Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orïsha, #1)by Tomi Adeyemi Published 06 Mar 2018
|Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orïsha, #1).pdf|
|Publisher||Henry Holt Books for Young Readers|
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Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut, perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo and Sabaa Tahir.
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.
"Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orïsha, #1)" Reviews
“No matter how much I crave peace, the gods have other plans.”
4 1/2 stars. Wow, I have had quite a week. I started Children of Blood and Bone last Thursday as I was going into labour (because, why not?). Normally, I would devour a book like this in a day or two, but those of you with kids will know that's just not going to happen with a newborn.
Instead, this book rode with me through the hospital stay, sleepless nights, and postpartum weepies. It kept my eyes open on those long, long nights. It picked me up and threw me into another world of action and magic right when I needed it. All I can say is: Thank you, Ms Adeyemi.
Oh okay, that's not all I can say. Though hopefully I don't sound too delirious.
Children of Blood and Bone is a West-African inspired fantasy set in the fictional land of Orïsha. It takes all the best bits of YA fantasy - princesses, tormented soldiers, the battle to restore magic vs suppress it - and does something completely new with these familiar elements. At its core, it's an action-packed, fast-paced adventure to restore magic to the world and complete a ritual before the approaching solstice is over and magic is lost forever.
Beneath that, though, there are many darker themes. The plot is intense and steeped in racially-charged violence. Adeyemi draws many parallels with our own world, forcing the reader to pause and consider systemic racism and injustice in prison systems. And Zélie remembers the genocide executed on King Saran's orders all too well. The "Raid", as it is known, took her mother from her. Now, Zélie is a divîner - a maji without magic, though her abilities lie dormant, waiting for the missing scroll that can return her power.
The book is told from alternating perspectives. One is Zélie, another is Princess Amara who Zélie reluctantly saves from the King's men, and the third is Amara's brother, Inan, who is sent to chase down and stop his sister and Zélie. With complex characters who naturally change and grow as the story progresses, I was hooked. I cared what happened to all three of them. There was never a boring moment.
It is always risky to step into a book as hyped as this one, but I, for one, think it very much deserves it. A compelling, exciting plot, a completely non-white cast of characters, AND a thoughtful consideration of race, skin colour, and prejudice... impressive, to say the least. Though that cliffhanger is EVIL. How will we cope until the next book?
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You'll like this book. I'm biased, but I need to meet my goodreads challenge so I'm marking this as read.
5 STARS! This is genuinely the greatest debut fantasy novel, greatest fantasy novel in general that I have read in a very long time. Initially, I was TERRIFIED to read Children of Blood and Bone. The combination of it’s size and an epic high fantasy novel was very daunting to me, but I am so happy I picked it up. I cannot possibly recommend it enough.
The writing was fantastic. Despite being such a large novel, the pacing was well-done, where I felt I was flying through the novel much quicker than many other long fantasy novels. Adeyemi has a beautiful prose that compliments such a vibrant world and mystical magic system. All elements of Orisha were flawlessly executed – the history, the divide among maji/diviners vs. nobles, the different types of magic, ALL OF IT. I’m totally infatuated with this world and cannot wait to see it expand in following novels.
I really loved the characters in this story. Zelie is such a fierce warrior. I loved watching her strength grow, but also still preserving some of her innocence and vulnerability. I feel that she is such a wonderful protagonist that so many will fall in love with. Amari is another character I LOVE. Her character transformation was really well done. It was so nice to see a girl start out meek and afraid but slowly grow into herself and become more comfortable in a group of people totally different from her. I also find the friendship that develops between Zelie and Amari to be so sweet. They are so different and would not get along at an eye's glance, but I enjoyed watching them grow to support each other. Inan is a character I also loved, but I did have some issues with. I loved him as the vengeful prince out to prevent Zelie and Amari from bringing magic back. he was a GREAT villain to follow from the beginning with a ton of layers, and it was especially cool to follow the antagonist's perspective for once in YA. But as the story progresses and the characters go through new things, I found his characterization to be a bit off-putting. Inan is a very intense character to begin with and his changes are equally drastic. To keep it spoiler-free, there were some times where I felt his feelings and reactions just didn't make sense and flipped around a lot. I do still love him as much as the others, and I am definitely anticipating seeing more from this epic cast in the future.
