Book Review: Children of Blood and Bone

Title: Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orisha #1)
Author: Tomi Adeyemi
Genre: Young Adult | Fantasy | Magic 
Publisher: Henry Holt Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: March 6, 2018
Source: Purchased
Format: Physical

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 (goodreads).

Wow, where has this book been all my life. 
Plot: When I saw Tomi Adeyemi at an author event, she said that she inspired a lot of her creations from the world of Avatar: The Last Airbender, and after reading Children of Blood and Bone, I couldn't help but compare most aspects to Avatar.

Children of Blood and Bone was an action-packed adventure to bring magic back to a people who were at the mercy of the royal family and let me tell you, it was nonstop! As someone who typically prefers slower-paced reads, Children of Blood and Bone exhausted me at times, but the twists and turns kept me glued to the pages. I was drawn to Children of Blood and Bone because it followed the perspectives of three people who grew up in very different circumstances, and their actions had a major impact on the future of Orisha as a land. 

Children of Blood and Bone also did not take any prisoners which surprised me! In times of war, there was of course bloodshed, and Adeyemi did not pull any punches. There were some great discussions about oppression and the revolt to equality and some fantastic quote-worthy scenes. What destroyed me the most was Adeyemi's author's note which showed all the parallels between mystical Orisha and modern day United States. 

Characters: Children of Blood and Bone was told from the perspectives of Zelie, Inan, and Amari. Zelie lived a rough life as she was one of the descendants of powerful maji, maji who were slaughtered before her eyes. Inan and Amari were siblings and children of King Saran, the man who ordered all the maji be slaughtered in the streets. Their growth was extraordinary. Of course, I was drawn to Zelie because of her inner strength and leadership qualities, but I quickly fell in love with quiet and meek Amari who transformed from spoiled princess to a leader in her own right. There was a bit of romance that was balanced perfectly with all of the action. I can't wait to see what tough decisions our characters are confronted with and how they continue to grow in their own roles. 

Worldbuilding: The world of Children of Blood and Bone blew me away; the world was lush and alive and Adeyemi easily brought the reader into the world and conflicts. While Children of Blood and Bone was over 500 pages, I found it easy to fly through and that was because I couldn't get enough of the worlds. 

I couldn't tear myself away from Children of Blood and Bone because of the complexities of the conflict and how much history Adeyemi provided the reader about the relationship between the maji class and non-magic folk. I would happily read a prequel that highlighted King Saran's rise to power and how his hatred shaped his ruling. 

Short N Sweet: Children of Blood and Bone is a powerful fantasy that will suck you in immediately. 

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