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Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orisha (1)) 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
New York Times Notable Children's Books of 2018
TIME Top 10 Best YA and Children's Books of 2018
NPR's Book Concierge 2018 Great Reads List
Bustle's Top 25 Best Young Adults Books of 2018
2018 Kirkus Prize Finalist
Paste Magazine’s 30 Best YA Novels of 2018
Newsweek’s 61 Best Books from 2018
Boston Globe’s Best Children's Books of 2018
Publishers Weekly Best YA Books of 2018
School Library Journal Best Books of 2018
Chicago Public Library Best Books of 2018
New York Public Library Top Ten Showstopper Favorite of 2018 (Notable 100 Books for Kids)
A TAYSHAS 2019 Reading List Pick
2019 YALSA Best Fiction Pick
2019 YALSA Teen's Top Ten List
“A magnificent, heartrending, earthshaking debut.” ―New York Times-bestselling author Daniel José Older
"High stakes, a captivating fantasy landscape, and a brave heroine worth rooting for make Children of Blood and Bone unlike anything I've ever read." ―Kami Garcia, #1 New York Times bestselling co-author of Beautiful Creatures and author of The Lovely Reckless
"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
“Meet Tomi Adeyemi―the new J.K. Rowling. (Yep, she’s that good).” ―Entertainment Weekly
“Poses thought-provoking questions about race, class and authority that hold up a warning mirror to our sharply divided society.” –The New York Times
“A fast-paced, excellently crafted hero's journey…populated with compelling and nuanced black characters.” –NPR
“A debut novel that is nearly impossible to put down.”–USA Today
“Adeyemi’s writing is beautiful and immersive.” –Tor.com
“A miraculous achievement.” –The Guardian
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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.
Top international reviews
I also felt that the story's message was pretty poignant. It presented a world where an entire group of people have been down-trodden for years - stripped of their right to defend themselves and treated like second-class citizens in their own country - which is certainly something that resonates with the politics of today. However, it also does a great job of showing that this isn't so clear cut. The maji and the kosidán are both guilty of terrible crimes in this story and the novel makes clear that there will never be an easy peace between the two races. While there are good and bad people in the novel, there are also a lot of shades of grey and terrible situations that move their hands.
In terms of structure, the novel flows well and I certainly never got bored despite its length. Adeyemi's writing is very evocative and easy to read. However, it should be noted that the print edition has a very small font. If you have any visual impairment, I'd suggest buying an eBook of this novel. While I did love every minute of reading it, there were a few small things that frustrated me. The main one was the ending, as the novel broke off on a very abrupt cliffhanger which left a lot hanging for the sequel. The story also felt a lot like Avatar: The Last Airbender. If you've watched this excellent cartoon, you will recognise a number of characters and plot points that were lifted directly from this series.
In terms of character, I also had a few issues. On the whole, I loved the core cast. They were all very complicated characters who learned and developed through their experiences as the novel progressed. Zélie learned to not see the world in black and white, Amari found her courage and Inan was forced to choose between his duty to the throne or the people he would one day rule. However, the characters were all wildly indecisive. I appreciate that they were in a difficult situation, but Inan in particular would flip back and forth between wanting to destroy magic and protect it at a drop of a hat.
There were also a couple of romances in the story that felt really shoehorned in. After taking half the book to trust Amari, Zélie forgave and developed feelings for Inan within a couple of chapters. The relationship between Amari and Tzain also felt forced. They exchanged smiles a couple of times and then seemed to become a couple out of nowhere. Neither of these relationships felt very natural and I felt they could probably have been saved for a later story.
Anyhow, on the whole this is a really promising start to the series and, despite my issues, I would definitely recommend it. I am really excited to see what adventures the sequel will hold.
Why did it have to end there?! This is serious Book Hangover material. BE WARNED. Sometimes I think publishing a series one book at a time should be outlawed.
What a read. What a cast! What a great story. This is one of the best books I've read in years - I think the series is going to be incredible. It is such a beautiful celebration of African culture, love, family and the unerring belief in doing the right thing. It is also a novel filled with unexpected twists and turns. I never knew how each chapter was going to end, never mind the whole story.
We meet Zélie when she is competing in a fighting competition. She's bold, stubborn and has a vein of anger running beneath her veins, along with the crushed remnants of her maji heritage. Crushed, because magic was wiped out years ago, during a brutal massacre called The Raid. Zélie's mother was murdered during this same massacre, and now she fights so she will never have to suffer that same fate.
