Fantasy, Young Adult

[Review] Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi


Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
Publisher: Henry Holt Books for Young Readers (Mar 6, 2018)
Series: Legacy of Orïsha #1


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.

I would like to thank Macmillan USA International and Pansing Singapore for providing me with an ARC of Children of Blood and Bone for review.

Rating 5

As I perused the list of 2018 releases last year, I distinctly remember the moment when Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi caught my eye. Immediately, I searched it up on Goodreads and decided that I would pick it up when it was released.

I saw it coming and I wasn’t ready for it. This, my bookish friends, is my account of reading Tomi Adeyemi’s dazzling debut novel, Children of Blood and Bone which had me gasping for more!

Aside from the gorgeous, eye-catching cover, I was really intrigued by the story of Zélie, a young maji who has been living in a world where magic no longer exists. After the horrific events on one fateful night in which she witnessed her mother’s murder, her people have been living under the oppression of their ruthless, cruel king.

“You crushed us to build your monarchy on the backs of our blood and bone. Your mistake wasn’t keeping us alive. It was thinking we’d never fight back!”

Dear readers, Children of Blood and Bone is an explosive debut novel by a Nigerian-American writer who writes an unflinchingly powerful story about rising up against your oppressors and finding the power within yourself to fight for what is right. Children of Blood and Bone is all kinds of fantastical and I was hooked right from the start. Tomi Adeyemi writes with such flair that I couldn’t help but be swept away by the wonderfully imaginative world she created.

Inspired by West African culture, Children of Blood and Bone is set in a world where magic has been vanquished for over 11 years, ever since the night the Orïshan army slew Divîners, a race who are gifted by the gods with extraordinary gifts. Tomi Adeyemi, a masterful storyteller that she is, manages to conjure an imaginative world ruled by a tyrant, filled with political intrigue, prejudice, racial discrimination and power.

“The truth cuts like the sharpest knife I’ve ever known. No matter what I do, I will always be afraid.”

Here is what you can expect from Tomi Adeyemi’s Children of Blood and Bone! Non-stop action, incredibly addictive action and fight scenes, independent and brave characters who are so realistically portrayed and beautiful, masterful writing. The story follows Zélie’s journey across Orïsha on a quest to return magic to the lands and overthrow the oppressive monarchy with the unlikeliest of allies, including the rogue princess who is against everything her father (the king) believes in.

Children of Blood and Bone is undeniably one of my favourite books of all time because it was just so wonderfully well-written, with a complex magic system, nuanced and conflicted characters and unforgettable twists and turns. Featuring an all-black cast of characters who are unique in their own ways, I was completely taken by this book.

I might have a crush on Zélie because I feel like she is the epitome of female empowerment. Sure, she is The Chosen One who would return magic to Orïsha, dealing with her own flaws and shortcomings and proving to readers out there that it is perfectly fine to be weak. That it is not your fault that you doubt yourself because there will be situations in life that would be too much for you to handle, but what matters is being resilient and believing in yourself. For that, Children of Blood and Bone deserves all the love in the world.

“I won’t let your ignorance silence my pain.”

One thing I have to point out is that although Children of Blood and Bone is a fantasy novel, the themes that were dealt with in the book reflect on the lives of black people today. Tomi Adeyemi doesn’t shy away from discussing issues such as internalised racism, prejudice and social class and I think it’s imperative for young adult books to feature hard-hitting issues like these.

I cannot stop raving about this book to my friends. Children of Blood and Bone is an explosive, spell-binding debut by an incredibly talented writer. I am saying this now, Tomi Adeyemi will be huge as she is brilliant and I can only dream to be like her. Children of Blood and Bone is a definite must-read if you’re a fan of fantasy. I am itching for a reread now!



8 thoughts on “[Review] Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi”

  1. Dear Kevin, your review makes me want to scream and cry and read this book right now – what a beautiful review. If everyone has already been hypin this up A WHOLE LOT, you brought this whole thing to another level with your review. I feel like I’m going to LOVE Zélie’s character and I can’t wait to discover her story :) Thank you for writing this :) x

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m already hyped for this book and your review has me itching to read it now. I can really see myself enjoying Zélie’s character. I don’t mind the Chosen One trope as long as we get the chance to explore their faults as well and I am so happy to know that this is the case with Zélie.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I really need to reread Children of Blood and Bone because I loved it so much the first time I read it but I was busy rushing to the end to fully savour it. The hype is real!

      Liked by 1 person

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