Book Review: Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

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.


Young Adult, Fantasy


525 pages


1st in the Legacy of Orisha series


March 6th, 2018


Henry Holt Books for Young Readers





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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.


Honestly, you are probably living under a rock if you haven’t heard of this book. Its only been out for six months, exploding into the YA fantasy scene, remaining on the NYT bestseller list since and even becoming Jimmy Fallon’s book of the summer. You can’t walk anywhere in the book world, even if you’re not a YA fan, without running into this book. I had heard of it, of course, and knew that it was something I needed to read and the more popular it grew, the more that I knew I had to buckle down and do it!

That being said, I truly enjoyed this novel. It was such a strong novel for a debut and I think that the characters and the fantasy that Tomi creates makes it compelling and addicting. I picked up the book at about midnight to read a few pages before bed and ended up staying up until 2 am, reading the first 200 pages. Tomi’s characters float off the page, they are so fully fleshed out and real. I have a special space in my heart for Amari – there’s something real and strong and familiar about her. The magical system and the world that is created is beautiful and both dark and whimsical. The mythology is brand new to me and its something I’ve never heard before and I really enjoyed learning more and more. I loved how unique it was – it reminded me of other magical systems but it honestly stood on its own.

I also loved that this really felt the first time we saw a diverse book like this in the fantasy genre. I’ve read both Angie Thomas and Nic Stone’s books and others as well that are escaping my mind, but I have never really seen a fantasy like this, written by a black woman, with the story seeped with black characters and stories and mythology. It was truly beautiful and I loved the newness of it. I loved that I felt like I was seeing into cultures I had never really immersed myself in before. I read a LOT of fantasy – its my favorite genre – but I’ve never read fantasy like this, and it was such a fresh change. A lot of fantasy is white washed, at least in the main characters, and Zelie was a character that immediately grabbed my attention and I really love that she exists.

I did have a few problems with it. I didn’t find the basic story that unique or different. I don’t know if the book had gotten super super built up in my head from others but while I loved the book, I didn’t shut it feeling like AGHHHHH, how I have with other books. I’m currently making my way through the Throne of Glass series, since I had only read the first couple books a few years ago, and the storylines for the two series is just similar enough that it felt obvious. Maybe if I had read them at different times, it would have been different but the tyrant kings taking away magic and all of that…it just felt too similar. I also did NOT like the romance that built between Zelie and Inan. It seemed to completely come out of nowhere, and its quick intensity was so weird to me. Inan’s change was just too quick and unrealistic to me and after everything Zelie had been through, I didn’t see her trusting Inan as quickly as she did. It just gave me icky feelings the entire time. I love romance in fantasy but in this case, I think I would have been fine with no romance for Zelie; the budding romance between Tzain and Amari was enough for me.

Other than those two things though, it was a truly great book and I can understand why its on the bestsellers list and why people are falling all over themselves for it. I thoroughly enjoyed it and my god, that cliffhanger was EPIC. I can’t wait for the next book!


4 out of 5 Stars


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