Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi ~ 525 pages ~ published 3/6/18 by Henry Holt Books for Young Readers
They killed my mother.
They took our magic.
They tried to bury us.
Now we rise.
Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zélie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls.
But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope.
Now Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.
Danger lurks in Orïsha, where snow leoponaires prowl and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to control her powers and her growing feelings for an enemy.
What I Thought:
I went into this book really hoping it would live up to all of the hype surrounding it, and I’m happy to say that I definitely feel like it did. I am not usually a big fan of fantasy. I do like it, but it is not what I tend to gravitate towards. However, the fantasy aspect of the story was not completely overwhelming. I was able to really enjoy the characters themselves, as well as the overarching message of the story.
I really love a character driven story, and I feel like this was very character-centric. I enjoyed all three of the main characters: Zélie, Amari, and Inan. While there were moments that I found Zélie a little frustrating, I was still very much on her side for the entire novel. I think my favorite character might have been Amari because she grows so much throughout the story. Of all of the characters, I felt like her character arc was the most complete and believable. I am on the fence about Inan…I really can’t decide how I feel about him. Perhaps I will have a better feel for my feelings about him in the next book.
I also have to say that, going into this book, I knew very little about West African culture and beliefs, so that was extremely interesting to me! I am a huge history nerd, as you all know, so I really loved that aspect of the story. 🙂
The overall message of the book, concerning prejudice, tyranny, and police brutality, I felt was very well done. It certainly brought the message home, but without me feeling like I was being beaten over the head with it. I always enjoy when an author can get across a particular point in an elegant way that will cause someone to potentially think about an issue from a different perspective. So, well done Tomi Adeyemi!
I gave Children of Blood and Bone 5 STARS. If you enjoy fantasy with some social commentary and a little bit of real world history and culture thrown in, then this is a great book for you to pick up!
If you are interested in learning more about this book/series, check out the links below!
Have you read Children of Blood and Bone? Are you excited for the sequel? Do you enjoy fantasy? How did you feel about the social commentary woven throughout the story? Let me know down in the comments!
Love and happy reading,