CHILDREN OF BLOOD AND BONE
Written by Tomi Adeyemi
Published by Henry Holt, March 6, 2018
My star rating: 5 STARS!!!!
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. Find it on Goodreads
Wow. I am still shocked and amazed that this was a debut novel! It was flawless, and phenomenal, and had me hooked completely from page 1. I’ve spent the last few hours attempting to write a review, but it hasn’t gone so well. I am just so overcome with passion for this book that nothing is coming out in a full and complete thought. I’ll try to not make this review all over the place! In my defence, this is a difficult book to review. Things happen so fast so pretty much any specifics will be a spoiler. Also it’s the general atmosphere of the entire book that make it something memorable.
This book is told from four different points of view. First we have Zélie, a girl who is struggling with so much grief. The King wanted to remove magic from the lands completely so he executed all living Maji, including her mother. Next is Tzain, Zélie’s brother, who is her protector. He knows that she messes up a lot of what she does due to her emotions getting in the way, and he was sent to protect her on their journey. Then we have Amari, run away princess who may have a way to bring magic back to the lands, and is using this quest to escape her father. Lastly we have Inan, Amari’s brother, who is a guard of the kingdom, loyal to their father, and is willing to do anything for his approval.
I will say that the 4 different POV’s don’t serve the purpose for us to see more, as they were generally all together. But what it did do was give us insight of their separate thoughts and emotions. It was a slow burn of connection for them as well as for us a the reader. The more we heard from them, the more we understood, and the harder we fell for them. Each of these characters were so well done and so relatable. They invoked so much emotion throughout the course of this book!
The World building was stellar. We were taken on an adventure in so many different places throughout the land, and all of them were so different in their landscape and function. We traveled to sea side villages, markets, mountains, fighting pits, hideaway villages, temples, and so much more. I felt that I could envision each and every one of these places. Their sights and sounds were so vividly described without being too overdone. It was easy to be transported and feel like you were really there.
There was also a very well balanced theme of oppression and love. The oppression of those with magic was heart breaking. One ruler’s pain dictated that magic could never be good so it needs to be gone. The treatment of those with magic and the slanders used against them was sickening. But at the same time, sprinkled throughout the books, there were such strong themes of love, acceptance, and support. Fighting for good against all odds and against all evil. Changing peoples views on magic, and learn that, if done properly, there could be harmony. Also the support shared with those that suffer was everything. So many soft people who try to find the happiness in life and live for it. It was just beautiful.
The writing was glorious. Smooth and elegant, yet not over the top. Descriptions were vivid but not to overwhelming. It’s very easy to read this book quickly as she has a way of capturing your emotions and pulling you onto the next chapter. The brilliant pacing of this book has a lot to do with that as well! It’s possibly one of the most consistently paced books I’ve ever read. The highs weren’t too high, and the lows weren’t too low. There was just this steady push and NEED to know what happens next! One thing I also have to mention about her writing is that I love that she didn’t use food to explain skin colour. That irks the living hell out of me!!! Instead, we were given descriptions of the land. Trees, sand, stones, and other natural earthly things. It was beautiful! And a lot more effective than telling me that it looks like coffee or caramel…..
The only fault (that’s not really a fault) is that I wanted a little more explanation of how the powers worked and came they came to be. We did get a little of the background information, about the gods and such, but I wished there was more detail. I wanted to know more about each individual god, what ALL of the powers can do, how do they give others power, how do they strengthen those powers or connect/communicate to the Maji….. there’s so much left that I want to know! But I realize that this is still book one and there is more to come, so I’m hoping some of this will come into play.
But that ending…… oh that’s just cruel! LOL! After reading those last pages I have about 500 different theories and situations running through my head and I need to know what happens!!!
Thank you SO much to Raincoast books and Henry Holt Books for the chance to read this truly epic novel. Their generosity has not influenced my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Until next time, happy reading!