The first chapter had me hooked, and I was perfectly happy to read a novel focused on this fighting competiton. But that's not the story Adeyemi wanted to tell. Within a few chapters, Zélie has left that world completely behind her, after running into Amari, a princess who has escaped the palace with a relic which has the ability to bring back magic.
The tale which ensues is thrilling. Adeyemi writes her characters with so much depth, so many emotions bubbling to the surface, that the reader can't help but become embroiled in the narrative. It certainly helpes that the novel is written from the perspective of our 4 main characters: Zélie, her brother Tzain, Amari and her brother Inan. Each character is clearly defined, different from the others and motivated by their own, detailed backstories.
There is a strong thread of family running through the entire novel, which resonates with me as I'm one of four siblings. There is nothing more important than family for keeping you grounded, telling you when you've messed up, and lifing you up when you've done something well. Children of Blood and Bone is a true celebration of family, and it was a truly enjoyable read.
I cannot wait to find out what happens next.
P.S. This novel has been optioned for film release - if you're someone like me who loves to read the book first, get in there quick!
The POV shifts between three main characters: Zélie, Amari, Inan. The plot is fast-paced and intense with only a few areas of let up, so be prepared for a roller-coaster of a read. The story covers oppression, genocide, racial control, and many other ills that ail the real world. Having said that, it doesn't read like an allegory but as true fantasy.
The characters come to life, and while they have moments of immaturity, this only makes them more real based on the ages they're supposed to be. I would expect older teens to swing between childishness and adult maturity. In a way, this aspect lends the tale an element of coming-of-age as well as the other points mentioned. From page one, the characterisation and scene-setting pulled me right in.
While the ending is a bit of a cliff-hanger, the storyline does round up a lot of loose threads. However, this is not a stand-alone novel. This is the first ever book I've bought just because of its trailer. That led me to Amazon's look inside feature, and from there, I never had a choice! I can't wait for book 2 to be released in 2019. I can't recommend it highly enough.
I was so nervous to start this book because of all the hype surrounding it, but I can definitely see why it's so popular. I was intrigued from the very first page as Tomi Adeyemi has a way of creating atmosphere and setting, without chucking in a load of unnecessary words. So I would describe her writing as powerful and straight to the point. The opening was a perfect way to introduce us to Zelie's world, it was exciting and a meaningful glimpse at the resilience that Zelie displays throughout the book. It is also quite incredible how the hierarchy in Orisha is so clearly established in just the first chapter, you know exactly what it means to be a diviner/ 'maggot' in Orisha.
The early chapters that followed were just as good as the first, however I started to find myself becoming less interested as the characters began traveling. It didn't really carry the same energy of the earlier chapters. Also by this point, we were reading quite a few chapters from Prince Inan's perspective and I found them to be quite repetitive. If I'm honest, I was really worried that the book was going to be a disappointment and this is what prevented it from getting a full 5 stars.
Things really started to pick up again when Zelie, her brother Tzain and Princess Amari had a run in with a mysterious stranger, who provides some very important information/help for their quest. And then came one of the stand out moments of the novel, the story of how the Gods came to be. It was truly magical to read about their origins and it really helped reignite my excitement for this book. Adeyemi described the Gods and their story so beautifully that it wasn't hard for you to vividly picture every aspect.
I liked Zelie and I enjoyed witnessing her growth, but I do think she was unnecessarily mean to Amari at times, even though Amari proved herself time and time again. I loved how their relationship developed, as there was definitely an aura of girl power surrounding them towards the end. Out of all the characters, Amari was the one who stole the show for me. It was nothing short of a miracle, how she progressed from a timid mouse to a roaring Lionaire and with the other characters being so intense all the time, she was like a breath of fresh air.
Tzain was a much needed character to me as he really allowed us to see a softer, more likeable side to Zelie, as he only wished to protect his little sister and she longed not to disappoint her big brother. Prince Inan was a very complex individual indeed, he changed his mind more times than I can count. Even with chapters from his perspective I was constantly questioning why on earth is he doing this or that. I guess given how he's been brought up it's understandable that he'd be so conflicted about what's wrong or right. Consequently Inan was very unpredictable and therefore very interesting, and I can't wait to find out why he's different. I really enjoyed his relationship with Zelie and their moments together were my favourite to read, especially in the dreamscape!!!! I'm really intrigued to see what lies ahead for him due to his actions at the end of the book.
