‘Children of Blood and Bone’ has been doing the rounds on Instagram since like forever. Fantasy wasn’t my favorite genre and I always thought that I wouldn’t in my right mind, buy books on this subject. When Harry Potter was released 20 years ago, my cousins tried their level best to make me read them. However, I couldn’t. I tried though. But couldn’t get past the ‘The Boy Who Lived’ page. No kidding! It took me thirteen years after its release for me to discover the magic and ever since I have been a huge fan.
Anyway, since then, I have tried to read fantasy books once in a while. Needless to say, the fantasy genre has slowly started piquing my interest. When I had the opportunity (the book was sent in one of the book subscription boxes that I had subscribed to), to read Children of Blood and Bone, I was elated. But was it worth the hype and praise it had received?
Children of Blood and Bone is weaved around a world- Orisha, where magic existed once. Magic was eradicated by the nobles and they treated those with magic heritage with contempt and disdain. They were also taken away as slaves. The minors were exempted from being killed because they didn’t have magic in them. In order to evoke their magic, they should be adults. But it is their white hair that gives away the truth of the magi clan and the children were also brutally treated.
Zelie’s mother, a powerful diviner, was killed in such a way during the raid when magic was destroyed forever, at least they thought. She now lives with her Baba and brother Tzain.
Once in the marketplace, she gets caught up in trouble and is forced to help a girl set free. She is none other than Princess Amari, daughter of King Saran – the mastermind behind the raid.
Princess Amari was fleeing from the palace after being heartbroken, witnessing her maid – her best friend being killed by her father due to her inheritance. But then, she had the ‘scroll’, a powerful artifact which could bring magic back.
Zelie’s home is destroyed by King Saran’s guards led by his son Prince Inan. Zelie runs away with Princess Amari and her brother. With the scroll, she knew magic could be brought back. She knew her powers could do wonders, so will the others. But what about Prince Inan? How did he start spotting that white streak of hair? There are many missing pieces in the puzzle. Will Zelie be able to find the missing artifacts? Can she bring magic back?
Review: Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
Incredible storyline, don’t you think? You should read the blurb as well. I was mighty impressed.
The book started off with a bang! I was easily drawn into Tomi Adeyemi’s Orisha. The description of Orisha was so flawless that I steeped in the history and heritage of magic in this land. I was intrigued and it had everything that a fantasy novel calls for.
The story is narrated by the main characters – Zelie, Amari and Inan and I liked that I could get into their minds in a given situation and read the story in their POV.
The characters, especially Zelie and Amari are etched to near perfection. Zelie as the fierce warrior was almost winning my heart. She had her flaws and it was great watching her grow as a person. But she ended up being just a ‘likable’ character.
It was Princess Amari who won me over. It was interesting to find how a princess came out of her shell, survived with strangers who are supposed to be her deadly enemies. Remember, it was her father who killed the entire magic folk. Therefore, the friendship brewing between Princess Amari and Zelie was fascinating. They were always there for each other. Also, I liked the fact that, Princess Amari fondly remembers Binta, her maid, until the end of the story. She draws inspiration from her and ties her memory close to her heart. For me, Princess Amaari is, I guess, the true hero of the story.
Inan as the vengeful Prince had huge potential to become the villain of the story, thereby, a stronger character. He was hell-bent to bring Princess Amari back to the palace and also prevent from bringing magic back. All his life, he wanted nothing but please his father. But now that he knows the true story of magic and Diviners from Zelie and Amari, he is torn between right and wrong.
That said, as the story progressed the characters lost their identities, their depth. There was a time when I felt that none of them made any sense. The plot dragged on and on, and don’t get me started with the forced romances. I mean, why do all the characters in the book have to have a love interest? It was obvious that the romances were shoehorned into the plot. Ah, cliched and sad!
I just couldn’t fathom the hurried ending as well. It was simply chaotic.
I think, if the book was shorter and crispier, I would have enjoyed the tale a bit more. Don’t get me wrong. I can read extremely long, huge books, as long as the plot is interesting. But with 525 pages, this beast didn’t live up to my expectations.
The book cover is unbelievably beautiful. The addition of the map of Orisha helped in following Zelie’s quest in bringing back the magic, to the T.
“Reality told us we would fail. But again and again, we fought. We persevered. We rose.”
“You know how to win,” she says. “Just make sure you know when to fight.”
“Good hearts don’t leave scars like that.”
“You have your duty and your heart. To chose one means the other must suffer.”
“Reality and logic don’t matter to her. She needs this so badly, failure isn’t even in the realm of possibilities.”
“We are all children of blood and bone.
All instruments of vengeance and virtue.”
Do I Recommend?
Honestly, I would have given this book a 2 or 2.5-star rating. You know I wouldn’t, in my sane mind, give a book such a low rating. But the epilogue saved the day. Also, if I hadn’t read the author’s note in the end, there was no way I could pan out the parallels. With a Nigerian inspired setting and all-black characters, the author was trying to portray police brutality and their abusive power towards the African American community. It was all about the unarmed black men, women, and children being shot by the police.
I hope Tomi Adeyemi improves further with the next book in the series.
3 on 5
|Details of the Book|
|Title: Children of Blood and Bone||Publisher: Henry Holt Books|
|Author: Tomi Adeyemi||ISBN: 1250170974|
|Genre: Fantasy, YA||No: of Pages: 525|
Like the Review? You may want to pin it for later!
Grab the book from Amazon.