Book Review: Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

Friday, March 23, 2018

Title: Children of Blood and Bone
Author: Tomi Adeyemi
Series: Legacy of Orisha #1
Publication Date: 8th March 2018

Synopsis: "They killed my mother. They took our magic. They tried to bury us. Now we rise.
Zelie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orisha 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 Zelie without a mother and her people without hope.
Now Zelie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zelie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good. 
Danger lurks in Orisha, where snow leoponaires prowl, and vengeful spritis wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zelie herself as she struggles to control her powers - and her growing feelings for an enemy."

My thoughts: Wow. You know how sometimes authors write blurbs for other books and say things like 'this was a tour de force of epic proportions' and stuff like that? Well, for Children of Blood and Bone, that is completely accurate.

I wasn't sure going in whether I was going to really love this or just kind of like it - the latter being a bane that I have had with many fantasy YA books in the past. But this just sucked me right in and dragged me along, made me think, and left me fairly clueless about what was going to happen right up until the very end.

We read the story from four different points of view: Zelie, her brother, a rogue princess (which I keep misspelling as 'a rouge princess'. sorry...), and the crown prince. I don't always gel that well with multiple points of you, but Adeyemi has written these so well that, even though I wanted to get back to other characters, I would always get swept up by whomever was speaking. Each character was just so unique and fully-formed: while I didn't always understand motivations of each character, or why they were acting in a certain way, I still felt like it was accurate to that character.

Zelie in particular is fantastic. This isn't a typical 'chosen one' style of story, and I loved how Adeyemi really explored Zelie's doubts about her abilities, about whether she even wanted to be what people wanted of her. Despite being the main character, she was still a teenage girl just trying to deal with everything that life was throwing at her - and boy, was it super chaotic.

And the world! The magic system! The gods!! The leoponaires! Everything is so well-crafted. I think I could read a few books about the magic system and the religion in Orisha. Yes, yes I could.

I will quietly admit that the ending confused me a little bit, but that just makes me even more eager to get my hands on the next book to find out what is going on. Adeyemi has written a wonderful book here, and I highly recommend people check it out.

[I received a review copy of this book from Pan Macmillan. Thank you!!!]

A favourite line from the book: 'I tuck back my straight locks, my cheeks growing hot. Even if I pass for wise, there can't be a god above who thinks I'm patient...'

You would like this book if: You like amazing fantasy with complex characters and wonderful world-building.

Tea to drink while reading this book: I might caution against making tea for this one, as you will forget about it and it will go cold (happened to me... a lot...)

Rating:  9.5/10

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