THE INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTELLER! “Namina Forna Could Be The Toni Morrison Of YA Fantasy.” –Refinery 29 “Fans of Children of Blood and Bone, Mulan, and the Dora Milaje from Black Panther are going to adore this one.” –BuzzFeed
"A dark feminist tale spun with blood and gold. Must read!" –Dhonielle Clayton, New York Times bestsellingauthor of The Belles The most anticipated fantasy of 2021. In this world, girls are outcasts by blood and warriors by choice. Get ready for battle. Sixteen-year-old Deka lives in fear and anticipation of the blood ceremony that will determine whether she will become a member of her village. Already different from everyone else because of her unnatural intuition, Deka prays for red blood so she can finally feel like she belongs. But on the day of the ceremony, her blood runs gold, the color of impurity–and Deka knows she will face a consequence worse than death. Then a mysterious woman comes to her with a choice: stay in the village and submit to her fate, or leave to fight for the emperor in an army of girls just like her. They are called alaki–near-immortals with rare gifts. And they are the only ones who can stop the empire's greatest threat. Knowing the dangers that lie ahead yet yearning for acceptance, Deka decides to leave the only life she's ever known. But as she journeys to the capital to train for the biggest battle of her life, she will discover that the great walled city holds many surprises. Nothing and no one are quite what they seem to be–not even Deka herself. The start of a bold and immersive fantasy series for fans of Children of Blood and Bone and Black Panther.