There is so much action in this story. There are endless chase scenes, epic battles using swords, staffs, bows, and different kinds of magic. There are unexpected twists and turns and just so much intensity. The plot is wonderfully constructed with so much to enjoy. Children of Blood and Bone will totally keep you on the edge of your seat the entire time while reading - but you won't be able to *completely* predict what's coming next.
I'm completely obsessed with Children of Blood and Bone. My favorite new-to-me start to a fantasy saga. Surely, one of my favorites of the year. This book has gotten so much hype even before it's publication, and it is totally deserving of every ounce of it.
ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Buddy read with Adri! 🦊
(And my favorite BookTube reviews: Tati's & Lauren's!)
“You crushed us to build your monarchy on the backs of our blood and bone. Your mistake wasn’t keeping us alive. It was thinking we’d never fight back!”
Children of Blood and Bone is worth every ounce of hype and praise it has received thus far, and I only anticipate it to receive more and more, especially since you’re all about to read a gush review for it. The world is amazing, the characters are so real feeling, the writing is perfect, the action is abundant, the romances are beautiful, the topics are important. This was such a fantastic read, and even though it is only late January, I have no doubts that Children of Blood and Bone will make my best of 2018 list, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it even takes the number one spot come December 31st. I’m also honored to say that this is the very first book I’ve given five stars to in 2018.
In this world of Orïsha, magic used to thrive and be celebrated. Our main protagonist, Zélie, remembers this time and what a powerful Divîner her mother was. But she also remembers the way her mother’s body looked, when it was left on display the day that magic died.
“I think about the way her corpse hung from that tree. I think about the king who took her away.”
Now, the king of Orïsha wants to make sure magic is kept dead, while also keeping all the Divîners that live in Orïsha oppressed. The king ensures that the Divîners are reminded they are lesser, in hopes that they will forget how powerful they once were, along with everyone else. And this has worked, for the last eleven years, that is until a powerful artifact is found and if it is combined with a couple other powerful artifacts it can bring magic back to Orïsha once and for all.
When a Maji is born with white hair, it is a sign that they are touched by the Gods, so they are called Divîners. And back before magic disappeared, when a Divîner turned thirteen, they would develop what kind of power they had from whatever God had touched them. The powers range from healing, to taming animals, to wielding light, to controlling time, to making fire, to calling water, to controlling people’s minds and dreams, to even more things! They were very powerful, and the ordinary people didn’t like them being that powerful, so they had to shut them down and keep them down.
“No matter how much I crave peace, the gods have other plans.”
This story truly focuses on two sets of siblings. One set is Zélie and her brother Tzain, who are currently living in Eloirin, which is surrounded by water, with their father. Yet, the people in Eloirin are forced to pay a Divîner tax, and the prince keeps raising them higher and higher. And if you can’t pay it, then you are forced to perform hard labor (or other worse things) until your debt is paid off. But that’s the thing, you’ll just accumulate more and more debt, and you will never be free again. You will die a slave. And Zélie ‘s family is unsure how they are going to afford to pay the tax for her, so they are forced to go to the city of Lagose to trade. Then, Zélie and Tzain’s story mixes with the other sibling’s story by pure fate of the Gods.
Amari is the daughter of the king that has done everything to destroy magic. Yet, this princess is nothing like her tyrant of a father. And once her father does something completely unthinkable and totally heartless, Amari flees her royal life once and for all.
Inan is the king in waiting and Amari’s older brother. He is probably the most interesting character in this book, because he constantly is struggling between what he wants to be and what has always been forced upon him. And he is tasked to bring Amari back to their king of a father, by whatever means necessary. Then, these four young adults, from very different upbringings, come together to change the fate of Orïsha forever.
“They built this world for you, built it to love you. They never cursed at you in the streets, never broke down the doors of your home. They didn’t drag your mother by her neck and hang her for the whole world to see.”
This story is truly unforgettable, and I loved it more than any words I can string together to form a review. The world building is expertly done, and perfectly interwoven through the story. The magic system is so unique and was an absolute joy to learn and read about. Zélie is everything I want in a main protagonist, and her castmates are nothing short of amazing, too. This book was everything I’ve ever wanted from the fantasy genre.
