. The moment I started reading, I immediately recognized the same writing, and I was so happy about that. Whereas The Gilded Ones was focused on racism and sexism in a world where men dominate, The Merciless Ones concentrates far more on gender identity and sexuality. I was really pleased to see so much more queer representation. Therefore, I highly recommend this story to people who mainly read queer stories. Because it’s a trilogy, I’d suggest reading The Gilded Ones first. Some things I liked a little less. I found the pacing off at times, and I could see the plot twists coming from a million miles. Because of that, I felt that this book was a bit less exciting than the first one. My actual rating is somewhere between 3.5 and four stars (where are those half stars when you need them!), and I round it up because overall, I really enjoyed the story. I received an ARC from Usborne Publishing and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Follow me on Instagram

  5. 4 out of 5

    ♥Milica♥

    See, I was planning on reading this in two or three goes to stretch it out, but once The Merciless Ones sunk its claws into me, it didn't let go and I had to read the whole book at once, naturally. Similarly to the first one, this one is also fast paced and doesn't feel long. I think it's a bit longer page wise, but yeah, I was too immersed to notice. It was at the 5% mark that I cried the first time. And rest assured that I cried many times after that too. So expect the same amount of emotion, See, I was planning on reading this in two or three goes to stretch it out, but once The Merciless Ones sunk its claws into me, it didn't let go and I had to read the whole book at once, naturally. Similarly to the first one, this one is also fast paced and doesn't feel long. I think it's a bit longer page wise, but yeah, I was too immersed to notice. It was at the 5% mark that I cried the first time. And rest assured that I cried many times after that too. So expect the same amount of emotion, as book one had. What I love is how easy it was to jump back into the world, even though it's been a year and 4 months since I last saw these characters. To be honest, they've been living in my head rent free so it's not all that surprising. Deka and her friends grow as the story goes on, some mentally and others physically (like in Ixa's case). Ixa is just as adorable as he was, maybe even more so. As for the romance part, I can't tell if there's less of it or around the same amount as before? Everyone is so busy fighting that there's hardly time for anything else, which is accurate, and it makes those few stolen moments much sweeter. The lgbt characters are featured a lot more too. As well as slightly different but no less important themes. And WE HAVE PLOT TWISTS AND BETRAYALS GALORE! Some I saw coming, others I had to follow the clues for. And it's because of those plot twists, that the book ends on a semi cliffhanger, but at the same time has a good amount of stuff wrapped up. Just know that when you pick this up, you'll HAVE TO read book three, it's a must. And obviously if you haven't read The Gilded Ones yet (what are you doing with your life?), you should read that first to get the full story. I know that I'll be (not so) patiently counting down the days until one of my ultimate favourite series reaches its conclusion. Come, join me. *Huge thank you to the publishers and NetGalley for providing me with an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review*

  6. 4 out of 5

    Mango

    HOW THE HECK CAN I WAIT UNTIL APRIL 5th FOR THIS?? The cover, the ending of its prequel, it has me PUMPED.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Shauni

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I loved The Gilded Ones and was so excited to jump right into the second book. While I did enjoy some aspects of this, I was overall a little disappointed. First, some of the things I liked. I've enjoyed watching Deka grow in her confidence. I really loved the friendships that have evolved and the trust and loyalty that have developed between the characters. I also enjoyed learning more about the relationships between the gods. There were several things that bothered me. First was the pacing. I f I loved The Gilded Ones and was so excited to jump right into the second book. While I did enjoy some aspects of this, I was overall a little disappointed. First, some of the things I liked. I've enjoyed watching Deka grow in her confidence. I really loved the friendships that have evolved and the trust and loyalty that have developed between the characters. I also enjoyed learning more about the relationships between the gods. There were several things that bothered me. First was the pacing. I felt this book was so fast-paced that I didn't really get to sink my teeth in and enjoy each moment. One scene flitted so quickly to the next that it seemed quite jerky and rushed. I would have really enjoyed more details about the history of the gods. I also loved the idea of doors leading to other realms and would have liked to learn more about them. Second, while I loved Deka's development in the first book, I felt like she became too powerful here, to the point that her arc started to feel unbelievable. Throughout the book she discovers one power after another and learns one earth-shattering revelation about herself after another, that the intended shock began to wear off and I was left with an overwhelming urge to roll my eyes. I didn't like that the author gave her so many gifts. I no longer felt any sympathy for her plight or wondered how she would get out of the next scrape. Never fear, here is another astoundingly powerful gift to fix everything!! And lastly, I didn't like how almost every character paired up romantically with someone else. While I'm a sucker for a good lovestory, the quick and off-handed pairing up felt unnecessary and again, rushed. Overall, I did like the book. But I would have enjoyed it more if some parts were more detailed and others left out completely. I also would have preferred it if Deka had more of the struggle and humanity I felt from her in the first book. I'll probably read the last book, but my eagerness has wilted a bit. The Merciless Ones will be released in May 31, 2022. Many thanks to NetGalley and Delacorte Press for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review.