I'm really grateful to the author for having characters that weren't stupid!! By this I mean characters that actually thought before they did things, this helped the plot flow really nicely and clearly. This is one of those books that gets better and better as you keep on reading. There were so many exciting characters and surprises that popped up towards the end of the book. It ended on quite a big shocker so I'm more than eager to read the next installment!!!
The novel is YA and follows three POVs: Zelie, Amari and Inan. When princess Amari decides to revolt against her evil father's rule, she takes off with a magic-inducing artifact and tries to escape. She bumps into Zelie quite by accident, and the pair begin an adventure to restore magic to the land of Orisha, with the ultimate goal being to overthrow the evil king. Inan is Amari's brother and swears to bring her back, as well as Zelie's head, who is thought to be the instigator in it all.
All the different POVs were all very well written and I agree with other comments that they added to the plot and gave a unique view point as opposed to simply being there to pad out the story. I really enjoyed reading them, and I loved discovering the powers and magic of Orisha. That said, there was one thing that really, really put me off. (Spoiler alert!)
The romance! I just don't think it was necessary. I was kind of expecting it, but I thought it would probably have come into a sequel as opposed to the opening of a series. I'm just not sure if it worked that well, and everything that happened could have worked fine without the added romance. I'm a fan of the slow burn and this just seemed to go from 0-60 in about three pages. Moreover, I did feel like there was quite a saggy middle and at one point it did feel like I had to force myself to finish the novel. I've been thinking about this for a while though, and I can't put my finger on why this is. The prose is great, the characters are great... maybe it's just not for me?
In addition, this fulfills every pet peeve I have about fantasy novels. It ends on a cliffhanger. This is a deal breaker for me. I hate not having resolution, I hate being goaded into buying a second/third installment, and for that reason: I'm out.
The book is set in a world, Orïsha, where magic was manipulated by gifted beings called the Maji. However, one night the magic disappeared and a vengeful king took the throne, killing the Maji, and punishing their children. But all of a sudden there is a shift and it seems that magic wasn't all gone...
Children of Blood and Bone is beautifully written, the world is seems well crafted so far, and I thoroughly enjoyed to see the situations from different perspectives, so you see the world from a Maggot's perspective (a descendant of the Maji), as well as from the perspective of the Princess and her brother. These POV's definitely work very well and add substance to the story, as well as tackling prejudice in different ways. I also must say that Zelie is a total bass a**! I enjoyed her fighting sequences so much, I am in love!
The writing is also good. I generally prefer more contemporary fantasy; books that are set in a different world I find them quite confusing and hard to relate with, however I had no problem with this one so far as the writing flows really well. The characters are also spot on and you know in who's head you are thinking.
As with many Young Adult novels, Children Of Blood And Bone is also love story—in the romantic and familial sense—as well as a story of self discovery. The added beauty of this narrative is its Afro-mysticism: a genre that is finally getting its deserved spotlight after existing off the fringes of literary discourse, and being conflated with magic-realism. In this Afro-mystical novel, the magical, in the African sense, is not othered as something from a scary, unknown, feared presence but, rather, portrayed as a gift from the deities. These deities are pointedly inspired by the Nigerian, Yoruba tradition.
In Yoruba tradition, children are named to reflect the circumstance of birth, or, as prophecy into their destinies. The names given to a child usually holds weight both on paper and when sounded out. In both reading and sounding out the names—particularly of the four central characters—I felt no depth. On the other hand, as a friend suggests, the ambiguity of the names could be seen as representative of the loss of and disdain for magic across Orïsha. In this sense, Zélie and Tzain’s names can be seen to reflect the new Maji existence under their tyrannical, magic-hating ruler, and displacement from their true identity. Though this perspective is equally valid, it is with one exception: the novel’s time frame.
That aside, it's a really good read that explores a good number of themes in a unique way. A must-read! Looking forward to the sequel: Children Of Virtue and Vengeance!
Orïsha was a world of magic - until the Raid. Now Zélie wants to bring the magic back.
It's a story about magic, evil kings and heroic teenagers - but it's also a story about oppression. People with the capacity for magic (divîners) are born with white hair - before the Raid, this was seen as a good thing - since then, it's has been something to hate. The peoples connection to the gods has be severed, and as a result, the magic is gone. Now divîners are 'maggots', heavily taxed and massively abused.
