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…
This book is truly a feminist girl power book.
We start off in the book with women being a ‘distraction’ to men and girls are told from a young age that they are subservient to men, their main purpose is to serve men, be their life mates and be housewives. There is nothing else they can be.
That is unless their blood is not pure, in this case, their blood runs gold and then they are seen as demons and impure. It means that they are killed and their blood is drained and sold. For Deka it meant that her father turned his back on her, she was killed and resurrected multiple times.
I really loved watching Deka grow, from not trusting anyone to finding her true family. White Hands becomes practically a mother to Deka, but there is still something that I am wary of with White Hands, we know the secrets she has been hiding so far but I still feel like there is something more she is hiding.
I really liked Deka and Britta’s relationship, it was so nice to see Deka find a true friend who understands what she has gone through. I also really like her relationship with her uruni, Keita, I loved watching them go from wary of each other to loving each other.
The only thing I found off-putting about this book was the jumps in time. For me personally, the book didn’t flow as nicely as I thought it would but again that is just for me. Everything else I really loved.
This was a solid 3.5-star read.