  8. 5 out of 5

    ☀︎El In Oz☀︎

    SUCH A STUNNING COVER I’M SO EXCITED FOR THIS

  9. 5 out of 5

    Ivana - Diary of Difference

    Wishlist | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Ko-fi #1 The Gilded Ones - ★★★★★ #2 The Merciless Ones - TBR #3 Untitled - TBR IT'S TIME! I FINALLY HAVE THIS BOOK IN MY HANDS. I'M NOT SCREAMING, YOU'RE SCREAMING!!! Starting to read it now, so excited! FINISHED - Review coming soon, that ending was everything, can't wait for book 3! Wishlist | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Ko-fi #1 The Gilded Ones - ★★★★★ #2 The Merciless Ones - TBR #3 Untitled - TBR IT'S TIME! I FINALLY HAVE THIS BOOK IN MY HANDS. I'M NOT SCREAMING, YOU'RE SCREAMING!!! Starting to read it now, so excited! FINISHED - Review coming soon, that ending was everything, can't wait for book 3!

  10. 5 out of 5

    laurel [the suspected bibliophile]

    I didn't love it as much as I loved The Gilded Ones (this is a theme for my sequels this year), but it was still fantastic!! I really, really liked the direction Forna takes this one—I ended The Gilded Ones on an iffy note, and my suspicions were confirmed. Full RTC, and it's going to be spoilery because...if you haven't read the first one there will be spoilers. I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review I didn't love it as much as I loved The Gilded Ones (this is a theme for my sequels this year), but it was still fantastic!! I really, really liked the direction Forna takes this one—I ended The Gilded Ones on an iffy note, and my suspicions were confirmed. Full RTC, and it's going to be spoilery because...if you haven't read the first one there will be spoilers. I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

  11. 5 out of 5

    rachel ☾

    #1) The Gilded Ones ★★★★☆ Blog • Trigger Warning Database • Twitter • Instagram #1) The Gilded Ones ★★★★☆ Blog • Trigger Warning Database • Twitter • Instagram

  12. 4 out of 5

    sol

    hoping this one is stronger than the last!!! rooting for Britta to get her moment to shine, she's too sweet. :) hoping this one is stronger than the last!!! rooting for Britta to get her moment to shine, she's too sweet. :)

  13. 5 out of 5

    Andrae

    ANOTHER GORGEOUS COVER!!! 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻

  14. 4 out of 5

    Laura ☾

    The Merciless Ones continues where the Gilded Ones left off. A dark, epic fantasy, I have to admit while I did enjoy reading this, it did feel somewhat dense at time. I do kind of feel like there there are too many characters and it got hard to keep track of them, but the world building and the mythological system was brilliant.

  15. 5 out of 5

    kate

    Unsurprisingly, this was EPIC and although it didn't hit me quite as hard as book one, I loved being back in this world filled with so many strong, vulnerable and empowered characters. This is a story of twists, empowerment, strength, and magic and this instalment only helped to further solidify this series as one of my favourite fantasies. The wait for book three is going to be a long and painful one. TW: discussion of sexual assault and rape, xenophobia, abuse, misogyny, PTSD Unsurprisingly, this was EPIC and although it didn't hit me quite as hard as book one, I loved being back in this world filled with so many strong, vulnerable and empowered characters. This is a story of twists, empowerment, strength, and magic and this instalment only helped to further solidify this series as one of my favourite fantasies. The wait for book three is going to be a long and painful one. TW: discussion of sexual assault and rape, xenophobia, abuse, misogyny, PTSD