A young divîner, Zélie, soon learns of a secret ritual which could just bring restore her connection with the gods, and bring the magic back to Orïsha. She sets off, with her brother and a princess, on an epic quest to right the wrongs of the kingdom.
What I liked...
I usually struggle to imagine characters without reverting to the handful of famous actors I really like - but this wasn't an issue while reading this book. The world and it's characters were bought to life by Adeyemi, and by the end of the first few chapters I had a beautiful (and cruel) new world whirling around in my head.
This book plunged me into a beautiful, magical world. The writing is wonderful - it's easy to read and the story is gripping. I finished it in 2 days - I think my sister read it all in one sitting. We were both hooked, from start to finish and begging for more!
I usually find I enjoy the plot more than the characters in most stories, but this wasn't the case. The characters in Children of Blood and Bone and amazing. The two main characters (Zélie and Princess Amari) are strong women - both physically and spiritually - and the supporting cast is full of strong women too. This is also a refreshing change from the usual mostly male cast and (if you're lucky) supporting damsel dynamic. But they are also beautifully written. The characters feel real - you understand their motivations and their desires and their pain. This is true of all the major characters - none of them feel like 'set dressing''.
The premise is fun - magic and fantasy are an enjoyable medium - but it has this strong theme of resisting oppression that is really compelling. At no point would you say this story was 'frivolous' or a 'fun romp', it's set in a fantasy setting, but the issues are hard-hitting and real.
One of my favourite elements of storytelling is world building - if an author manages to construct a world that you can really believe it is a joy. If an author leaves you begging to know everything about the world, the mythology and the people it is a treasure - and on these points Adeyemi really delivers! There is so much about the world of Orïsha you want to explore (and a whole world beyond). The mythology she has created (and I must admit mythology is one of my true pleasures) is beautiful in it's presentation, and I could happily read any number of books detailing the creation stories and magical practices that are part of this book.
Finally, the 'villains'. I am a firm believer that a good villain is not someone you are told is bad, and are left to hate without reason. The villain is important and the writing should reflect that. The 'villains' of this story - King Saran and his armies - are as well written as all the other characters. You see their motivations, their desires and fears - you are led to try and understand their position and I suppose, to make up your own mind. Well written villain makes for a compelling story, and this book does not disappoint.
(On a playful note - I also loved the word "Baboonum" (sp?), and have chuckled to myself several times as it randomly resurfaces in my brain!)
What I disliked...
I wasn't a fan of some of romantic elements - however I must stress that this is because I find romantic plots uninteresting personally, not because they were badly written!
Other than that, I really can't this fault this book.
Basically, I adored this this book. It is well written, highly engaging and left me wanting more. I have been able to recommend it to my younger sisters, and they have also loved it. It is listed on Goodreads as a 'Young Adult' book, however I would strongly recommend this to any adult who wants a gripping, fantasy action novel.
If you like magic, rich worlds and strong characters - buy this book immediately.
I cannot wait for the sequel!
It takes the well-travelled world of fantasy and adds a completely fresh feel. The 'twist', as you'll doubtlessly know is that Adeymi took the traditional fantasy setting of mythical medieval Europe and placed her world in a mythologised Africa instead. And it's absolutely brilliant.
The world feels real from the very beginning. The characters are good, albeit a little central-casting but when was that ever news in the world of fantasy? It's not like Frodo had much going on in his life either. But the world in which they live, the animals, the myths, the way of life are all fully formed from the beginning, richly described and compelling. It's so visual, I felt myself longing to see this on the big screen and it does seem as though Hollywood has already come a calling. I hope they can do justice to this vision.
As to the weak points, they shouldn't put you off buying this book. I'd like to see the following addressed in further books: characterisation and motivation is borderline cliche at times. I really wish all publishers would put a ban on "everyone I love, dies". And also first-time love scenes by waterfalls. And generally any kind of 'forbidden love', especially the star-crossed lovers where they shouldn't love who they love because he/she is the son/daughter of my sworn enemy. Shakespeare had that adequately covered 500 years ago and there's no need to retread that path.
But otherwise this book is a truly original, believable, immersive tale that the world of fantasy has been needing for quite some time.
Zelie’s mother was killed by such men when magic ran freely through the veins of the people of Orisha; when the king decided that he would have all maji killed for the threat they posed to his Kingdom. Now, magic has all but disappeared but Zelie has an opportunity to restore magic and destroy the people who stole her mother from her.
