Book Review: Children Of Blood And Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

Book: Children Of Blood And Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

Published March 2018 by Henry Holt Books For Young Readers|525 pages

Where I Got It: I own it…in print!

Series: Legacy Of Orisha #1

Genre: YA Fantasy

Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut, perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo and Sabaa Tahir.

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.

If you read one book this year, please, please, please let it be this one.

Before reading Children Of Blood And Bones, my answer would have been American Panda or The Belles.  That changed, and while my answer could change (there’s a lot of reading left to do), I hope it hope it doesn’t.

Children Of Blood And Bone is absolutely amazing.  I was pretty excited about it, but I was more excited when I saw the book launch would at Mysterious Galaxy.  And after hearing the conversation between Adeyemi and Marie Lu about this book, I was even more excited.

It’s such an intense book, and even though it’s a fantasy set in West Africa, Zelie’s world felt so familiar to me.  There are a lot of parallels to our world, and the entire time I was reading it, I couldn’t help but think about oppression and genocide and injustice.

Zelie is amazing, and I really felt her heartbreak and sorrow at losing so many people.  Her heartbreak was real, and for some reason, it really made me miss my grandma, more than I already do.  Of course, the loss of my grandma, and the loss of her mom are very different.  Losing people the way the Zelie lost people…it’s not something that I have to think about or worry about, and I know I said this a couple of sentences ago, but you feel it the entire book.

The world…there are no words that are good enough to describe how amazing this world is.  The further I read, the more amazing Zelie’s world became.  There were no info-dumps, I could picture everything very clearly, and everything was explained so well.  This is not going to be one of those series where I never get the information I so desperately need and want.  The world building felt very natural and not at all forced, and everything we learn builds on what we already know.  It is so well-paced and there’s a lot of action, of course, but the book never drags or feels slow.

We follow three different characters in this book, and normally that’s something that is hit or miss for me- with a strong emphasis on the miss.  But it worked really well.  We follow, Zelie, of course, in her amazing-ness.  And while Amari seems naive, especially at first, she really proved me wrong by the end of the book.  I love the friendship that she and Zelie develop.  These are two people who I assumed would not be great friends, and yet, they have this really strong friendship by the end of the book.  And we also follow Inan, who definitely struggles between what he has to be and what he has to do, and also with who he really is.  Which I can relate to, and I feel like others can relate to as well.  But in comparison to Zelie, and even Amari, he kind of took a backseat.

Don’t get me wrong, his chapters are very important, since he is on…the opposing side…for a lack of better phrasing.  Even one of the three characters not narrating would take away from the story and the world.  There’s a really good balance between the characters, and I feel like you see so many different perspectives in this book.

The magic was really unique, and I loved that there were so many different kinds of magic.  I can’t wait to see more of the magic in the next book, and it’s going to be a long wait to see what happens next, especially with how the book ended.

I feel there are no words that are good enough to describe how much I loved this book.  I know it’s long and there’s a lot of hype, but it is absolutely worth it, and please don’t let that keep you from reading Children Of Blood And Bone.

5 stars.  This was a heartbreaking but truly magic fantasy that is completely deserving of all of the hype. If you pick up one book this year, this is the one to read.

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