  16. 4 out of 5

    Aly

    4.5 stars Whoo, these books are so good! I love these alaki girls and their battle to free all girls and women from their oppressive rulers. The mythology is so well written, with great world building and interesting characters. I enjoyed learning more about the gods and following Deka as she discovers who she is and what she's meant to do. Though romance isn't the main point of the story, I was happy to see more of Deka and Keita. They fit together so well and have some sweet moments. There are 4.5 stars Whoo, these books are so good! I love these alaki girls and their battle to free all girls and women from their oppressive rulers. The mythology is so well written, with great world building and interesting characters. I enjoyed learning more about the gods and following Deka as she discovers who she is and what she's meant to do. Though romance isn't the main point of the story, I was happy to see more of Deka and Keita. They fit together so well and have some sweet moments. There are also a few other couples we see and I'm totally on board with all the cuteness of crushes and new love. Another thing I really liked was Deka and Britta's friendship. They truly love each other and that sisterly bond is something I want to see in more books. The only part that I didn't care for was Deka making these rash decisions without thinking things through and getting others hurt. I thought she'd be more mature since she's grown to be an excellent leader, but at the end of the day she's still young and learning. Hopefully in the final book, she'll listen to her friends more and be more careful with everyone's safety. This was action packed, fun, and emotional and I can't wait for the next book! I voluntarily read and reviewed this book. All opinions are my own. Thank you to NetGalley and Delacorte Press for the copy.

  17. 5 out of 5

    cherelle

    there is a title??? and a cover???? and a release date now????? bless bless. though god it's another year away. there is a title??? and a cover???? and a release date now????? bless bless. though god it's another year away.

  18. 5 out of 5

    nihaarika

    3.75 stars I really enjoyed The Gilded Ones when I read it last year which is why I was so excited for the sequel. For the most part, I really enjoyed reading The Merciless Ones . Namina Forna's writing is beautiful. The way she describes things really draws you into the story and I could easily imagine scenes playing out in front of me. Unfortunately, I think this book fell prey to the second book syndrome. Compared to how action-packed, relatively fast-paced and full of twists the first book 3.75 stars I really enjoyed The Gilded Ones when I read it last year which is why I was so excited for the sequel. For the most part, I really enjoyed reading The Merciless Ones . Namina Forna's writing is beautiful. The way she describes things really draws you into the story and I could easily imagine scenes playing out in front of me. Unfortunately, I think this book fell prey to the second book syndrome. Compared to how action-packed, relatively fast-paced and full of twists the first book was, I felt The Merciless Ones was nothing like that. The pacing felt quite slow, especially at the beginning. It took me a while to immerse myself in the story. I also had no idea that this was going to be a trilogy, so around the last ten per cent of the book, I was a little confused as to why things were left unresolved All in all, I think The Merciless Ones is an okay sequel, but the way it ended has left me pretty excited for the third book! Thank you to Netgalley and Usborne Publishing for my e-ARC!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Leah

    I was so ready to read this book after finishing The Gilded Ones, and it did not disappoint. Starting a short while after the events of the first book, (perhaps a couple of months?), the Gilded Ones are free and are regaining their strength in Abeya. Abeya is a haven created for those loyal to the goddesses. Deka, their beloved Nuru, and her bloodsisters have been freeing other daughters of the Gilded Ones while Keita and the Uruni aid in the attempt to siege Hemeira. The groups meet again and a I was so ready to read this book after finishing The Gilded Ones, and it did not disappoint. Starting a short while after the events of the first book, (perhaps a couple of months?), the Gilded Ones are free and are regaining their strength in Abeya. Abeya is a haven created for those loyal to the goddesses. Deka, their beloved Nuru, and her bloodsisters have been freeing other daughters of the Gilded Ones while Keita and the Uruni aid in the attempt to siege Hemeira. The groups meet again and are sent on a mission to capture Elder Kadiri and find an Arcane object known as the Angoro. I took a little while to get into this book, with it having a somewhat slower start than what I prefer. However, once I was 35% of the way through I was hooked. The pacing increased as events unfolded and Deka and her friends began to question everything they knew and had been told. The character development through this book was incredible and some moments had me sobbing. This book focuses so much more on gender identity and sexuality. There's heaps of representation in this book, all of which I thought was handled well. I would expect no less from a sequel to the first book, which tackled racism and sexism as well as it had. The plot twists were not too surprising, but I won't fault the book for that, it was still immensely enjoyable. I would like to thank Usborne Publishing and NetGalley for providing me with an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  20. 4 out of 5

