Book: Children of Blood and Bone
Series: Legacy of Orïsha, #1
Author: Tomi Adeyemi
Genre: YA Fantasy
My 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.
Children of Blood and Bone received so much hype, and for very good reason. I can honestly say it deserves all the hype and praise. I’d give it all the stars if I possibly could. While I feel like it reads like a typical YA fantasy story, I was so engrossed in the world, the magical system, the gorgeous writing, and the complex characters. Not to mention that the themes of police brutality and racial profiling that are common in our modern society is so accurately portrayed in this fantasy world as well.
Children of Blood and Bone is told in three alternating POVs: Zelie, Amari, and Inan. Zelie and her brother, Tzain, live in a small fishing village under the reign of a tyrannical King who wants all magic to be dead. Zelie is a Diviner, someone who has been touched by the gods and given magical powers. With the help of Tzain and Amari, the crown princess, they go on a journey to fight to bring magic back to Orisha. The crown prince, Inan, is constantly hot on their heels to try to stop them.
Now lets talk about the good and the bad:
- The magical system and world building. There are several different gods (clans) with each of their own special powers. It is so cool to read about how unique each one is. Don’t forget to consult the chart in the book!
- So much action. Everything is GO GO GO. It is a long book but I read it within a few days. It is such a face paced story.
- POC representation! I can’t even say how important this is and how much it meant to me.
- Strong lead female characters. Not only was Zelie so incredibly strong, but Amari, who is supposed to be a “delicate princess” is a badass, too. She knows how to wield a sword!
- Beautiful writing. Adeyemi is only 23 years old. Can you believe that!? I am, like, a million years old compared to her, and I can hardly string along a coherent sentence sometimes. Her writing is woven so intricately to bring these characters and the world of Orisha to life.
- The relationships. I loved the sister/brother dynamic between Zelie and Tzain. Ok, so Tzain’s guilt-tripping may have put me off sometimes, but overall they made a great team. I hope we get Tzain’s perspective in the next book.
- The morally grey Prince Inan. I have some mixed feelings about him, and I wasn’t sure if I should put him in The Good or The Bad category. I think, overall, I liked him. He has been brought up to always put duty before self, even if it means killing innocents. His morally flip-flopping did get annoying at times, so I hope he’s more well fleshed out in the next book.
- A bit too much “journeying” for my liking. I know I’m really grasping at straws here. I don’t think this is necessarily a bad thing, but the constant journeying felt redundant. Again, this might not bother you at all! I’m just being nit picky. 🙂
Overall Children of Blood and Bone was such an enjoyable experience with a powerful message. I loved the action, the characters, the world. I absolutely cannot wait for the next book. I know this has become one of my top five favorite books of 2018.