fantasy · review · young adult

Children Of Blood And Bone – Tomi Adeyemi

“One day magic breathed. The next it died.”


Blurb: “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.”

*This book was sent to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review*

Children of Blood and Bone was my most anticipated read for the year. So when I was sent an early copy I, unashamedly, ran around my house screaming with joy a few times, and then set down to reading.

The story is told through three perspectives: Zélie who is a maji, Amari who is a princess confined to her castle, and Inan who is Amari’s sister, a prince and in charge of the royal guard. Each point of view added an extra layer of depth to the world and none of them felt like they were there simply to pad out the story. While I feel that Tomi Adeyemi is trying to sway the reader more towards Zélie, the character I became most fascinated by was Inan. He was so utterly complex and is fighting a massive inner conflict throughout the book but not in the way you would think; I found myself rooting for him in situations when I should have been on the other side. Having said that, Zélie’s character arc over the course of this book is outstanding and I can’t even begin to imagine where it’s going to lead in future books. If you’re someone who loves character-driven books then this is definitely the one for you.

I’ve seen this book described as a “young adult Game of Thrones with POC characters” to to attempt to associate it with anything else feels almost like an insult. Children of Blood and Bone is unique. While some plot points have been seen before, it just felt like reading something entirely new. It was a breath of fresh air. It’s more of a tresure hunt mixed with a cat-and-mouse story with a whole host of diverse characters that simply exist. The writing reads so beautifully and methodically; like every word was chosen with care.

The story has a bit of a slow-down in the middle and I found my attention shifting for quite a few chapters but it managed to pick back up as Inan’s purpose in the plot started to grow.

A big aspect I could not get behind, no matter how hard I tried, was the romance. Given the type of story it had been built up to be, along with a strong enough platonic connection already existing between the two characters, it just felt like it wasn’t needed and distracted from the more pressing issues in the narrative. I’ve never been a fan of romance thrown into stories that could work without it and my enjoyment of it really dissolved once this was introduced.

Having said that, Children of Blood and Bone is an incredible read with characters that are firmly embedded in my soul. I will not forget them for a while.

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