Synopsis: Zélie remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. When different clans ruled – Burners igniting flames, Tiders beckoning waves, and Zélie’s Reaper mother summoning forth souls.
But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, anyone with powers was targeted and killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope. Only a few people remain with the power to use magic, and they must remain hidden.
Zélie is one such person. Now she has a chance to bring back magic to her people and srike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must learn to harness her powers and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.
Danger lurks in Orïsha, where strange creatures prowl, and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to come to terms with the strength of her magic – and her growing feelings for an enemy.
Author: Tomi Adeyemi
I am in awe of the world Tomi Adeyemi has created.
Children of Blood and Bone is bursting with diversity, magic, and an incredible thought-provoking plot that was inspired by the black lives movement currently sweeping across America.
If you have not yet read it then I urge you to stop what you’re doing (unless, y’know, it’s important) and pick this book up and start reading. You’ll not be disappointed.
I’m extremely annoyed at myself for taking two months to finish this book. It’s completely unacceptable.
Where do I start to tell you about such an incredible book, one that hits hard with the racial and political themes that resonate deeply given the current climate within America? Adeyemi tells this story in a way that hits hard and deep. If you don’t find yourself seething from the injustice and oppression that Zélie, her family, and her community are subjected to then are you even human?
And if the themes of this book are not your cup of tea and you just want to escape to a world away from your own then I still urge you to read it. Within the pages of this book is where you’ll find yourself immersed in a vibrant world full of fantasy and folklore.
Zélie, with her beautiful and bold white hair, is a Divîner – someone who is capable of but does not possess any magic. The Divîners magic was taken from them during The Raid by King Saran and his people. Zélie lost more than most that night; while her people were mourning the loss of their magic, Zélie was mourning the loss of her mother, a powerful Maji cruelly snatched from her during The Raid, and the loss of life she had once known. Oppression kept Zélie, the other Divîners, and the rest of their community from rebelling against the king and his men. It is the bold white locks at the top of the Divîners heads that lets the king’s men know that magic could have one day run through their veins.
Then, after the king’s men arrived to collect taxes from her people, after once again hiking up the prices, Zélie has had enough. She decides to fight back. With a limited window of opportunity to restore magic to her people and her land, Zélie is on a race against time – and the king’s men – to complete her daunting task. But she’s not alone. Fighting alongside her is her brother, Tzain, and Princess Amari, the daughter of King Saran, who will do anything in her power to bring her father down and seek justice for all those whose lives were torn apart at the hands of her father.
One thing that was evident right from the very beginning of this book was just how strong all the female characters are. I mentioned in a previous review that reading about female characters, especially in a fantasy novel, is somewhat of a hit or miss situation for me. Children of Blood and Bone was a hit. A huge hit. They’re not these all-powerful warriors who are perfect in every way. Instead, they’re both powerful and vulnerable; intelligent and idiotic; and selfless and selfish. I couldn’t get enough of these characters. It’s so hard to pick a favourite. Zélie or Amari? Amari or Zélie? And let’s not forget Mama Agba, who is hands down one of the most badass characters – and woman – in the entire book.
And let’s not forget the men. Inan, Amari’s brother and the crown prince, broke my heart. I don’t want to spoil this book for anyone who hasn’t read it yet (seriously, you need to get on that pronto!) but if you have then I need you to talk to me about Inan. Am I going to be controversial when I say that I liked him? Inan’s journey was one of the hardest to read. It’s hard to talk about him, about why I both loved and despised him, without giving too much away. READ. THE. BOOK. PLEASE. Then come and talk to me, especially about that ending. I’m still reeling from it, but more on that in a moment.
But, also, there was Tzain. My heart hurt for him. While it was Zélie who was tasked with restoring magic to the world (no pressure or anything), it was Tzain who had the most resting on his shoulders. With his mother dead, responsibility landed on Tzain to care for his frail father and reckless sister, whose impulsivity and penchant for not thinking was going to get her killed one day. Tzain suffers physically, mentally, and emotionally, yet he never loses his burden of responsibility. His journey takes you on a wild ride. TOMI ADEYEMI, WHY YOU DO THIS? Tzain needs – deserves – so much better in the sequel.
My one issue with this book was the relationships. Not the platonic ones because I lived for those. More Zélie and Amari please! Their blossoming sisterhood kept me going. My issue was with the romantic relationships. Well, relationship. Singular. There was one that bothered me. It felt forced and not at all realistic. I enjoy the enemy-turned-lovers trope as much as the next person (it makes me all warm and fuzzy inside, sue me), but this one seemed a bit too much for me. To me, love doesn’t happen like that. Love doesn’t happen overnight. It felt predictable, and it was this predictability and the forceful nature of this romance that caused me to lose all love with it. That being said, I could have seen it happening in the future, especially after one particular scene towards the end of the book. But, then, the ending happened and, well, you’ll have to see for yourself.
If you want a story that’s going to make you invested in the characters, that’s going to stab you like a dagger to the heart, then, to add insult to injury, twist that knife and leave you on a cliffhanger, then you’ll definitely want to pick this book up. Like yesterday. The ending was explosive and enthralling. I’m still reeling from it and it’s been a couple of days since I finished the book. It’s going to feel like an incredibly long wait until the sequel is released in March 2019. Why, oh why, must it be so far away?!
My one piece of advice to you is to dedicate time to reading this masterpiece. It took me two months from starting it to finishing it, which, as I mentioned before, I’m so annoyed at myself for doing. My schedule is so full on that certain activities start becoming non-existent, which includes reading *sob*. The fact that I was only reading a few pages a night started to cause a disconnect between myself and the story, which, I’ll admit, probably made me take longer to read it. This story deserves your undivided attention if you can afford it.
On an exciting note, have you heard that the rights to this book were snapped up before it was published? That’s right, WE’RE GETTING A MOVIE!
Are you going to read Children of Blood and Bone? Have you read it already? Tell me what you loved and disliked.