BOOK REVIEW | CHILDREN OF BLOOD AND BONE BY TOMI ADEYEMI (SPOILER-FREE)

May 11, 2018


A moment of silence needs to be taken for how BEAUTIFUL this cover is. Like c'mon. It's partially 100% the reason as to why I bought it. Okay, maybe like 99.9% why.

Synopsis

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. - Synopsis

Plot

The land of Orïsha once thrived with magic. Maji's held powers that reined from shooting fire out of the palms of their hands, connecting to people's minds and dreams, infecting those with diseases, and having access to the spirits of the living and dead. However, those who could not wield magic were not as pleased with it, and feared its power. One night when magic was stripped away, the King of Orïsha sent out orders to kill every maji, leaving behind broken families and diviners, those who haven't tapped into their magical powers yet.

Children of Blood and Bone is an action-packed, epic fantasy that follows the journey of a young girl on a quest to restore magic back to her people with the help of her brother and a runaway princess. This novel is told in 3 POVs: Zélie, our protagonist, Amari, the runaway princess of Orïsha, and Inan, the prince of Orïsha . Anytime a book has multiple POVs I always get a little anxious because I've seen it done poorly and it being a major downfall to the overall plot. However, Tomi Adeyemi did a fantastic job alternating from not 2, but 3 POVs. Reading from each character only enhanced the story in my eyes, and made the overall experience that much greater.

This book took my emotions in all different directions. Every page was valuable and never once felt like a filler. I was happy, sad, ANXIOUS, scared, laughing my socks off, and pleasantly uncomfortable throughout this entire book. While feeling every emotion on the spectrum, I never once felt bored. I loved how fast-paced this book was because when I originally saw how many pages it was, I was worried that they'd be some parts where the plot would be dragged out, but that was never an issue.

Characters

Zélie. LOVE HER. LOVE HER. LOVE HER. DID I MENTION THAT I LOVE HER? It's an amazing feeling when you can relate to the main character, and I saw myself in Zélie so many times throughout the book. She just starts off wanting kick ass at her graduation match and ends up being the only person capable of bringing magic back to her people. Everyone's looking at her as their savior, and although she puts up a tough front, we know that she's scared of disappointing everyone. Being able to relate to that feeling made her more real, and much more enjoyable. She's not perfect and I guess some of her decisions aren't always the smartest, but she's one badass female and a force to be reckon with nonetheless.

Amari. LOVE HER. LOVE HER. LOVE HER. WHAT AN AMAZING AND CARING YOUNG LADY. Amari is so kindhearted and developed into one of the strongest characters in the book. Although she was raised to hate magic and all those who had the potential to do it, she still chose to fight the hate and violence that was spread onto the lives of innocent people, and instead fight for what was right. In the beginning she was a scared princess who ran away from home, but towards the end she became a warrior. She became someone braver than she ever knew.

Inan. Oh sweet baby jesus. INANNNNN. I pitied his character throughout the entire book. I do not hate him, which makes me mad because he was such a shithead during a good chuck of this book, and I wanted to MURDER him at the end. One thing him and Amari share is their kind heart. Deep down I know Inan wants to do what is best because he cares for the people of Orïsha. However, what separates Amari from her brother is that she knows that the monarchs are nothing but oppressors who've managed to murder hundreds of innocent people out of hatred and fear. Unlike Amari, Inan has been brainwashed too deeply to disconnect from what he was taught. Inan's inconsistency and internal struggles that he's faced with made him a unique and interesting antagonist in my eyes. I can't wait to see what his character will do in the next book.

Tzain. Zélie's older brother, aka the man of my dreams. We stan a nice, tall, strong chocolate king who loves his sister unconditionally and is not afraid to show his emotions. One of my favorite things about Tzain was how caring he was towards his sister. Although he didn't always agree with everything she did, he never once stopped being there for her. Zélie and Tzain's relationship was so beautiful to read, and I hope we get more of it in the second book. Now, my other favorite thing about my beautiful dark chocolate king is how expressive he was. As much as I loved seeing him be strong and powerful, it was the moments when he was hurt or emotional that were the most memorable. Men are always taught to hide their feelings and to always be the tough ones, but I see way more strength in vulnerability than I do in putting on a facade.

Writing

One of the most talked about elements of this novel is the storytelling. Every review I've read and watched praised Adeyemi for creating such a powerful and passionate story. Children of Blood and Bone is more than just a fantasy book. It highlights many social issues that the world is facing today, police brutality being only one of them. With having a nick for storytelling, Adeyemi creates a powerful, and enriching story filled with beautiful imagery and West African mythology. As a West African myself (CAMEROONIANS REPRESENT!!!), I felt a deep and personal connection to this story. This novel is not the first novel I've read that had an all black cast of characters (shoutout to the Bluford High Series that basically every black person read in middle school lmao), but it was the first novel that made me feel strong and powerful to not only be black, but to be African. For once in my life, I was able to read a story that had vivid descriptions of a black girl with dark skin and curly hair, and she was beautiful. For once in my life, I could picture myself as the main character and feel pretty damn good. For once in my life, I felt represented.

Final Thoughts

If you've read Children of Blood and Bone, please tell I am not the only one that saw some parallels between it and The Young Elites series by Marie Lu. Please tell me I am not the only one who saw characteristics of Adelina in Zélie, and those of Teren in Inan. Please tell me I am not the only one that saw the obvious malfetto and diviner/maji similarity.  While I was reading this novel, I kept thinking how badass it would be if the two worlds collided and kicked everyone's ass who hurt them. I would totally be down for that.

Anyways, Children of Blood and Bone was nothing but wonderful. I haven't read a fantasy book in so long, but reading this reminded me why I love this genre so much. I'd love to read more in this genre so if you have any fantasy novels that you love, please link them in the comments below!

Oh, and that ending? The ending left me with the biggest cliffhanger I have ever read, and I'm not going to stop obsessing and freaking out over it until I get my hands on the second book. Well done Adeyemi!

Rating

5 OUT OF 5 STARS BABY


Read Children of Blood and Bone? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

Until next time, 

k.m.

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