The writing in this is so very lyrical. I was completely blown away by the magnificent prose. This story is just told so beautifully, I think it would be hard not to fall in love with it. And I want to emphasize that romance is never at the forefront of this story, but some of the one liners that Tomi Adeyemi gave me where truly some of the most romantic lines I’ve ever read. I can’t believe this is her debut novel. Please, just give her all the awards now, because her writing is truly on another level.
“You have your duty and your heart. To choose one means the other must suffer.”
And the messages and parallels to our world, from systemic racism, to prison systems, to so much more, are so very important. I know this is a YA high fantasy novel, but I hope people can’t miss the similarities to the very society we are living in today.
And every single character in this book is beautifully black. Yet, the author does such a wonderful job touching on how people perceive darker skinned individuals to lighter skinned individuals in this world. In this world, the royals want to look as light as possible. Even going as far as to make sure their skin is always powdered, and it is shunned to spend too much time outside where you could become darker. Yet, this young girl, Zélie, with the darkest skin, living in poverty and dealing with the brutal murder of her mother, could be the most powerful person in Orïsha, yet she is viewed as nothing more than a racial slur. This book is powerful, eye opening, and I hope you all take more out of it besides it being an amazing, five starred story.
“I won’t let your ignorance silence my pain.”
This book was a masterpiece. Again, I know with my whole soul that this book will make my best of 2018 list without question. I loved this book with the sum of my being and I know it is going to make so many other’s lists, too. Tomi Adeyemi will forever and always be an auto-buy author for me, because this is maybe the strongest debut novel I have ever read in my entire life. Perfection.
Trigger/Content warnings for attempted rape, physical abuse, death, gore, murder, torture, war themes, and similar things in that vein.
“The truth cuts like the sharpest knife I’ve ever known. No matter what I do, I will always be afraid.”
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The quotes above were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication.
Thank you Macmillan Books for this arc.
Honestly, I don't know how to review this book. My emotions are everywhere at the moment and as much as I wanted to write something comprehensive, I doubt that'll happen.
Like the author has stated, this is a story inspired by her West-African heritage, which seeps through the writing and the world and the atmosphere she creates.
It's an all black cast of characters. All black.
Let's take a moment. It's rare, if ever barely seen. And even if it's out there, those stories do not get the same type of exposure as books with an all-white cast of characters. And the fact that this book was an insight into her world and that it is so hyped now, makes me so goddamn elated.
I absolutely LOVED that aspect and that it was a fantasy novel as well. It was a shock in the best way possible. Since it did surprise me, I reflected on myself and the books that I've read since I was a child. I think it goes to show how I, as a reader, have become accustomed to seeing white characters, the white narrative to the point where if characters of different backgrounds are included, it stands out and is notable.
I hope for the day diversity becomes the norm in novels and is celebrated in our world.
Thankfully, the publishing world is slowly changing as well.
Books like these absolutely need to be supported and published more and become more accessible to readers, especially in this current climate, where empathy should be a more common trait. Books like these expose us to other worlds, other faiths and races, general differences that exist within us, and reinforces the idea that difference is good. Difference is what this world is about and what should be accepted, without any qualms.
As for the story, it is heavily political, focusing on themes of class, race, oppression, privilege and police brutality and she does not shy away from violence. I love that Adeyemi did that; write a YA fantasy novel that looks at our modern reality and infuse those issues in a story, giving readers a glimpse into the reality of being black or a minority.
The magic was fantastic and ridiculously fascinating. Rather than expanding on it, I'll leave it out for you to find out. It is gorgeous. The plot was deliciously fast-paced and had me on the edge of my seat, especially towards the end of the book. I was excited to pick the book up each time I put it down. It was an avalanche-style-Sanderson ending, which was so glorious to read.
And the characters!!!
I want to go back and read this book again! I'm so excited to see how this story will develop. Bring on book 2! ASAP please!
Well, damn those last 100 pages or so were literally explosive. SUCH A GOOD ENDING I NEED MORE!! 😍
RTC but just buy this book already. The hype is real and justified.
This was so complex and detailed and my opinion is: wow. I do think it was way too long though ah hahah I'M SORRY. I just have the attention span of a refried gnat. But the characters?!?? <3 Zelie is actually the best ever. And it got dARK and stabby so omg.
Full review to come!
(Also sCREAMING but I am interviewing the author on my blog in March. 😍😍)