Review: Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

Thursday, November 29, 2018

They killed my mother.
They took our magic.
They tried to bury us.

Now we rise.

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.

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 an enemy. 

Guys. I literally just finished this book. I read it in two days, and I have an actual headache. Talk about a book hangover. I apologize because there's no way that I'm going to be able to coherently verbalize my emotions and thoughts about this book.

If you couldn't tell, I loved this book. I bought it way back when, but I never got a chance to read it because of this darn book award committee that I was on. I run a chapter of the Forever Young Adult Book Club and this is Decembers pick and thank goodness for that.

The only way I can write this post is to make a list. So...
What I loved:

-The diversity. Clearly I'm always hoping to find diversity in my novels, but this book easily could have fallen into the tropes of color-ism (lighter skinned "good" guys and darker skinned "bad" guys) but it didn't happen. You could be good or evil no matter what shade of brown you were. Equal opportunity brownness!

-Despite the daunting size of the book, the pacing was on point. I don't recall any moments where the book dragged, I struggled to keep the names and places straight but that's probably more my brain than anything else. I found myself pushing through the book thinking "well where the heck can she possibly go from here??!!" Followed by "Oh snap! I guess that's where she goes, okay cool."

-Amari! Talk about a fascinating character. There are many books where a character transition from sky and timid to strong and badass, but a lot of the times by the end of the book you feel like you've read about two completely different characters. Their transition can required the reader to suspend too much of their disbelief. NOT THIS TIME FOLKS. Amari had darn good reasons to be afraid and it was understandable that she let that fear guide her, but there were constant bursts of strength and resilience, and what was also lovely to see, she was a great friend, a confidant. I loved the moments between her and Zel.

-There was just so much darn adventure and so many twists and turns. One day Zel stumbled over Amari, then they're the chosen ones (and not in a dumb way) and have to bring back magic, all the while Inan is chasing them, there are ships, a secrete camp, there are even more ships, it just goes and goes and goes. There are also weird large cat creates I guess. Dude I don't know but it was all awesome.

-Okay, let's talk about Inan without spoilers (but there might be small spoilers). A more troubling guy you'll never meet. First off, we never quite understand what happens to him at the temple. I can only assume we'll learn more in the next book. He makes this weird transition from a loyal Prince of the crown, to team Zel. That transition makes sense based off what happens in the temple, and what he learns from Zel about the struggles her people have faced. Then stuff happens at the camp, and he transitions again. As horrible as it sounds, I can understand his fear, I can understand his reasoning. From the beginning Inan has always been a weak character (although we love those heart throb moments) which may be easy to miss when you compare him to his sister Amari. But... it is what it is. Then we get to the end, and... I don't even know... I feel like the overall ending (like the entire book) I kind of predicted, but the end of the book with regards to Inan, I'm still not sure what to think... how to feel. TOMI ADEYEMI HELP ME OUT GIRLFRIEND!!

-Yall, there was so much destruction. I don't necessarily like that, but I think it took the book to a place of realism that some authors are afraid to go. Good people died. Innocent people died, and we readers weren't hidden from those details or from that heartbreak. It's a part of what made the book real.

What I need more of that I'm sure if going to be in the second book:
I struggled to understand the history of Zel's people and I'm sure that is mostly my brain struggling to adapt to the high fantasy that we readers were inundated with. I wish we could see more of the magic. I wish we could understand it more. That being said, I'm sure more of that is coming in the next book.

Guys, I apologize for all of my feelings, this post is a hot mess, but It's only been about 20 minutes since I've finished it so I'm struggling.



    this book was so awesome and I can't wait for Children of Virtue and Vengeance! this was a fantastic review (and the book hangover is too real)

    1. Thanks!! I'm dying for the next book too. I'm gonna need time to fly. I was such a mess. I'm still a little hungover. I'll probably stay in a perpetual state of mess until the next book!


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