    thewoollygeek (tea, cake, crochet & books)

    Ok so, after that cliffhanger of an ending at the end of The Gilded One’s, I was so needing to find out what happened and she didn’t let me down, we jump right back in as if I’d never put the first book down. Everything is still here, fast pace check, action check, blubbering mess of a reader yep check ! So much character growth and self discovery in this book, I just couldn’t get enough of Deka. The representation in this story is fantastic, people of all shapes, sizes, gender identity and colo Ok so, after that cliffhanger of an ending at the end of The Gilded One’s, I was so needing to find out what happened and she didn’t let me down, we jump right back in as if I’d never put the first book down. Everything is still here, fast pace check, action check, blubbering mess of a reader yep check ! So much character growth and self discovery in this book, I just couldn’t get enough of Deka. The representation in this story is fantastic, people of all shapes, sizes, gender identity and colours are present. Each character goes through so much in this story and I simply cannot wait for the third book, but I guess I have to, I think this is even better than the first book. Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for a free copy for an honest opinion

  21. 4 out of 5

    Helen White

    In this sequel Deka has become the Nuru, daughter of the Goddesses, key to their freedom. Her world should be getting better, instead their is war and the persecution of girls is still increasing. A new enemy appears who seems to resist Deka's powers. The Goddesses give her a new mission and with the help of her friends can Deka face old enemies and new? Sequels are always tricky once the character set up and world building is done where does the story head. In this case the story questions ever In this sequel Deka has become the Nuru, daughter of the Goddesses, key to their freedom. Her world should be getting better, instead their is war and the persecution of girls is still increasing. A new enemy appears who seems to resist Deka's powers. The Goddesses give her a new mission and with the help of her friends can Deka face old enemies and new? Sequels are always tricky once the character set up and world building is done where does the story head. In this case the story questions everything Deka thought she knew. The constant is Deka's friendships and relationship with Keita and it's a shame that there isn't always much time for that. It will be very interesting to see where the next book goes. Thanks to netgalley and the publishers for the review copy.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Pelden Wangchuk

