Children of Blood and Bone is fantastic and worth of all the praise lavished upon it. Everything about this book is unapologetically and beautifully black.
Children of Blood and Bone is the science fiction fantasy book of my dreams. There was significant hype surrounding this book, which began with Fox 2000 securing upcoming movie rights. Leading up to its release, I was definitely one of the desperate hoping to get chosen for a preview ARC. I waited until it’s release and it was well worth it.
About the author:
Tomi Adeyemi is a Nigerian-American writer and creative writing coach based in San Diego, California. After graduating from Harvard University with an honors degree in English literature, she received a fellowship that allowed her to study West African mythology and culture in Salvador, Brazil.
Children of Blood and Bone is worthy of all the praise it’s receiving. Read on to find out why.
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.
World of Magic
There are 10 maji clans in Orisha, each imbued with different abilities. Zelie’s mother was a Reaper, a maji of Life and Death who gained her powers from the goddess Oya. There are maji who conjure light, and those who control animals, and those who can govern the tides.
Image by Jo Painter. Character copyright Tomi Adeyemi.
First, I want to give a shout out to Jo Painter for her beautiful illustration of Zelie. I can’t wait for the fanart and cosplay to start rolling in on this one!
Zelie, a young diviner is the strong, capable character and hero young girls of color need today. There is a serious lack of books featuring characters of color that get a mainstream push. Children of Blood and Bone seeks to break down barriers by kicking down the door with an action-packed story.
The author does an amazing job at world-building, which is one of the main reasons I was so excited about this book. There are very few if any which involve African kingdoms or mythology, making this a must-read for me. Children of Blood and Bone follows the classic Hero’s Journey plotline, which for some readers may be tiring. But considering the endless amount of medieval fantasy driven books on the market, this is a breath of fresh air for those looking for an entirely new world to explore.
Overall, this is a well written, character-driven story with plenty of twist and turns. Adeyemi’s beautifully described world, makes me want to jump right into the pages of this amazing book. The book starts off fast-paced and engages the reader almost immediately. As the book progresses, the pace does begin to slow as we are introduced to a myriad of characters who embark on this epic journey alongside our main character.
The evolution of Amari and Zelie’s relationship throughout the book was beautifully executed. The entire book centers around the theme of oppression of the maji. Interesting enough, it’s not just presented as racism in the book, but also colorism. The maji are the darker skinned people living in Orisha, they have snow white hair and dark-skin from being forced to labor in the sun. The lighter brown Orishan’s are not laborers–as an African American woman, this definitely parallels real life themes for many of us.
Readers young and old, male and female, will be able to relate the underlying themes presented in this book.
Even the villains are well written to the point where you can’t help but (somewhat) like them. Deep down inside, I’m a huge fan of villains–a well written bad guy is what drives the story home for me and Prince Inan is definitely giving me Prince Zuko vibes.
Overall, I loved this book from beginning to end. I felt deeply connected to the characters, their story, and their mission. I waited so long for a novel to quench my never-ending thirst for lush, rich world of African Mythology. Children of Blood and Bone has done that and so much more. My hope is that this will help publishers realized the untapped potential in marketing more books with strong minority leads.
find your clan
Be sure to head over to the official website and find your clan now!
I encourage everyone to read this book. Read it several times before the movie is released. Remember “Hollywood has a budget your imagination does not”.
This post contains Amazon affiliate links. If you purchase through the link, I make a little bit of money.
Love of impromptu dance parties, 80’s cartoons, and horizontal life pauses (aka naps); Natasha Brown is a stay at home mom of 4 kids, and wife to one lucky guy! In her spare time, she is co-editor of Grits & Grace, as well as editor for The Mother Hustler Blog and Creative Director for the Mother Hustler podcast.