This world was not at all what I expected from a debut novel. Orisha is so beautiful; world building is so important to me and Tomi Adeyemi absolutely nails it. The creatures, the land, the characters each slink across the pages - the story feels like a complete imagining which has been developed so well that I found myself lost in it. It’s almost a shame this is YA because had this morphed into an adult novel it could have easily moved into a higher fantasy setting with even more scope to build upon.
The narrative is divided between three characters: Zelie, who is travelling with her brother Tzain to restore magic and save her people from the oppressive King; Amari, the King’s daughter and heir to the throne, who has discovered that magic may not be entirely lost when she witnesses her father kill her best friend for showing signs of it; and Inan, the Prince and Amari’s brother, who is determined to capture his sister and the scroll she possesses which holds the answers Zelie needs.
Each of the characters is well developed, even Tzain who doesn’t have his own narrative; these are the types of characters I want to read about, with genuine grit and individual thought. Zelie and Amari have distinctly different personalities and backgrounds but were equally impactful. Zelie is deeply motivated by her pain and that of her people and she doesn’t suffer fools whereas Amari is
much softer, squashed by her upbringing, bu5 undergoes enormous character development as the plot unravels; these are the kinds of strong female leads I love, who aren’t sassy or rude to show strength (a trap authors often fall in to) but rather are legitimately strong women with important motivations much bigger than themselves. I found the friendships, and lack thereof in some cases, believable as they evolved into cemented bonds rather than superficial friendships borne from a shared goal.
This story was so successful for me because of how much attention to detail there is – even the secondary characters have been thoughtfully woven into the narrative. Tomi Adeyemi has genuinely crafted something which stands out immensely in a heavily saturated market. She has created an engaging world, realistic characters and a plot which moves forward constantly with an intricate magical system. Most of all though, her plot is unpredictable; even when I thought I saw a trope coming, she squashed it – she’s not afraid to kill her characters in gruesome and unceremonious fashion!
It’s so refreshing to read a book like this. I often wait a reasonable amount of time before reading a hugely hyped book so that I’m not influenced by all the buzz but for once the hype is real – this book deserves all the hype and I’m gutted I waited so long to read it.
The novel is split between three POVS – Zélie, Amani, and Amani’s brother Inan, who is out to bring Amani back, and soon finds himself wrestling with his own secret. Despite the book clocking in at over 500 pages, it’s never a slow read, with short chapters chock-full of action that bounce between the three narrators.
One thing that stood out to me about the book is how well the world-building was done – so many times with debut authors I find that the exposition is clunky or heavy (something I struggle with myself), but CHILDREN OF BLOOD AND BONE doesn’t have that problem. Information is fed to the reader in a way that feels natural, and doesn’t slow the pace down – with the amount of detail in the novel, it would be easy for the action to grind to a halt, but it never does.
For the romance lovers, there’s plenty of that – I don’t want to spoil anything but Zélie and her love interest have a gradually building relationship that got me squealing. If I go “squee” while reading, that’s a pretty good sign that the romance is cute as a button. I like some romance in my fantasy, OK? And CHILDREN OF BLOOD AND BONE does it just the way that I like – the romance is directly tied to the fantasy plot, causes a good amount of conflict, and TEARS ME APART.
The worst thing about this book? THE FACT THAT IT ENDS ON A CLIFFHANGER AND I’M GOING TO SUFFER UNTIL THE NEXT ONE. Why is this my life?!
OK, enough of me whining.
It’s amazing to see a YA fantasy epic with a cast of black characters, written by a black female author, get this kind of success – especially for a book that is so darn good. I really hope the film adaptation gets made, because I’d love to see the magic – especially that of the Burners, the maji who can use fire – shown on screen.
CHILDREN OF BLOOD AND BONE should appeal to anyone who loves a good YA fantasy – I was reminded of books like SHADOW AND BONE and REBEL OF THE SANDS while reading this, which also feature a similar mix of romance, detailed worldbuilding and female heroines. It feels both familiar and fresh at once, and offers a much-needed viewpoint in YA fantasy.
The book also features a black, female protagonist, an almost all-black cast, African-inspired culture and worldbuilding, metaphors for serious and relevant social and racial issues, and was written by a Nigerian-American author. That, too, is huge.
In this book, magic has been taken away from the people. Those few folks who would have been able to wield it—the devîners—are treated like scum, and are targeted by the regime of a tyrannical king. But now the magic may be coming back.