    Excited for The Merciless Ones

  23. 5 out of 5

    Liza | Literary Liza

    My rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️½⭐️ (4.5 stars) Oh my goddesses! This book was so good!! 🤩 Deka returns once again, her friends in tow (a found family of deathshrieks, alaki, and ex-jatu alike), and the recently awakened goddesses behind her – a true force to be reckoned with. But things in Otera are never how they may first appear. And more is brewing under the surface than even Deka the Nuru, the daughter of the goddesses, realizes. Revelations that will once again shake Deka to her core, and send everything My rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️½⭐️ (4.5 stars) Oh my goddesses! This book was so good!! 🤩 Deka returns once again, her friends in tow (a found family of deathshrieks, alaki, and ex-jatu alike), and the recently awakened goddesses behind her – a true force to be reckoned with. But things in Otera are never how they may first appear. And more is brewing under the surface than even Deka the Nuru, the daughter of the goddesses, realizes. Revelations that will once again shake Deka to her core, and send everything she thought was true crumbling to pieces… “When gods dance, humanity trembles.” In The Merciless Ones, Forna takes Otera, a world already filled to the brim with a vast, rich, and diverse culture, and expands it even further! Through the sequel to The Gilded Ones, Deka’s world is further explored, more locations visited, more residents introduced, and even more of its history brought to light. This book wastes no time, immediately dropping the reader back into the throws of conflict between the alaki and the high priests. The narration does a very skilled job of re-familiarizing the reader with all that has come to pass in the previous novel while also introducing everything new since it’s story left off. I did find the beginning quick exposition-heavy, but not necessarily in a bad way, since the world itself was so intriguing. Forna certainly knows how to describe some of the most imaginative environments I’ve ever read about. The Merciless Ones is chock-full of action, adventure, and intrigue, and jumps from one intense scene to the next as Deka and her friends make their way across Otera and to the Grand Temple of Hemaira. There were a few moments that did feel a bit abrupt, and well, a little too convenient for the characters. Some literal divine intervention, if you will. But that’s not uncommon in a “chosen one” plotline, and since this novel fully deals with divinity, it’s to be expected. “All the gods I’ve seen thus far are flawed, distant beings, vastly remote from the people who worship them… And they constantly demand worship, constantly demand prayers to feed their power.” But, what I liked best about this novel was its depth. Following in its predecessor’s footsteps, The Merciless Ones continues to tackle gender politics and patriarchy while adding gender and sexuality diversity, identity, and religion to the roster. I loved the expanded discussion of how Otera’s patriarchal society affects those not previously mentioned, including queer, trans, and non-binary individuals. The diversity of the cast was also explored here, and gratefully so. Despite this novel including such a wide variety of characters, Forna does a good job of rounding them, making them feel like real individuals with their own unique backgrounds and experiences. It was nice to be afforded more time to delve into some of these side characters’ storylines more completely in The Merciless Ones. And rep was fantastic! Not just one or two queer characters to fill a quota, but many, fully actualized individuals from across the spectrum were presented here. All with their own histories, motivations, and challenges to overcome. I truly feel like I connected with more characters in this novel than almost any other book I’ve ever read with such a large ensemble cast. Honestly, shout-out to the found family dynamics and friendships throughout this novel too. They were ideal. Deka and Britta’s friendship in particular was just utterly fantastic. Really, I can’t recommend this book enough. If you enjoyed The Gilded Ones, you have definitely got to read this sequel, it does not disappoint! “If there’s one thing the past few days have taught me, it’s that I’m more capable than I ever knew; that I’m more than just the quiet, naive girl I was in Irfut, foolishly hoping for others to accept me when I couldn’t accept myself.” Thank you to TBR and Beyond Tours and the publisher, Delacorte Press/Random House Children’s Books, for providing me with an e-ARC of this book via NetGalley. All thoughts are my own. Blog | Twitter | Instagram | Bloglovin'

  24. 4 out of 5

    BookMadLibrarian

    Goddesses will rise Empires will fall And one girl holds the power to change it all The Merciless Ones is the fantastic sequel to the exhilarating The Gilded Ones set in the Oteran Empire. After ending in a cliffhanger in book one, the sequel begins six months later when Deka is working with the goddesses to rid the empire of the corrupt Jatu and their oppressive regime. Deka is growing as a young woman and warrior, still trying to find her place in the world. A sinister, merciless power is threaten Goddesses will rise Empires will fall And one girl holds the power to change it all The Merciless Ones is the fantastic sequel to the exhilarating The Gilded Ones set in the Oteran Empire. After ending in a cliffhanger in book one, the sequel begins six months later when Deka is working with the goddesses to rid the empire of the corrupt Jatu and their oppressive regime. Deka is growing as a young woman and warrior, still trying to find her place in the world. A sinister, merciless power is threatening what Deka and her friends have fought and bled for. Deka must discover if she holds the key to saving Otera or if she’s its biggest threat. Not everything is what it seems in the blissful world of The Gilded Ones. The second book questions everything that Deka finds out about in The Gilded Ones and I don’t think I’ve ever read a book that absolutely flips and overturns the protagonist’s position and beliefs so dramatically as in this story. I really enjoyed this aspect as it acts as the main catalyst for change in the protagonists as a whole. Deka is constantly evolving in this book and I love how the author has basically deep-dived into Deka’s mind and immersed us in how she is trying to figure out what’s going on, where she now puts herself within this world and all the pain and heartache that it means for her.Deka is far more intense as a protagonist in this novel- lots of introspection and internal monologues so the reader really feels connected to her throughout. The sequel continues the themes of corruption/betrayal, secrets and lies, power, female friendship and kinship- again these are brought to a whole other level by Forna. Deka’s companions stick with her no matter what they face and the bonds and connections that they share are beautiful to read. They share not only love but also pain and heartache and I shed a few tears reading certain passages of the book. I found that this book evokes an even stronger emotional response- it’s truly an emotional rollercoaster not only for the characters but also the reader. Loved the introduction of the Merciless Ones (no spoilers as to what they are!) and be prepared for savage and brutal battle scenes! There are plenty of truly terrifying and disturbing scenes, plot twists and betrayals within this story that will leave you with goosebumps. The strength and resilience of the characters is emphasised to a greater extent in this book and I can’t wait to see how Deka’s journey ends in the third novel. It ends in a cliffhanger of sorts and sets the scene for what must be the final instalment of this epic story. One of the most original and compelling stories I’ve ever read. The Merciless Ones will be a hit for fans of Children of Blood and Bone and the Black Panther. Thank you to NetGalley and Usborne publishing for the arc. The Merciless Ones is out now!

