The most anticipated fantasy of the year, soon to be a major motion picture
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 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 an enemy.
Review by Tanaya Lowden
Children of Blood and Bone is one of the most anticipated and hyped young adult releases of the year. This book is pretty much everywhere on social media at the moment, and it’s difficult to avoid seeing glowing praise and adoration for it. I am adding to this praise, as Children of Blood and Bone not only met all of my expectations, but well and truly exceeded them. This book is fantastic, and potentially (since it’s only March) one of the best YA books of the year!
In the world of Orisha, magic has been banished and many majis brutally murdered under the orders of a ruthless king. Told in the alternating perspectives of Zelie, a daughter of a slaughtered maji, and Inan and Amari, the children of the ruthless king, Children of Blood and Bone is the story of Zelie’s quest to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy.
Children of Blood and Bone is detailed, complex, fast-paced and action packed. As soon as I started reading I did not want to stop. The story was refreshing, constantly moving and it compellingly revealed twists and turns throughout. I never felt bored, as both the writing and the plot were so wonderfully written and complemented each other perfectly.
I was simply enchanted by the West-African inspired fantasy world and, in particular, I found the magic system to be intriguing and unique. The magic is based off of ten maji clans, each gifted by the ten gods above a different power over the land (e.g. maji of water, maji of health and diseases, maji of time). I definitely can’t wait to see how these powers are further explored in the sequel.
At the heart of this book are the characters. I love them all, for not only are they complex and flawed, but also endearing and lovable. Their interactions and growing relationships with each other were such a joy to read, and their character development felt realistic and almost relatable. They’re the kind of characters that you just want to protect from all the bad things in the world, even though you know that’s impossible.
There’s so much more I could say about Children of Blood and Bone because it really was just that wonderful. Definitely read this book if you love YA fantasy!
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 honours degree in English Literature, she studied West African mythology and culture in Salvador, Brazil. When not writing novels or watching Scandal, Tomi teaches and blogs about creative writing at tomiadeyemi.com, named one of the 101 best websites for writers by Writer’s Digest.
We're in an entirely other culture - a Nigeria-inspired kingdom of magic and mythology - but are utterly at home. The first chapter, alone, is so rich in detail, action, scene and character. And wonderful prose. * i News * Immerses you in a fantasy world of magic and myth. * Belfast Telegraph * This book gripped me from page one. The magic, the characters and raw history in this book blew me away. Adeyemi's world building is fantastic, I felt completely immersed in the savage yet beautiful world of Orisha that Zelie lives in." [...] The first thing I did after reading this book - instead of marking it read on my Goodreads page- was google when the next one is coming out. -- Laura Andrews * Yorkshire Evening Post * Hugely gripping and original... Three perspectives, complex world-building and superlative characterisation make this a must for fantasy fans. -- Imogen Russell Williams * Metro * A hugely enjoyable escapist story that makes you re-examine the world around you. It is a miraculous achievement. -- Kiran Millwood Hargrave * Guardian * This year's big fantasy breakout... [an] epic story of family, love and magic. * Stylist * All our bookselling instincts tell us Children of Blood and Bone is a book apart. Posted to YouTube, author Tomi Adeyemi's surge of tearful joy at seeing her debut in the flesh instantly went viral, lending something very real and important to the long journey of her novel finally finding print. This is a tale brimming with courage, injustice, magic and star-crossed love, as young Zelie comes to terms with the extraordinary gifts she has been forced to keep hidden and the revenge that burns in her heart. With sweeping, prescient themes of race and heritage, Children of Blood and Bone is poised to be the breakout YA hit of 2018. * Waterstones Loves * The Harry Potter I should have had. * MostlyLit Podcast * Epic in scale and size... it's a whirlwind read thanks to immersive world-building, powerful characters and ferocious plotting. Themes of prejudice and oppression are particularly poignant in the current political climate. * The Bookseller * In one of the most highly-anticipated fantasy releases this year, Tomi Adeyemi spins a luxe tale of magic, adventure, and forbidden love. Zelie lives in a world once ruled by magic, but mass-murders decreed by a new king have all but stamped her people out, and she has a narrow window to bring the magic of her lands back to life. Fans of Leigh Bardugo and Game of Thrones will gobble this up. * BuzzFeed * This highly anticipated fantasy novel earned its 23-year-old Nigerian-American author a seven-figure deal. The first instalment of a three-part young adult trilogy, it draws on African myth and folklore and was reportedly inspired by the Black Lives Matters movement. The film rights were snapped up before the book was even published. * Irish Independent * Tomi Adeyemi has created a lush, vibrant world, full of legend and lore, more than enough to sate even the most ravenous fantasy fan. She deserves special commendation for steering away from the creatures so often shoe-horned into fantasy novels, and instead creating her own magical beasts, who fit seamlessly into the narrative. There are swoony moments, shocking moments, terrifying moments, and heartbreaking moments. It's a masterful debut, and one many readers will adore. -- Melinda Salisbury, author Sin Eater's Daughter Epic fantasy YA debut of magic and war. * Guardian * Infused with rich mythology of west Africa, Adeyemi's lush world-building and consummate plotting breathes new life into a YA fantasy epic. Themes of oppression and racism resonate all too strongly in today's political climate. The cliffhanger ending may leave some readers reeling but, rest assured, this is first in a trilogy. * Observer * Black Girl Magic indeed! It's no surprise that this epic trilogy opener has already been optioned for film. Full of cinematic action sequences (the most memorable of them set underwater and employing an army of the dead) and creatures worthy of Star Wars (horse-sized 'lionaires' have saber teeth and horns), it storms the boundaries of imagination. Yet it also confronts the conscience. Adeyemi's brutally depicted war between the noble, lighter-skinned kosidans, and the enslaved, darker-skinned majis poses thought-provoking questions about race, class, and authority that hold up a warning mirror to our sharply divided society. * The New York Times *