Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

A top pick for most in 2018, Children of Blood and Bone is a mix of religion and magic about two young women finding their place in the world. While on an adventure/fantasy quest!

The plot is definitely trope-y which kinda put me off towards the start. However! I loved the fictional world of Orïsha. Adeyemi has portrayed some of the feelings, traditions, and legends of West Africa while putting a refreshing spin on the setting.

agic was presented as physical and spiritual. Most importantly maintained by faith and communication with the gods with a direct line of ancestry. I also really liked the way Zélie as a reaper used her powers with the dead in battle. Adeyemi certainly had a different take on their powers and I hope we’ll see each one explored in more depth in books to come.

There were some clear themes of oppression and otherness. Adeyemi expolred seperation through colourism as everyone in the novel is black. Amari, in particular was brought up to appreciate and to aim for lighter skin. I enjoyed the way Adeyemi portrayed both sides with being at fault and fuelling the cycle of violence against each other. She definitely reflected some issue’s we are dealing with in today’s society but in a way that didn’t feel too on the nose.

I really enjoyed that we had three main character perspectives – Zélie , Amari and Ianan. It worked with the chapters not being too long and kept the pace throughout the story. Our main characters were all likeable but flawed with distinct principals. They consistently question their motives and ponder the concequences of their actions. Though I didn’t like their ease with which they changed their minds. They changed opinions waaay too frequently.

Zélie is both stubborn and determined.  She has a lot of emotional growth throughout the story – coming into her powers and struggling with the responsibility of bringing magic back. We flash back to her abuse sufferent at the king’s hands and how that fear drives her and affects her desicions. Magic is such a huge part of her life – it is tangled up in the memories of her mother and responsible for her death as well. It was such a traumatic experience and I did like the way Adeyemi both portrayed it but also showing how Zélie worked to come to terms with it. I also really enjoyed her father and his role, in the story. While not a perfect character still interesting and I liked their relationship togethe.

Amari is interesting though I feel like we have more to explore from her in future novels. I liked the way she needed to find her courage while dealing with some very real and paralysing fears. Her journey certainly parallel’s Zélie’s, however I didn’t feel like it detracted from where they both needed to go. Also good to se her being brought up training alongside her brother.

Inan is torn between his abusive father’s wishes of eradicating all magic and coming into his own unexpected powers. He is also constantly battling between villian and hero but his future subjects that he will inherit with the throne are at the forefront of his mind.  Though I really wasn’t a fan of his relationship with Zélie – it felt forced and came out of nowhere. It didn’t feel natural and distracted from the story. WHY WHY does everyone have to pair off???

So although this does feel a little YA template I would highly recommend to fantasy fans. The longer length also makes it a little unusual for a YA but is a really intriguing start to what will hopefully be an incredible fantasy series. Because I’m definitely looking forward to discovering more about each different branch of power and a little more history of the maji and can’t wait to see where the next installment takes us.

ABOUT CHILDREN OF BLOOD AND BONE

Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zélie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls.

But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were 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.

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