  25. 4 out of 5

    dhwani.

    A perfect sequel to The Gilded Ones (which I rated 5/5 too), The Merciless Ones is dark, adventurous and thoroughly thrilling. It follows the story of Deka, who has finally freed the goddesses but still has to do much more than that to ensure the safety of people in Otera. Enraged by her actions, the jatu are killing and torturing the women even more so, and Deka has to stop it. She comes across a lot of new things which she was never certain existed, hence, with her bloodsisters and the uruni b A perfect sequel to The Gilded Ones (which I rated 5/5 too), The Merciless Ones is dark, adventurous and thoroughly thrilling. It follows the story of Deka, who has finally freed the goddesses but still has to do much more than that to ensure the safety of people in Otera. Enraged by her actions, the jatu are killing and torturing the women even more so, and Deka has to stop it. She comes across a lot of new things which she was never certain existed, hence, with her bloodsisters and the uruni by her side, she is sent on a mission to find an artifact that the goddesses are certain is the reason behind the peculiarities seen among the jatu and the new deathshrieks. However, as she goes about this journey, she encounters a lot of people who make her question her loyalty to the mothers. She discovers powers she never thought she possessed, and a lot many truths are revealed to her. On the other hand, there is also the enigma of the symbol that makes her lose her senses and the story behind it. She knows that whatever she is against is no common army she can defeat easily, and her only weapon to get out of this battle alive and save the people of Otera is herself. I’m the kind of person who doesn’t remember the previous books easily when a sequel is released, and I didn’t have enough time to reread The Gilded Ones. This book, although, summarised the previous points such that I recollected everything perfectly and the elements leading up to the building of the new story weren’t lost. Deka’s character was my favourite, like always. She is written in a way that lays her vulnerable with both her strengths and weaknesses. Her powers don’t mean that she forgets the trauma she has from what happened to her. The side characters were also all so well-written. I loved getting an insight to their backstories and despite having so many side characters, none of them were useless or just standing by. I also liked the fact that unlike other liberal feminist stories, this one focused on the problems faced by all the genders and people instead of the usual man-hating feminism that the mainstream is reverting towards. The values set in this book were so good and I liked that part the most. AND WE LOVE TO SEE BADASS WOMEN FIGHTING AJHBHSB ALL THE CHARACTERS WERE SO SO COOL IMAGINE HAVING POWERS AND FIGHTING TOGETHER AS A TEAM TAKE MY HEART ALREADY!!! There were also so many plot twists and THE ENDING HABJHHJNFJDSB I CAN’T WAIT FOR THE SEQUEL TO BE HERE ALREADY!!! I totally loved this book and please read it and let me know so we can scream about it together!!!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Alicia

