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Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orisha) Hardcover – March 6, 2018
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From the Publisher
Tomi Adeyemi’s debut novel is the start of what promises to be an epic, addictive new series. The Children of Blood and Bone is influenced by Adeyemi’s West African heritage, and in it she bends religious deities (the Orïsha) and a diverse landscape into a refreshing new take on fantasy. The Children of Blood and Bone is told from multiple points of view, as Inan and Amari, children of the iron-fisted king, and Zélie and Tzain, siblings who have suffered greatly under the king’s regime, find themselves on a dark, magic-filled quest for power. Their journey is accompanied by violence and betrayal, but friendship and even star-crossed love also play a part. Enriched with themes that resonate in today’s social and political landscape, The Children of Blood and Bone takes on injustice, discrimination, and a struggle for change. The action and danger ramp up with each chapter, and I found myself racing through the final pages, holding my breath right up to the cliffhanger ending. -- Seira Wilson for the Amazon Book Review
“A magnificent, heartrending, earthshaking debut.” ―New York Times-bestselling author Daniel José Older
"Powerful, captivating, and raw―Adeyemi is a talent to watch. Exceptional." ―Kirkus, Starred Review
"Adeyemi’s devastating debut is a brutal, beautiful tale of revolution, faith, and star-crossed love." ―Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
"... Adeyemi keeps it fresh with an all-black cast of characters, a meaningful emphasis on fighting for justice, a complex heroine saving her own people, and a brand of magic made more powerful by the strength of heritage and ancestry. Perfect for fans of the expansive fantasy worlds of Leigh Bardugo, Daniel Jose´ Older, and Sabaa Tahir." ―Booklist, Starred Review
"...A refreshing YA fantasy with an all–West African cast of characters that should be on every shelf." ―School Library Journal, Starred Review
"This is an exceptional debut from the author and will have a huge audience desperately waiting for more. Children of Blood and Bone is perfect for fans of Nnedi Okorafor, Nancy Farmer, and Angie Thomas." ―VOYA, Starred Review
"Nigerian culture and geography... give this fantasy a distinct flavor, further distinguished by the intensity of emotion." ―Horn Book
Top customer reviews
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I love that women were central to the story, and I appreciate the way that the relationship between Zélie and Amari developed. It is an empowering story on many levels. I don't think I've ever read a fantasy or science fiction book where ALL the characters were Black, and I tried to make sure I pictured the characters as the author intended, occasionally catching myself and having to re-draw a character in my head.
As someone who pretty much never re-reads a book, I will be reading this one again. And of course, I am already anticipating the sequel. I can’t wait to find out what happens and I'm hoping we get to meet more of the different clans. I also really hope they get the movie right, because it could be amazing on the big screen.
I've read some pretty good books in the past year, but this is without a doubt my favorite.
Thank you Tomi for bringing a story to my family that has so many levels: strong female characters, a worthy struggle, and a clear method of analogy to discuss the difficulties of race in our country.
The characters are divine.
I LOVED the different perspectives. Every one of them. Zélie is the perfect protagonist because she’s vibrant and projects real vulnerabilities and a ferocity that’s easy to identify with and root for. Amari is a gem and a sweetheart and her character’s growth was my favorite of the three leads. And Inan, he was the most compelling character for me since he’s so tragic, with his conflicted beliefs and destructive actions. Aside from the leads, there are many secondary characters that pulled me into the story. Zélie’s brother is a hero and a true prince and I would’ve loved a few scenes from his perspective. The king is a great villain, and I enjoyed reading about his backstory. Actually, I loved reading about all the characters’ backstories and how their stories were connected to Orïsha. My only complaint, and it’s a tiny one, is that there were a few characters who...left too soon and I would’ve loved more scenes with them. But hell, it’s the first book in a YA series and already 525 pages so everyone couldn’t have gotten a POV, right?
The story gripped me and the pace thrilled me.
I found CBB to be a quickly paced read bursting with action (and violence!) and magic. The chapters are relatively short, and each and every scene grabbed my attention. Seriously, every one. There isn’t excessive world building which I loved since I think it helped the story move along at a pace that matches the urgency of the stakes the characters face. I had to force myself to slow down and savor it, and I still felt like it ended too soon when it was over. Not to say there aren’t a few quiet moments, because there are, and I loved those moments since they allowed me to get to know the characters and for the characters to know each other. (Loved those dream sequences!)
The message and themes are profound and universal.
This is a story about fear and intolerance and how that leads to violence and oppression. Orïsha is a fractured nation with a horrific past, and a hopeless future for too many who live without freedom. This is a fantasy land, but it’s clear it draws from real life atrocities that occur daily in the world around us and that allows this novel to have weight. The stakes are high, and the trauma is real and personal. It’s also a story about faith and believing in a power greater than yourself. It’s about believing in people and how we’re all connected as one. Yes, it tackles some tough and distressing issues, and the characters experience so much pain and strife, but there is hope and there is love and moments of joy and humor.
There’s also romance.
Though it’s not the central theme of the novel, and when you look at the novel it doesn’t take up much space, there is romance for a few characters. One romantic plot is intense and fast, and the other is more slow burning, but they both added depth to the story and softer layers to the world filled with terror and rage. It also provided sweetness and relief from the urgency to succeed in their quest.
The more intense romance could potentially be unsatisfying for a few readers since its intensity builds quickly over a short span of time. For me, I loved it for the way it unfolded and how—I’m trying not to give too much away—the author uses the magic to allow these characters to connect on a deeper level than would be possible in a different setting.
The other romantic plot line didn’t delve as deeply into the characters’ feelings, but there’s much room to grow for that love story and I’m so excited to see how it plays out.
They’re endless, and I’m sure they’ll be torturous. This is the first in a series, so it’s not a spoiler to say it ends with a cliffhanger, and I’m so happy to say it ends on one of the better cliffhangers that I’ve read. The journey that these characters travel throughout the story does climax in the final chapter, but it’s the type of bang that is really a beginning. I have re-read the epilogue a few times and my mind is dizzy with different possibilities. I’m going down so many different roads, and my excitement continues to build because I just know the next book is going to be amazing. It must be—this world is amazing. I want more. I WANT MORE.
CHILDREN OF BLOOD AND BONE is all that I hoped it would be. It’s all that I hoped it would be. How often does that happen? It’s a wonderful feeling.