Title: Children of Blood and Bone
Author: Tomi Adeyemi
Format: eARC & Hardback
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Publisher: Henry Holt
Release Date: March 6, 2018
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Disclaimer: I received this ARC from Netgalley free in return for providing my honest and unbiased review.
Two Sentence Summary: Zélie is a divîner (maji) who is on a quest along with her brother, Tzain, and Princess Amari to bring magic back to Orïsha. Zélie was chosen by the gods to bring magic back; and she along with Tzain, Amari and a wily band of divîners, pickpockets and mercenaries must fight the king, the prince and their soldiers to save magic and the maji.
I don’t read much YA because I lost faith in the genre. It seemed like everything being pumped out was the same cookie cutter book. But then Children of Blood and Bone (CoB&B) along with a few others hit the scene and I had to take another look at it .
This is my second time reading (CoB&B). The first time I read it was as an eARC and surprisingly I blew right through it. After my first reading I felt that I missed a lot and decided to read it again for Tome Topple. And believe me when I say I missed a lot. And I enjoyed it a lot more the second time around.
What Popped: This is really hard to narrow down. I liked that the story was told from three perspectives (Zelie, Amari and Inan). I enjoyed the pacing. Adeyemi was able to pick up and slow down the pace in all the right spots.
What Bombed: I won’t say that this bombed, but I got tired of it getting brought up. Zelie was unfortunately tortured and I understand the wounds were still fresh, but I just didn’t want to hear about how MAGGOT was carved in her back and about King Saran’s eyes and what he said before having that word carved in her back.
I wouldn’t be doing my job as king if I didn’t remind you what you are.
My Thoughts: Adeyemi creates two strong female characters Zelie and Amari and I love them both. Granted at times they both got on my nerves. I loved how Adeyemi had a “character” reversal. In the beginning Zelie is strong and outspoken while Amari is meek and soft-spoken; then after Zelie’s torture Amari’s strength really starts to shine through and Zelie becomes meek and soft-spoken. The reader still sees Zelie’s strength, but she is definitely not as forceful as she was.
Now let me talk about Inan for a moment. I sooo wanted to punch him in the throat. He got on my nerves. Prince Inan (say that sarcastically).
He discovers that he is maji, but is afraid of his powers because of what his father, King Saran, has said about the maji. Inan actually believes that Zélie has cursed him with magic. Although Inan commands some soldiers he is, in my opinion weak.
He carries this pawn around with him that came from a game he and his father used to play. And I kept thinking, “when is he going to let this dang thing go?” To me it’s a symbol of his father using him to further his agenda, which is true. Although he was on a mission to find his sister, Amari, and bring her home, he was also on a mission to find Zelie and . . .
Kill her. Kill magic.
I love Adeyemi’s descriptions. They are vivid and really pull you in – makes you feel like you’re there. One of my favorite descriptions is of the Gombe River Valley.
After the six days traveling through the hell of the desert, the lush forests of the Gombe River Valley are a welcome sight. The hilly land breathes with life, filled with trees so wide one trunk could fit an entire ahere. We weave in and out of the towering giants, moonlight spilling through their leaves as we travel toward a winding river. It’s quiet roar hits my ears like a song, soft like the crash of ocean waves.
At the outset of the novel I was intrigued. Bisi one of Mama Agba’s students asks: “Why do they hate us?” And Mama Agba’s reply was. . .
They hate what you were meant to become.
I thought about that and thought that no truer statement could have been made. People don’t like you or they hate you for all sorts of reasons. Some of them valid, but most often they aren’t. Most of the time the reason someone is not liked is based on ignorance, fear and/or misunderstanding. And the reality is just because someone doesn’t like you doesn’t mean you should stop being the best you – you can be. And I’m done. Off my high horse I get.