    I was so excited for this book. As soon as I finished book one, I knew I needed it. Then for unknown reasons, this isn't being released until July in Australia. So I bought a copy from the UK (and paid more for shipping than I did for the book) but it finally arrived, and it was worth every cent. This book is every bit as brutal as the first, though the MC is tortured significantly less. We don't just see the disparity between how males and females are treated in this book, it also goes into thos I was so excited for this book. As soon as I finished book one, I knew I needed it. Then for unknown reasons, this isn't being released until July in Australia. So I bought a copy from the UK (and paid more for shipping than I did for the book) but it finally arrived, and it was worth every cent. This book is every bit as brutal as the first, though the MC is tortured significantly less. We don't just see the disparity between how males and females are treated in this book, it also goes into those who fall outside of gender 'norms' and how they get treated. But the friendships in this book are everything. In a world full of horrible people and characters, those outliers shine so bright and nobly. I do love a good found family story, and this book definitely falls into that category. There's a bunch of twists and turns, and so much action and adventure going on in this book. I loved how Deka didn't have to be perfect, or completely composed at all times for her friends to accept her lead and respect her. It very much highlighted the point that being strong doesn't require you to be emotionless. Bring on book three!

  27. 5 out of 5

    akacya ♡̷̷ˎˊ

    this is the sequel to the gilded ones. six months ago, deka freed the goddesses and discovered who she truly is. now, she must free the rest of the goddesses, but this task will prove even more difficult due to war, contempt toward jatu and deka herself, and a strange symbol around which deka loses her powers. i don’t remember much about my feelings after finishing the gilded ones, so i can’t properly rate this one against it, BUT this one was pretty amazing! i don’t think it suffered from “second this is the sequel to the gilded ones. six months ago, deka freed the goddesses and discovered who she truly is. now, she must free the rest of the goddesses, but this task will prove even more difficult due to war, contempt toward jatu and deka herself, and a strange symbol around which deka loses her powers. i don’t remember much about my feelings after finishing the gilded ones, so i can’t properly rate this one against it, BUT this one was pretty amazing! i don’t think it suffered from “second book syndrome,” as it was quite compelling and didn’t seem to drag on. anyway, if you enjoyed the gilded ones, you should definitely pick up this action-packed sequel!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Caro Richard

    I absolutely loved The Gilded Ones and was lucky enough to read early in my Fairyloot box so it's felt like a long wait for The Merciless Ones! I found it easy to jump back in and this brilliant world all came flooding back. So we have Deka and her friends and they are a quest of sorts. Deka is getting stronger as the group begin to question what they have been told from all sides. The writing was good and descriptive, the pacing was a bit slow in places but its the relationships here that I abs I absolutely loved The Gilded Ones and was lucky enough to read early in my Fairyloot box so it's felt like a long wait for The Merciless Ones! I found it easy to jump back in and this brilliant world all came flooding back. So we have Deka and her friends and they are a quest of sorts. Deka is getting stronger as the group begin to question what they have been told from all sides. The writing was good and descriptive, the pacing was a bit slow in places but its the relationships here that I absolutely loved! Deka's friendships, sisterhood and Keita (love him!!!) It was truly beautiful. Ixa was another huge favourite for me. He was so cute! Another fave animal companion!!! There were twists and betrayals everywhere! Just who to believe??!!! For some reason I thought this was a duology but it's not, it's a trilogy so now I have to wait for book 3!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Christina

    The Merciless Ones by Namina Forna The sequel to one of my favorite books from last year. I was a little nervous to read this one because The Gilded Ones was so good. Sometimes sequels can read like a copy and paste of the first one with some changes here and there. I feel like this one did a good job of keeping the flow of the first book while not reading predictable (for me at least). It doesn't have that new car smell like the first one but in terms of book sequels, this was definitely in my t The Merciless Ones by Namina Forna The sequel to one of my favorite books from last year. I was a little nervous to read this one because The Gilded Ones was so good. Sometimes sequels can read like a copy and paste of the first one with some changes here and there. I feel like this one did a good job of keeping the flow of the first book while not reading predictable (for me at least). It doesn't have that new car smell like the first one but in terms of book sequels, this was definitely in my top 5. I will definitely be keeping an eye out and preodering the last in this trilogy. #themercilessones #naminaforna #books #bookstagram #turtlesreads #sequel #nothingisasitseems

  30. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    Holy shit. The first thing I looked up was if there was a book 3 because the way this book ended!!!! Holy crap!!!! The found family, the secrets, the fighting, the tender love, the friendships. This book was another 5 star for me. The way the author was able to deliver this sequel!!!! Deka , Brita, Ixa, all of our fave characters are back. The world building was phenomenal!

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