Welcome back to another recommendation post! These are always my favourite to write and I don’t get to them as often as I would like. I recently read a book that inspired me to get back to this though! And this is a good one!!! These two books have many things in common…. we will get to that in a minute. All you need to know to get started is they’re both YA fantasy and are filled with magic!
First we have CHILDREN OF BLOOD AND BONE by Tomi Adeyemi – and I know you’ve heard of this! This was the break out hit in 2018 and everyone was raving about it – and for good reason! This book was just so good! In this one we have a young girl, born from a magical family, yet has never seen magic itself since it was banished long ago. She tries to strike back at the royal family, for banishing magic and treating her people like garbage, and finds herself working with an unlikely group of people. The world building was phenomenal, the different perspectives were so well done, and the magic was so interesting! We have a The sequel is so close to coming out and I NEED it!
Next we have a recent read – and one I really loved! KINGDOM OF SOULS by Rena Barron was a surprising read that wasn’t even on my radar until I received an ARC. Almost immediately I got vibes of another book, but it took me just a little bit to figure out why it seemed familiar. Arrah has grown up in a family of witch doctors, known widely for their strong magic, yet she has none for herself. Children begin to go missing and she decides to tread a dangerous path of trading years of her life for a taste of magic. I fell in love with her story telling and loved how she crafted and handled messy relationships!
HERE’S WHAT THE TWO BOOKS HAVE IN COMMON:
- Both books are debut novels! – I find it almost impossible to believe that these two books were debut novels. The writing was absolutely incredible and what they were able to accomplish within their pages is remarkable and speaks of years of writing….. well done!
- African inspired worlds/settings – Both of these books are fantasy, however, their worlds were inspired by african settings and folklore. Luckily, in both books actually, the authors take us on quite the journey! Neither one takes place in just one location – the characters move and travel with the events of the story. We see everything from desert landscape, lush forests, mountain ranges, and so much more.
- Lack of power and coming into power – Like I said above, both of the main characters were born into magical families but, due to different circumstances, were not gifted with power in the beginning. Both of them were still very spiritually linked to the family/gods that guided their powers, but they had to learn as the stories went along what that power meant and what it was capable of.
- Magic from gods and tribes – I found both of these magic systems to be quite similar to each other! Especially the origins and control of the magic itself. I loved the folklore that came along with it. I found that in both books the magic system lacked a little detail though – I wanted to know exactly what they were capable of, how it worked, etc.
- Fantastic female leads – I found these two characters, Zélie and Arrah, to be very similar in personality. If there was ever a possibility for a crossover, these two would be the best of friends! They were both so insecure about their place in the world. Neither one had the confidence to be a leader yet, as they went on their journey’s, they found out that they were capable of more than they thought. It’s the love of their family, friends, and people that pushed them through.
- Troubled relationships – Sadly, neither one of these girls had it easy in the relationship department. One lost her mother at a young age while the other one felt discarded by her mother as a useless little girl. They both struggled with their siblings, friends, and how to identify within their own community.
I know that’s a lot of similarities – and there are even more! The writing and atmosphere felt the same as well. These were both really great reads! Even though there were many similarities, these stories were still very different and unique! So if you liked one, I’m confident you’ll like the other!
Until next time, happy reading!