What follows is an exciting and emotional adventure across a refreshingly different world, as our protagonists seek to bring about the return of magic. Adeyemi is wonderful at weaving in small details that become important later in the story. The pacing is solid, and the action scenes are plenty while remaining justified.
Plot Score: 4/5
As this is clearly a Young Adult book, I wasn’t expecting much in the way of flowery prose. The prose is a vehicle to drive the story, and that’s fine. Each point-of-view character was written in first-person, which was different enough from what I usually read to be interesting, and they each have their own voice. Maybe these voices could have been a little bit more distinct, but there was nothing awful here.
Prose Score: 3/5
Alright, here we go. Character is probably this books main strength. Each of our three POV characters are distinct people, each competent in their own way.
First up, we have Zélie, a spunky divîner who harbours a lot of rage and animosity towards the monarchy following the death of her mother. Zélie is likable, principled, and flawed. Zélie could probably be considered our “main” character, as the book opens with her and focuses on her journey to bring magic back to her people.
Secondly, we have Amari, who happens to be a princess. Amari’s best friend is a divîner servant named Binta, whom she has developed a close relationship with despite her father’s feelings towards divîners. Amari is a sweet girl who sympathises with the people oppressed by her father, and is far more capable than people give her credit for.
Lastly, we have Inan. Inan is Amari’s brother, and is a captain in Orïsha’s military. All Inan wants is to be the son that his father expects him to be, and a lot of his characterisation revolves around this fact. Inan is tasked with stopping the return of magic.
Reading the above, you’d be forgiven for thinking that these characters are the usual YA tropey templates. They aren’t. Adeyemi allows her characters to think for themselves. They question their motives, and they ponder the consequences of their actions. The first-person POVs really allow you to get inside the head of the characters, and connect with them. I enjoyed my time with the people that Adeyemi created, with my only real complaint being that they seemed the flip-flop with their opinions very quickly.
Character Score: 4/5
There is a lot to like about the setting in Children of Blood and Bone. There are quaint sea-side villages with floating markets, dense forests, and scorching deserts. The magic is intriguing and mysterious, with a lot of potential. The colourful African-inspired culture is very different from what is usually seen in fantasy, and shines through in many of the scenes while still maintaining an air of familiarity.
Unfortunately, I just don’t think we saw enough of the setting. The plot is pretty fast-paced, and so we see characters skipping from location to location, and very rarely do we get simply enjoy the world before the story whisks us off again.
Setting Score: 4/5
This is a really great YA novel, and one that I’m sure will do very well on release. If you’re not a fan of young adult books, and all the usual tropes that come with that, I’d suggest that you give this one a miss. If you like the idea of a kickass black female protagonist kicking around an African-inspired world, with some thought-provoking allegories for racial tensions, you may enjoy this.
Her hair also starts off as straight, but as the story progresses and magic flows through her, it becomes tighter curled. Coily, like I think I can say the average black woman’s hair is. (And unlike those who frequent the tv. Nothing against them but having our natural represented in fiction is wonderful. There’s even a lovely scene towards the end of the book where Amari braids Zelie’s hair into what I think are cornrows. I love how it’s shown like it’s part of their everyday, as it is for many black woman, and even Zelie herself when she was younger and magic was free. Amari is even slightly envious; she’s seen how men of other backgrounds look at Zelie with it. Plus Zelie is tender-headed, haha, brings back memories for me! My mother would’ve had to conjure spirits to hold me still too. /that’s/ the representation I love seeing in fiction; it’s what I and other young black girls need. The ability to see ourselves, and our lives, in books. That’s not a thing to be sniffed at.
What romance there was wasn’t contrived, considering the plot it progressed as it should have. What I really like was the friendship that grew between two girls who started off on less than the wrong foot: Amari and Zélie. The chemistry was pleasant and organic. Their character developments too made the book. The ending of this book has really got me yearning for more. I can’t wait!
I have never known a book to drag on soooooomuch. It has some really great parts that you become completely enthralled in...and then they just drag on and on describing one event from three different eyes. One person’s view is enough. You can tell it’s an idea for a story that could have been told in half the pages it uses. At times it was great to read, especially when the book travels to Lagos. After that I wanted it to end and became very frustrated with the repetitive language. The book is magical at times and really does help you paint beautiful and cultural images as you read. The writers note are for the best and there is a message in their that I feel strongly about but the book might not give the message away as easy you would think. Purposely?, I don’t know.