Title: Children Of Blood and Bone
Author: Tomi Adeyemi
Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Books
Publication Date: March 8th 2018
Rating: 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟
Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zelie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls.
But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were targeted and 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 the enemy.
Thank you to the publisher for providing me with an advance reading copy in exchange for an honest review!
Trigger warning for sexual assault.
“HOW STRANGE THAT SHE WAS BORN TO RULE A KINGDOM SHE’S NEVER EVEN SEEN.”
Children Of Blood and Bone destroyed me. I actually finished it weeks ago but I’m only just writing my review because I lost all ability to write coherent sentences to do this incredible book justice. I loved this book so much; I literally can’t stop thinking about it, and I already want to read it again.
Inspired by her West-African heritage, the fantasy world which Adeyemi creates is both fascinating and somewhat familiar. It touches on contemporary issues such as racism and police brutality in a way that never feels too heavy or too preachy, and the compelling history of Orïsha and its loss of magic is well-explained without too many info-dumps.
From the rich world-building to the diverse cast of characters, everything about this book was just so pure. Told in multiple narrative, the perspectives of Zélie, Amari and Inan are incredibly distinctive and each of their voices was so captivating that I never preferred reading one over the other. There was so much character development, and conflict, and happiness, and heartbreak that this book was basically just me screaming for 600 pages.
AND I’M STILL GOING TO SHOUT ABOUT IT. The world needs to know just how much I love my problematic son Inan, the one character whose fate I’m truly worried about in book two. Is he dead? Is he alive? Is he eating well? I loved how conflicted he was throughout the entire book, even though it literally broke my heart to see it. Also, Zélie’s trauma after her torture and the constant flashbacks of her mother’s death as well as Amari’s guilt over Binta. I just wanted to hug them all and protect them from their cruel world. Even though Tzain did not get his own chapters, he also deserves some appreciation here because he was honestly so soft towards Zélie and Amari? The sibling dynamics in this book are so pure and CAN WE PLEASE HAVE MORE OF THIS IN YA?
Despite it being quite a lengthy first book in a series, the fast-pacing of the plot and the relatively short chapters meant I easily got through it, to the point where I only had like 40 pages left and was literally at the edge of my seat waiting for death and betrayal to seize my heart. I honestly did not want it to end.
Overall, Children Of Blood and Bone deserves all the hype it’s getting and so much more. The world-building is magical (quite literally), the characters are well-crafted and realistic and the conflict and love between them is unbelievably pure. You really do need this book in your life.
P.S. I would totally kill to protect my children. The red-sprayed edges of my finished copy is actually from the blood of their enemies.